One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, “My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the Lord. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves.”  “What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?” “Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied. 2 Kings 4:1-2

The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I, the LORD, will answer them Myself, as the God of Israel I will not forsake them. Isaiah 41:17

O fear the LORD, you His saints; for to those who fear Him there is no want.  The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing. Psalm 34:9-10

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11

Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:

The widow in our story was on the brink of financial disaster and God wonderfully worked to develop her faith and meet her need. The widow, her sons, the prophet, the towns people, the creditor, and countless people down through the ages including us, are all impacted by what God did in this story to accomplish His purposes. The widow virtually had nothing left and she was on empty, so to speak, except for a flask of olive oil. Often the greatest lessons of faith are learned when we come to such points in our lives. All too often we put our trust in earthly resources and so when we have nothing, God is more free to teach us to trust Him fully as He works on our behalf. But we can learn the lessons of faith without being brought to the spot of having nothing by letting God teach us from stories like that of the widow. We must learn to be “empty” of trusting in our earthly resources and trust in God alone. We must also be “empty” of living for earthly resources and be devoted to living fully for God and His kingdom as people of true faith with all our earthly resources available to God and His kingdom purposes.

God loves to expand the horizons of those whose lives consist primarily in the pursuit of having basic life needs met with little attention given to heavenly things. In God’s scheme of things, he seems to pit the heavenly against the earthly. He does so not in terms that make it better not to have earthly things in favor of having heavenly things. But rather He does so in terms that make it better not to let earthly things capture our hearts in favor of having our hearts be captured by heavenly things. He greatly desires that we do not spend our lives in the relentless pursuit of getting more and more (or if unsuccessful, merely wanting) but that we spend our lives more and more on Him and His kingdom as ones who are “empty” of being devoted to and relying on earthly resources. Hence, we see what a vital part God’s orchestration of the absence or presence of basic life provisions plays in the building of His kingdom.

Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:

Lord, I really do want my heart to be captured by heavenly things and delivered from materialism. I want to be “empty” of relying on earthly resources and “filled” with relying on you, so that I am free to bless others both materially and spiritually. Thank you for orchestrating a wonderful work in my life. Amen!