There’s a miracle in your house, part oneWhere's the Faith? Thursday, September 29th, 2011
Social Chaos: Where's the Faith?
What do you do when you’re in the middle of an impossible situation? How do you react when you find yourself staring in the face of discouragement and opposition? When you feel like your well is running dry?
Well, I have good news for you. There’s a miracle in your house! I know many of you have experienced God’s provision in the most unexpected ways and unexpected places. You’ve experienced God working in supernatural ways on your behalf.
A reading from the Hebrew Scriptures (2 Kings 4-7) talks about a pretty horrible situation. But, through faith and obedience, a miracle of God’s abundant provision takes place right in the midst of despair and seeming impossibility.
Here’s the situation: A woman loses her husband; she has two children; she has a big debt – and doesn’t have the money to pay it. Worse, a creditor is at the door ready to take her children away from her. Horrible.
She cries out to the prophet of God, Elisha – “Help!”
His response is very interesting, “What do you want me to do? What do you have in your house?”
“Nothing, except a jar of oil,” She replies.
Elisha responded, “Go outside and borrow vessels from all your neighbors – empty vessels – and not just a few. Then go in and shut the door behind you and your children and start pouring.”
She was obedient and, acting in faith, did what was instructed. She poured from one container to the next … she experienced a miracle as she poured.
She said to one of her kids, “OK; next?” “No more?” Indeed, there were no more empty vessels to fill, and the oil stopped flowing.
Here she was, surrounded with vessels, jars and buckets full of oil. She was experiencing a miracle of God’s abundance. Then Elisha said, “Go and sell the oil and pay your debts and you and your children can live on the rest.”
What an exciting story. Rev. Tommy Barnett wrote about this miracle and came up with what he calls the “10 Commandments” for the making of a miracle.
1) Know where to go when you don’t know what to do.
Here’s this widow; she wasn’t left with a huge life insurance policy; she was left in a very difficult situation with no food and no Social Security. Seems bleak. But you know what, she knew where to turn. She looked to God.
2) Look to God as your source.
Elisha’s response to the woman might have surprised her, “What do you want me to do about it?”
Why? I think he was simply refusing to let her put her faith in him, so she would keep it focused on God. Putting our hope in others, no matter how close we think they may be to God will lead to disappointment.
3) Find out what’s in the house.
Like the woman in need, we get so caught up in what we don’t have we fail to see the possibilities in what we do have.
Her faith started in the prophet of God and Elisha redirected her faith by asking, “What do you have in the house?”
4) Don’t be blinded by negative thinking.
How many of us experience our first reaction as a negative one? “Nothing’s good, nothing’s right. I didn’t plan for it to happen this way. Oh me. Oh my. There’s no hope. What am I going to do now?”
That was the widow’s frame of mind when she said, “I have nothing in the house except a jar of oil.”
She started out negative, but quickly moved to the positive. This is important. When we look to the God of possibilities, we suddenly pass from the natural to the supernatural.
Faith doesn’t deny present reality. It just acknowledges that all things are possible with God. Faith in God changes how we see things.
5) Action is required.
Diagnosing the problem is no cure, but it’s the first step to healing. If we’re going to get better, the problem must be treated. So Elisha told the widow she had to take some action to get out of her desperate situation.
Faith without work is dead. Faith is not faith until we do something.
Next week I’ll conclude with part two of a miracle in your house. But when you find yourself facing an impossible situation or you are staring in the face of discouragement and opposition remember the lessons we’ve learned in part one.
Know where to go when you don’t know what to do.
Look to God as your source.
Find out what’s in the house.
Don’t be blinded by negative thinking.
Action is required.
P.S. You are invited to attend the wild and crazy Follies at The Met on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door ($15) and a spaghetti dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. ($10). It will be a fun time.
Rev. Dan Koeshall is the Senior Pastor at The Metropolitan Community Church (The Met) in San Diego, California, themetchurch.org.
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