Buckets, part two

As we continue to look at the story of the widow’s oil in 2 Kings chapter 4, I just want to call your attention to the big faith of this poor widow. She’s facing such a terrible situation, but she has the wisdom to seek God. Through Elisha, she’s given an odd task, one that makes zero sense. I know a lot of modern believers who would’ve given up at this point. When things got weird, when they stopped making natural sense, there are a lot of people who would’ve walked away. “I came to you for a solution, Elisha, for help! Not for some nonsense magic trick! I don’t have time for this!” Let’s be honest, what he told her to do was crazy. It simply did not make sense. In the natural, the best case scenario is that she’s going to pour her little bit of oil into a bigger container and still just have a little bit of oil. But her faith at this point is not in the natural. She may only have a small amount of oil in her jar but this widow obviously had a large amount of faith in her heart. And so God delivers an impossible solution into her impossible situation.

You wanna know what I believe is the biggest lesson for us in this whole story? And this just hit me like a ton of bricks out of nowhere. God’s supernatural solution for this widow required her to make a move of faith. I’ve seen God move in a life when we do nothing at all, I know that’s possible and happens every day. But sometimes, we have to take a step of faith to activate His blessings for us. Had she never borrowed all the buckets, had she hesitated and never started pouring, she never would’ve experienced God’s incredible solution to her problem.

There’s something else here, too. Imagine you’re in this situation, and you pour until the first bucket fills up. You just saw a miracle! That one bucket probably would’ve had enough value to get the creditors off your back, would’ve been enough to keep your children out of slavery. I think a lot of people would’ve stopped there and jumped up and celebrated and danced around and praised God for what He just did. But the widow didn’t prematurely cut off the blessing of God, did she? She looked around at all the other empty buckets she’d borrowed, and she said “Bring me another one.” God had instructed her to gather them, she knew they were there for a reason, and so she said bring me another one.

We have a tendency to limit God. And this goes back to my heart I’ve had for BIG things lately. She could’ve cut off the blessing of God after one bucket. A miracle already occurred. An impossible solution had been given to her by the creator of the universe. Look at the faith this takes, to move from the first bucket to the second, and then the second to the third. It’s faith of a ludicrous degree. Yes, Elisha said gather a bunch of buckets, but how many were really needed? Five? Ten? Elisha couldn’t have known how many she was going to be able to borrow. Let’s say she ended up with 21 buckets, but after filling 5 she stopped, thinking that surely this is the limit to what God wanted to bless me with today.

Let’s look at it this way. When did that blessing stop? When did the oil stop pouring? When they ran out of empty vessels, right? So here’s a little what if for you. What if she’d borrowed a hundred vessels? What if she’d spent three hours going throughout the neighborhood, getting buckets from every single person in the area, and amassed a houseful of one thousand buckets? Would the oil have kept pouring until every bucket was full, no matter how many buckets she’d gathered?

God’s power is limitless. The only limit that exists to His power is the one that we create for ourselves. Are we turning our backs on miracles and blessings, guys? Is our faith really so small that the few glimpses we’re getting of God’s power are more than enough for us, that it fills up our one bucket of faith and so we’re content to walk away? We’re living in an age where we need big faith once more, and so few people have it right now. Myself included. I’ve spent too long of a time as a limiter of God. He can comfort me in a bad time, but then I’m good and I’ll handle it from there. He can move a little in my life, then I’m good, I’ll read my Bible more and be more mindful of His commandments and I’ll handle it from there. My one bucket gets filled and I’m satisfied! I’m one of the people that probably would’ve stopped at one bucket, and that really sucks. That’s really stupid to realize that about yourself, but if I’m just being completely honest I think I probably would’ve stopped after one.

We need to fill our houses with empty buckets. Yes, that’s a ridiculous and silly statement, but hey, often when God’s setting the stage for miracle level power things look ridiculous, don’t they? Noah built a massive boat, and for a moment it sat there on dry ground and he was alone with his grounded boat. The widow sat in a house filled with empty buckets, and for a moment she was alone with empty buckets, a small jar of oil, a mountain of debt, and an ocean deep level of faith. Not too long after, she was swimming in oil, with enough to pay the debts and take care of her family. It’s time for big faith. It’s time for big faith that has no limits, that doesn’t turn away once the first bucket is filled. God, heal the first person, then the next, then the next, and then the next, and then the next, the next, the next, the next, the next after that, and the next after that. Deliver people from sin, and then those people, and the next, and the next after that, and those over there, Lord, and those across the street too. Move in my life, God, and then do it again, and again, and again, and another time after that, and some more after that. I remove myself out of your way, God. I declare on this day that I’m no longer full after one bucket’s worth of your power, and that if it is your will to fill every bucket on planet earth then I’m going to be right there watching, believing, and without a doubt, laughing, crying, and praising your holy name. You are a big God, and it’s time the size of our faith started matching the size of our God.

PRAYER AND CLOSING

Father God, today I ask that you give us a new perspective on your size.  There are so many words we have for big, but none of them come close to touching your actual size and the actual size of your power and your love and your goodness.  God, we need a portion of faith befitting the size of our Lord.  Your word tells me that faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain.  Today I ask you, what can faith the size of a mountain do?  Rise up in us, God.  Rise up in us like we’ve never felt before.  You’ve flooded my heart with this idea of big things, Lord, and I feel you changing me so much these past few weeks.  I say yes to your plans for my life, I say yes to a new size of faith, Lord, a vast faith that far surpasses any level I’ve operated at in the past.  Today I tell you that I trust you with my whole heart, with my well being, with my every step.  I pray over everyone I know right now a new level of faith.  I ask you, Jesus, to make massive moves among your people in the coming days.  I want to see mountains move, I want to see the lost found, I want to see impossible things become commonplace, and lucky for me, I serve you, the God who has made a career out of doing impossible things.  Shake the ground, Lord, and pour down a flood of your love upon this world.  Wake us up, get our eyes on you and you alone.  Please use me in your plans, Lord, for it is my greatest delight to do your will and bring glory to your name.  Thank you for your love and for the immense blessings you continue to pour into my life.  In the precious name of Jesus I pray, amen.

I don’t know about you guys, but this week is flying by for me!  I hope everyone is doing great and that the week is treating you well.  God loves each and every one of you, and He’s got a plan for your lives.  God has a job for you to do.  Start asking Him what it is.

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