Surprise Sithole, one of the international directors of Iris Ministries, shared a message recently from 2 Kings 4. In that passage, Elisha is confronted by a widow who has nothing with which to pay her late husband’s debt and faces the reality of having her sons taken to be sold as slaves. Elisha, rather than focusing on the woman’s lack, points her to the small jar of oil that she does have, and instructs her to collect all the empty vessels she can find, to bring those vessels into her home with her sons, and to pour out her small oil into those empty vessels. She is amazed when her small amount of oil multiplies in the process of being poured into empty vessels. It fills vessel after vessel after vessel, and only when she runs out of empty vessels does the oil stop multiplying. She is able to sell the oil, pay her debts, and live with her sons on the profit.
What a mighty principle of how God works through the little we have! So many of us face seemingly insurmountable obstacles these days, and we can easily grow discouraged and lose heart if we focus on our lack or the threats that loom on the horizon. Let us, instead, remember that we belong to a faithful Father who does not leave us without recourse. He has given each of us a measure of oil – which we can use for ourselves and hoard and protect as if to preserve our well-being until we finish it – or, which we can boldly and obediently pour into the empty vessels we find, giving God room to do His miraculous work.
Have you been holding back in fear, letting the enemy paralyze you in inaction? Remember that in knowing Jesus you have all that you need for LIFE and GODLINESS, even if what you have now seems small and foolish. Our Lord delights to use the foolish things to shame the wise, so start using the portion of oil you now have. Find the empty vessels, and pour out all you have. It is our joy to be faithful with the little we have been given, and like the old hymn says, it is God who brings the increase.