Now we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this surpassingly great power is from God and not from us.2 Cor 4:7 BSB
This may not be pertinent to everyone. It’s the answer to an assignment which we have been considering in one of our discipleship classes in past few weeks from our study of 2 Kings 4:1-7.
The question was “Given that we have this treasure in earthen vessels as were told in 2 cor 4;7. What factors will cause the oil (anointing/treasures) to flow in a christian life using the example of the widow and Elisha in 2 Kings 4:1-7?“
In the event that this may be profitable on some level to a few i thought to post it. More grace unto you as you read.
In Jerusalem there were two pools. The pool of Siloam. and the pool of Bethesda. The pool of bethesda was a standing (stagnant) pool which didn’t have any streams connecting to it, As with all stagnant things, the halt, the lame, the diseased were always drawn and encamped about it.
The pool of Siloam though was always fresh as it had a stream flowing into and out of it. It was the pool Jesus sent the blind man to go and wash who went seeing after.
Christs intention for His life in us is that it will flow and be fresh like Siloam, where He would direct people who are blind to and after their encounter with that life in us, they will return seeing!
But like the neglected jar of oil in the house of the widow, there are seasons in our walk when we can feel ‘stuck’ and ‘stagnant’ like bethesda. What lessons can we glean from the widow’s encounter with Elisha in 2 kings which can see that life flow again as Christ intended?.
#1. She Cried: [Your Earnest Desire]
Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets 2 Kings 4:1
The act of crying in a sense is ‘to greatly desire‘, ‘to long for‘ and ‘to desperately hunger for‘.
As much as God desires to have us fully on fire and productive in His kingdom, He cannot give us more than what our hunger is willing to draw from Him. As Christ did with the woman at the well at Sychar in John 4:10 , the Holy Spirit always works at igniting this desire in us through deep revelation. Yet like the woman asked :”give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw“. we must also ask. Remember Mathew 7:7, “Ask and ye shall receive. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door shall be open”.
One area we need to flow is in the operations of the gifts of the spirit. Apostle Paul in the Ephesians and Corinthian epistles continually emphasizes that they are giving to us as useful tools through which we can be more effective in our personal witness for Christ.
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 1 cor 14:1.
- Have you been baptized but cannot speak in tongues?, cry to God…
- Been evangelizing but cannot work signs? cry to God for the gift…..
- Been teaching but lack deep revelation? cry out to God…
- Been counseling but you lack the word of knowledge? cry to God.
Witnessing without the special abilities of the Holy Spirit is the difference between tilling 20 acres of land with a hoe and cutlass and tilling it with a 40 ton tractor.
Do not remain content with remaining ‘ok’ in your chritianity, you risk becoming lukewarm….Desire to be hot and effective by the Holy Spirit.
#2. Unto Elisha: [Be Connected]
Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha 2 Kings 4:1
Jesus is our Lord and King no doubt. But He also saw fit to establish the discipleship system as part of christian growth in the body of Christ.
This means that He would always place us for appointed times and seasons under direct tutelage of someone more spiritually mature than us.
Your discipler has 2 major responsibilities concerning you:
(a) To feed you with the “whole counsel” of God. Acts 20:27
(b) To impart upon/stir up the spiritual graces of the Holy Spirit in you.
Rom 1:11. 2 Timothy 1:6
Lack of this understanding makes many Christians fritter away precious time in frivolities with their discipler and come away with very little. Many even end up idolizing them, but those who idolize do not see clearly enough
to gain the spiritual but are rather limited to the carnal.
David’s engagement with Ahimelech the priest in 1 Samuel 21:1-9 offers the perfect template for us today. He demanded the 5 loaves of bread and also received the sword of Goliath!
[recommended reading: 4 Keys to successfully engaging the priesthood]
Who are you connected to?
What has Christ placed in their care for you?
Have you ascertained the price required to be paid?
Are you paying the price?
#3. What shall i do for thee?: [Be Focused and Sure].
and Elisha said unto her, what shall i do for thee? tell me, what has thou in the house? 2 Kings 4:2
The bible says in Gen 6:8 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD“. Everyone who seeks is looking for something from God.
Some find money. Some find spouses. Some find promotion. Some find judgement. Some find healing. But Noah found grace!!!
The disciples of John came to Jesus in John 1:38 and were immediately faced with the question: what seek ye?
– Elijah was prepared and asked for the double portion. 2 Kings 2:9
– Solomon was prepared and asked for wisdom. 2 Chron 1:10
If God were to wake you up from sleep suddenly and ask you this question
what would your answer be?
What have you been seeking from the Lord fundamentally & why?
Does your request please God? (does it provoke joy in Him?)
There are certain “gates” and “dimensions” that will not be opened to you until you have firm answers to this question.
#4. Nothing save a pot of oil: [Start with what you have].
and Elisha said unto her, what shall i do for thee? tell me, what has thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not anything in the house, save a pot of oil. 2 Kings 4:2
Every believer who has received Christ has at least a pot of oil (a basic measure of grace/anointing). The next step is to put it into use.
One common mistake i see with the disciples is the desperation to be like someone else whilst neglecting what God has deposited in them.
Some years ago in one of our discipleship groups, there was an earnest sister whom i knew had the gift of the prophetic in her but was struggling to function in that gifting. Whilst counseling her one day i told her by the spirit, “Your hindrance is in your mind. You desire and are asking God to let you function like Sister A who had come before and whom you greatly admire..But the thing is God didn’t make you be function like Sister A, neither does He need a sister A in this season & time. You be you and let the Holy Spirit function uniquely through you in the way He has purposed you to be“.
From that day she began to flow excellently in the prophetic gifting and continues to grow till this very day .
Too many cant flow properly in the gifts of tongues for example because they are trying to emulate others around them who are speaking in eloquent and fanciful ways. No! If your in this boat stop this. Don’t belittle your pot of oil, present it unto the Lord with sincerity and let Him make of it what He wills.
Identify what you have in you, treasure it and deploy it with consecration.
#5. Borrow Empty Vessels: [Service is crucial].
Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. 2 Kings 4:3
Mathew 20:28 says the “Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” I have yet to see any christian who does not arise to serve in the Kingdom of God amount to anything above the ordinary. This is because the path to rising in the kingdom is through service.
Service in some capacity in the church is always a good place to begin, but beware because it does not always equal to serving God.
Just as to love God is to love people 1 John 4:20, you cannot serve God without serving people, for God is in the people whom you serve!. This was the key mistake of the Priest and the Levite in the parable of the good samaritan, they were too busy serving a God they couldn’t see religiously instead of serving God where His actual habitation is, in people! even in the wounded man.
It’s too easy to become caught up in your particular issues, indeed the devil likes getting us entangled this way. But the truth is there is always someone who has less than you spiritually or is in a worse position than you are. The woman saw her one remaining jar as a handicap and rather focussed on her problems, yet there is a mystery in the kingdom of God: ‘Cast thy bread on many waters , after many days you may receive a return‘.
35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 10:35
- Instead of focussing on what you lack, take the little revelation you do have and bless someone who has even less than you with it.
- If it’s service you have, find those who are less privileged than you and serve the interest of God in their lives. You don’t have money, but you have time,put that to good use.
- Engage in intercession for someone with the little prayer language you have, when your faithful in this God will launch you into further dimensions of intercession in the spirit.
- Take the name of Jesus and the little faith you have and pray for someone who is sick, when your faithful in this, greater unction will flow for even greater works.
The book of Acts exists because the disciples ACTED!!
Brethren you too must ACT! Don’t be comfortable sitting and waiting for all your problems to be solved first.
#6. Shut the door behind you: [Look forward].
And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. 2 Kings 4:3
The woman at the well of sychar was a terribly ridiculed woman and for good reason. Yet when she received the revelation of Jesus Christ, shutting the door to her low self-esteem, past failures and peoples opinions of her she left her waterpot and ran to serve her fellow samaritans with the little she had. We know the incredible work the spirit of God wrought from her action.
recommended reading: mothers please shut the door
There are doors to the past and also the serpent that must be shut in order for you to be able to embrace the new horizons the Spirit of God wants to lead you into.
#7. Then she came and told the man of God: [Stay Connected].
Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest. 2 Kings 4:7
The journey in discipleship is given for appointed times and seasons.
Just like any human relationship in time, there will be strains, challenges and sadly sometimes abuses.
But once you have established that it is God’s will for you to be connected to a person, do not be like the 9 Lepers who upon receiving their healings never returned to Jesus to show appreciation. It was the 1 who returned who continued into “wholeness”. God’s intention in bringing us into connection in discipleship is to usher us into wholeness and rest, and we should try to follow through.
However, its very important that you are NOT to follow any man solely and directly, but as Paul told Timothy in 1 Cor 11:1 “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ”. Blind followership is not what Christ intends. There have been many abuses in discipleship which have caused many to fall away from Christ sadly.
No matter how annointed a man is, always bear in mind that he/she is still only a man! God is our ultimate source, in your followership hold unto what is good and leave what is bad. Saul was meant to disciple David, but for his selfish ambition he instead threw spears at him and hunted him to kill him.
If you have suffered abuse in the process of discipleship may the Lord bring healing to your wounds and give you the fortitude to continue in your walk with Him.
Grace and Peace be unto you.
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7 Lessons from the interaction of Elisha with the widow with the jar of oil offers us in understanding what makes God’s treasures in us overflow into abundance…..Tweet