The Flow Of Oil
“Now a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant, my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD; and the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” 2 Kings 4:1 (NASB)
As Colony Reunion weekend was coming to a close, Dr. Roger Willmore asked a question during his Sunday morning message, “What hinders the Holy Spirit from working in your life?” Now I’ll tell ya something; the list can get long if I want to head down Melancholy Lane with the whole matter. The woulda’s, shoulda’s and coulda’s that run through my mind with this question make meditation on it a crowded day. This question has left me truly wondering about my own vertical connection with The One who has saved me from the wide road I was once on, suggested to me that I surrender all and who has reminded me that with this choice there comes traveling a road that gets ever so tighter to be on.
One of the things that Dr. Willmore spoke on that Colony Reunion weekend was that obedience is the master key to unlocking God’s blessing in our lives. When we use this key The Holy Spirit begins a work in our life and that Sunday morning he used a story we find in 2Kings 4:1-7 (in some Bibles it is titled “The Widows Oil”) as an example. At first I thought it only a good story about how God used the prophet Elisha to show His glory to a widow who fell victim to the cliché that “bad things happen to good people”, but Brother Willmore changed my perspective on it.
So we start with off with the widow confronting Elisha and letting him know her dire circumstances, “Your servant, my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD; and the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.”
Though the widow is bankrupt, under the legal system in Israel at this time she would not be allowed to declare bankruptcy. I am sure her faith is wavering at this moment as well. Like the widow we can get in these ugly ruts where the things of this world has placed an immense weight on our shoulders, we focus in on the circumstances, we feel just as desperate and desponded as the widow did, we lament over what has been lost and can’t (or won’t) look up. So she rightfully goes to the man of God with her concerns and with that Elisha asks her an unusual question, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?”
This was an important question to ask. You see, this would be no welfare handout! God would use what she had to start with. Her reply speaks volumes, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” Now in other translations it can say flask BUT none the matter that may have just been the husbands “anointing oil”. Then Elisha tells her to, “Go, borrow vessels at large for yourself from all your neighbors, even empty vessels; do not get a few.” Although this would seem an awkward request to most the widow obeys what the man of God has told her and then goes back into the house and shuts the door and begins to pour that small jar of “anointing oil” into those borrowed vessels. And if you have already turned to this story in your Bibles you can see the rest of this story and its results.
Now I propose to you this morning, as I believe Brother Willmore did, that when we feel as if the weight of the world is upon our shoulders, we need to rightfully seek God’s will to the situation and “shut the door” to the world behind us so that The Holy Spirit can pour Himself into our lives. Jesus told His disciples during The Last Supper, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever he hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13) And we need to obediently take this promise from Jesus and be assured that when the world’s weight is bearing down we can shut the door to it, cry out to God and allow the flow of anointing oil (The Holy Spirit) to sustain us. Amen? – Chris Hughes is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger
Daily Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 16-18; Acts 4:23-37
Think About This: “A full Christ is for empty sinners, and for empty sinners only, and as long as there is a really empty soul in a congregation so long will a blessing go forth with the word, and no longer. It is not our emptiness, but our fullness which can hinder the outgoings of free grace.”—C.H. Spurgeon
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Be gracious to me, O God, for my soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge, until destruction passes by. Psalm 57:1