Sometimes we have plenty. When we do, we may be generous with that. But other times we have only a little. We tend to be much more careful and conservative with that. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. We are to be good stewards of what God has given us. Saving and rationing can be a good practice. But I think we need to be careful to not try and over-think the goodness of God or the desperate nature of our circumstances.
There is a story in the Bible that gives us some insight into how to view our situation when the occasion for fear meets the opportunity for faith. Because of the idolatry and sin of Israel, the prophet Elijah had announced that their would be a drought for three years. The drought had been going on for some time and rivers had dried up when Elijah was directed by God to a small town…
“Elijah got up and went to Zarephath. When he arrived at the city gate, there was a widow woman gathering wood. Elijah called to her and said, ‘Please bring me a little water in a cup and let me drink.’ As she went to get it, he called to her and said, ‘Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.’
But she said, ‘As the Lord your God lives, I don’t have anything baked—only a handful of flour in the jar and a bit of oil in the jug. Just now, I am gathering a couple of sticks in order to go prepare it for myself and my son so we can eat it and die.’
Then Elijah said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid; go and do as you have said. But first make me a small loaf from it and bring it out to me. Afterward, you may make some for yourself and your son, for this is what the Lord God of Israel says, “The flour jar will not become empty and the oil jug will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the surface of the land.”’
So she proceeded to do according to the word of Elijah. Then the woman, Elijah, and her household ate for many days. The flour jar did not become empty, and the oil jug did not run dry, according to the word of the Lord He had spoken through Elijah.” (1 Kings 17:10-18)
The woman was at the end of her food. It was her harvest. She had no expectation that she would eat another meal. She and her boy would eat their last supper and wait for death from starvation. This was obvious to her. She had no reason to think otherwise. But the prophet came in and challenged her to act like this meal was her first instead of her last. He suggested she treat her last meal like seed instead of harvest.
To her, this was the Winter of her life when things would die and all of the fruit of her labors would be gone. This was not Spring, or Summer, or Fall. This was the end, not the beginning. No one would have blamed her for making a final meal for herself and her boy.
But she believed the word of the prophet. She had a change of mind and heart. Nothing in the natural realm was different, but something in the supernatural began to move her from a place of defeat to a place of deliverance. She believed the promise of the prophet. She began thinking of her shrinking pantry as seed instead of harvest. It was the beginning, not the end. It was life, not death. She changed her mind. She changed what she believed about things. The circumstances were clear. But faith made it possible to circumvent the natural consequences of using the last of her flour and oil.
There was nothing wrong with her being wise with her available resources. We are to care for our family. But we need to realize that the wisest thing we can do is obey God. Her obedience to the word of the Lord changed everything. It changed her season. It changed her future. Had she declined the prophet’s request for food, that would have been her last meal. But her faith-driven obedience turned it into the birth of a new chapter in her life.
Today you will have the chance to panic with fear or proceed with faith. Look at what you have in your hand. Will you see it as the end of what God has done, or the beginning of what God will do? This isn’t simply a formula for financial prosperity. It is a principle of the transformed life. Your obedience will unlock doors for God to work just as your disobedience will unlock doors for the enemy to work. Unlocking doors for God will lock doors on the enemy. Is God’s blessing in your life harvest, or seed?
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.
My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.