And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’ ” 1 Kings 17:13-14
Elijah the prophet was sent by God to a gentile land to be cared for by a gentile woman. Upon his arrival he discovered that the woman who God said would care for him was unable to care for herself; she and her child were in fact starving to death. Elijah, having taken this all in, incredibly asks the woman for some food. Some might say Elijah was being incredulously selfish, but I submit that we should see him as being extraordinarily faithful. Lesson one from the story is that extraordinarily faithful people are typically prone towards bolstering others in their faith.
Emboldened in and by the Lord, Elijah encouraged the woman that the time had arrived for her to take a leap of faith; for he saw (and she knew) she was at the bottom of her barrel. For many Christians (not all), it was in this dark and desperate place they first recognized their Savior. In that place we discovered that Jesus will not forcibly take our hand, but rather we must grasp the hand extended to us. In our story, the starving woman, in a leap-of-faith moment, would take the outstretched arm of the Lord—by faith she would give all that she had to Elijah.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33
Seeing is Believing
‘Seeing is believing,’ is the mantra of the faithless. The world is filled with would-be bighearted and compassionate people who proclaim their willingness to open their hands to those in need as soon as the Lord abundantly blesses them. These same folks would have likely proposed to Elijah, “Dude, I’ll give you all you want, just have your God first fill up my barrel.” That’s not how God operates.
Unbelievers cry foul not realizing that God is determined to make us men and women of faith. To that end; to be strong in faith, one must exercise the faith they have been given. Our Father works with empty and willing vessels. Anyone can give from their surplus, but only the faithful are able to give sacrificially. Each and every time this occurs, God gets the honor and the glory, and we grow stronger in our faith.
One Small Step For…God
And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.” Joshua 3:13
Can you picture the scene? The Ark of the Covenant, the most precious item of the Tabernacle of the Lord, the place where God Himself spoke to the people, was about to cross the Jordan River. God essentially says to the priests carrying the Ark, “Step into the raging waters, then I’ll part them so you can cross over.”
Surely some must have thought the Ark was too valuable to risk taking such a chance. These priests however knew that theirs was not a God of fate, but a God of faithfulness and in order to receive the promise they must move in the faith they had been given. God came through for them and He will come through for us!
Do you find yourself at the bottom of the barrel or are you at some other place where the Lord is calling you to step out in faith? Then go to the Lord and prayer, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these the Lord has promised shall be added to you. God is faithful and true to His word.
These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson