God’s plan and purpose for practically anything in our life is always bigger than we know. Certainly His ability to do is far beyond our ability to ask or think. The limitation of our ability to conceive and believe of what could be, will usually max out before the power and provision of God does. Because God is not bound by time, He can’t help but think of how things impact generations and geographies. Many times we can’t believe past the next paycheck we need or are even truly concerned about anything outside the property line of our own problems.
It is always good to pour out whatever is on our heart to the Lord, He loves our honesty and can identify with our pain and needs. How often do we ask Him to pour out His heart to us? He has already said He wants to! True intimacy is a two way street! He loves us and is concerned about us, but He is also concerned about the needs of other people as well. His plans are bigger than ours are. How often do we stop short with our prayer about the need to pay our rent, and ask Him to pour out His goodness and provision on our neighbors and their rent?
How about earnestly praying for God to make you an answer to someone else’s prayer? Do you dare jump in the deep side of that pool? That is a prayer God loves to answer because we are becoming more concerned about what is on His heart and stop focusing only on our issues. Can I double-dog dare you to pray daily for at least a week for God to make you an answer to someone else’s prayer and do whatever HE asks? I guarantee you it will be the best week of 2014 so far for you, eternally-speaking!
Have you ever been the only one that seemed to care about something that needed to happen? Isn’t it frustrating? How great does it feel to have someone jump in and share what is on your heart! If we are serious about finding out what pleases the Lord, sharing what’s on His heart has got to rank up there!
Considering these thoughts, think about how much more amazing the story of Elisha and the prophet’s widow in 2 Kings 4 could have been than it already is! A widow of a prophet came to Elisha begging for help. The creditors were coming to enslave her sons to pay their overwhelming debt. Elisha asked her “what do you have,” to which she replied, “nothing, except a small amount of anointing oil.” He said go borrow as many empty pots you can from EVERYWHERE, from ALL your neighbors. DO NOT GATHER ONLY A FEW! Close the door and pour out what anointing oil you do have and fill the pots and set them aside. So she went and did that, and was able to sell the full pots of oil and pay her debts. Wow!
Notice the limitation was the empty vessels, not the oil! What if she gathered twice as many pots? 10x as many pots? 100x as many pots? Could the whole community have had their debts paid as well? She was given the entire plan up front. She was married to a prophet, so she had to have some regard for the word of the Lord. Was she worried about her neighbors? Did she ask God to include anyone else in on the blessing? Not once are the needs of anyone else mentioned. She could have asked, “you said don’t gather a few, can we do this at the pot factory downtown? They have a lot of pots there!”
How many more vessels could have been filled? The answer is clear from the passage-as many you can find!
We serve the same God we are reading about! When we plead with God to pour out His Spirit, is He responding, “where are the vessels?” When we tell God how much we need His blessing in our lives, does He respond, “You are not the only ones who are needy, where are the vessels you are bringing me?”
After all he did say, “In the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on ALL people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams!”
He has already promised to pour out His Spirit on ALL people, so why do our concerns only affect a few. GO and GATHER as many vessels as you can! Be diligent to pour out what anointing you have into them and believe God to give the increase! Don’t shrink back because you “only have a little oil” like the widow had. The miracle was not limited by her oil… If she had double or half of the little she had, would the results change? God multiplies whatever we give Him.
We are impressed that a boy’s bread and fish lunch which was given to the Master could be multiplied enough to feed 5,000 people, but have we ever considered: why did the bread and fish offered by the boy ONLY feed 5,000 people… because that is all that were on the hillside that day! What if 10,000 or even 50,000 people were there? Would anyone be turned away hungry? Or would the boy’s same little lunch keep multiplying until all vessels were filled, and still fill the 12 empty baskets that were there?
Paul said, “I planted seeds, and Apollo watered them, but it is God who gives the increase… for we are co-laborers in God’s service!…” 1 Cor 3:7-9
Sometimes it “takes a village” to get some vessels to Jesus as evidenced by the faithful friends who all worked together to get their lame friend to Jesus by lowering him down through the roof!
“Lord, who is on Your heart right now? What are Your plans? Where are all the empty vessels You want to fill today? Wherever they may be hiding from You, Help us find them, and help us bring them to You so Your plans can be accomplished in their lives!
Lord, Make Me An Answer To Someone Else’s Prayer!