II KINGS 4:1 "Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen. 2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. 3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. 4 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. 5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out. 6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed. 7 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."

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In II Kings 4 we find the story of a woman whose husband, one of the prophets, had died. She came to Elisha and told him the creditor had come to collect what was owed him and when she could not pay he was going to take her two sons to be bondmen. Elisha asked her the question, "What hast thou in the house?" Her response was nothing but a pot of oil.

So often when we have needs we feel like we don't have anything or any way to help ourselves. And maybe we don't ~ at least not on our own, anyway. But sometimes the answers to our problems lie right in our own house or within ourselves but we won't let God use them. Why is it we try everything we can think of to solve our problems before we go to God? And I say we because I am probably one of the worst ones to do this! Some people call this independence but God probably calls it stubborness. I sometimes sing the song, "God Likes To Work When Nothing Else Will", and we so often test this premise by trying everything before we will allow God to work.

There is a saying, "God won't help those who won't help themselves." I truly believe God wants us to try to help ourselves but when, like the widow in II Kings 4, we get in trouble and can't help ourselves, He wants us to bring Him our empty vessels and our little bit of oil and let Him take care of it. God always comes through. He's not always going to hand you money when your car payment is due but He will take what you have and multiply it to supply your needs if you ask Him to!

The prophet's widow had to first ask for help, second she had to have faith that Elisha could help her and finally she had to be willing to use what she had and even borrow from her neighbors. Can you imagine a poor widow who had only a little bit of oil asking to borrow empty bottles to put oil in? She trusted Elisha to help her and she acted on that trust. We say we trust God to take care of us but we don't act like it sometimes. In order for God to use what is in our houses, we have to trust Him enough to give them to Him!



Have you surrendered all your empty vessels to God? What about your pot of oil? If He is going to fill your vessels, He must have your oil, too!


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