Faith For Provision: Widow At Zarephath

Widowed woman

She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah. 1 Kings 17:15-16 

During a severe famine in the land, God had told Elijah to go to a certain widow in Zarephath for his provision of food. There he asked the lady for some food. The woman said that she had only a little food left for one meal, then she and her son would die from starvation.

Think about this for a moment. Here is a lady and her son about to eat their last meal and die and this guy comes up to her and wants her to make him some food first. This sounds selfish and rude. Most people would tell him to get lost or sorry that they cannot give him any food.

Pancakes

Giving up the last of something you have to a complete stranger would be difficult to do, especially if it meant life or death for you or someone else you love. In order to do something like this, it would take a great step of faith. You would have to first know that you are doing what God wants, then you would have to trust that God would meet your needs.

Elijah told her to trust that God would provide and still to make the food for him. The widow chose to trust Elijah and God and decided to make the food for Elijah. As she made the food, somehow God continued to provide the needed oil and flour to keep making more food.

Man stepping of cliff

Stepping out into faith will sometimes require to give up something that you need. In doing this, you are trusting God to meet that need in some other way.

Often people trust their own abilities to meet their personal needs. They trust their job, bank account, experience, and more, rather than have faith in God. Choosing to do your own thing will not show faith in God, but faith in self. In the process of trusting self, you will not be able to see the provision of God in your life.

A life of faith will not be focused on self. It will be focused on what you can do for others knowing that God will meet your needs. When Jesus came to this earth, He came focused on serving life to every person. He trusted His Father to take care of Him and meet His needs. This included laying down His life. He had faith, that if He laid down His life for others, God would raise it back up again. And He did.

Empty tomb

If the widow had not trusted Elijah and God, then that meal most likely would have been her last meal. God would not have provided for her, because she would not have trusted in Him, but in her own abilities. Yet, her actions of trust allowed God to provide abundantly for her needs.

As you see a need in someone else’s life, you may have the ability to meet it, but in the process may create a need of your own. In seeing this, you may not see how you can help the other person out, without jeopardizing your own life. This is where faith steps in. Trust God to meet your needs.

In the same way you may be meeting the need of someone else, God may have another person waiting to meet your need. Or God may doing some miracle to provide for your need as you step out in faith.

Helping hands

Do not hold back helping someone else out when you have the ability. This is a way to shine God’s love and provision into the life of another person. It is also a great act of faith on your part. Trusting God to touch the other person through you. Trusting God to meet your needs. Trusting God to help you provide for others.

Think about ways you can step up to help meet the needs of someone else. How can God use you to touch someone else’s life? If God could provide for he widow…If God provided for you in the past…then God can provide for you again in your time of need. Trust Him. Have faith in His abilities.

Acts 14:14-15 Don’t Take What Is God’s

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But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.” Acts 14:14-15

Paul and Barnabas had been in the town of Lystra. They saw a lame man there and told him to stand up in faith and be healed. The man was healed. The people who saw it started to worship Paul and Barnabas as though they were gods. They told the people that they were human just as they were.

When great things happen with a person, most people love to accept the credit for what happened. This can even occur when what happened was done by someone else. Instead of explaining who made the event happen, people often accept the praise as though they were the ones who did it.

Inside the church, there are times that this has become a known thing to happen. People will talk as though they were the ones who did the miracle or built the church/ministry. In the process of talking about it, many will leave God out of the picture.

The world does not know or accept God, so when they see a miracle, they give credit to the person who ‘did’ it. However, every believer knows that there is a God. And every believer should know that in themselves, they cannot do anything without God.

Since this should be known, every believer should point everything back to God. Give God the credit for miracles. This can be great miracles or healing, or simple miracles of provision. God is the one who does it all or makes a way for it to happen, not the individual.

As God does things in and through you, be sure to give Him credit. Do not allow the world to put you on a pedestal and give you praise that belongs to God. Point the world to God.

God can and will do great and mighty things through you, if you allow Him too and give Him the praise and glory for it. Everything that you do is to be done to lift up Jesus, not yourself.

I pray today that God will use you to do great things; that you will point people to Jesus; that you will always give praise to God for what good happens; and that many will know Jesus because of you.

Acts 3:12 Why Are You Surprised?

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When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?” Acts 3:12

There was a lame man who was sitting down begging for money from people passing by. He had asked Peter and John for some money. Peter told him that he had none, then told the man to get up and walk in the name of Jesus Christ. As the man did so, the people around were amazed at what had happened. Peter asked them why they were amazed, because they should have expected this to happen.

When things happen that are good and are unexplainable, people are amazed. They look at what had occurred and wonder how it happened. They are excited about it happening, even though they do not understand how it happened. They believe it was luck or coincidence, not God.

People who do not believe in Jesus have a good reason to be amazed and not fully understand it. The world does not believe Jesus is alive and so they cannot believe that He can do miracles. Most really do not believe in the supernatural, so when something supernatural happens, they are amazed and want to know how it happened. They believe that an individual has those super powers.

In the church, believers should be different, however, very often they are not. God does a miracle in their life and they stand amazed and shocked at what had happened. The miracle can be a healing, a provision, safety, or some other amazing thing to happen.

Although most believers believe that God can do miracles in their lives, many do not expect it. Once God does do a miracle, they are amazed.

God is the same God as He was in Peter’s time and will be the same through the rest of eternity. If He can and did do miracles nearly 2,000 years ago, He can do them still today.

When you are praying for a miracle in your life, believe that God can and will do it. When you see a miracle occur in your life, believe that it was from God.

God is still in the business of doing miracles in the lives of people. Do not stand amazed, but give God praise when you see a miracle being done.

I pray today that you will know the power of God; that you will see God’s miracles in your life; that you will give God praise for all miracles done; and that you will be a witness of God’s miracles to others. 

Mark 6:2 Amaze Them

Mountain

When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing?” Mark 6:2

Jesus went back to His hometown to speak to the people and perform miracles there. As He was speaking many people were amazed at Him. All they saw was a little boy who had grown up in a carpenters house and is now a grown man who spoke with authority. They were amazed and wondered how He got that ability.

Growing up as a carpenter’s son, Jesus would not have received training to be a great speaker or to be a preacher. His training was to be a carpenter.

However, when He spoke He spoke with authority and wisdom. No one who had grown up around Jesus could understand how He could do so much. They did not see what could not be seen. Jesus was speaking and doing miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit in His life.

Over the centuries there have been many different great speakers in this world, but most have received some training in how to speak that way. They have worked in the realm of public speaking, getting better and better until they became great.

A believer has something different. Yes, a believer can go to bible college and get a degree, but that will only move a person only so far forward, then fall short. The unseen ingredient is the infilling and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The brand new believer can speak with great authority and do miracles, if he allows God to guide Him and he is doing what God wants him to do.

When you allow God to guide you, you will amaze those who know you. You will be a new creation in Jesus Christ. You will have wisdom and understanding that the world will not understand.  You will be able to perform miracles that the world cannot explain. You will speak with the words of God and not your own words or the words and wisdom of this world.

As you go through this life, what are people saying about you? Do they see a changed person? Are they amazed at what you are doing or saying?

Allow them to see God through you.

I pray today that you will be guided by God’s Holy Spirit; that you will speak only with the words and wisdom of God; that the world will see Jesus through you; and that many will know Jesus because of you.

Matthew 9:34 False Credit

But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.” Matthew 9:34

Jesus had been going around healing the sick and casting demons out of many people. At one point some Pharisees saw this and claimed that it was by the prince of demons that Jesus was able to cast out the demons.

When people do something very amazing, others will try to explain it away. They try to find reasons why that person was able to do it and how it was done. This is to make themselves look better or to cut the person down. Often they refuse to see the truth is what had happened.

One common way that many people will claim is that a person was lucky in accomplishing something amazing. Individuals will often claim they were lucky when things go their way.

A person gets very sick and sees no end to it. Suddenly they are healed of the sickness. Some will claim the doctor or the medicine healed them, while others claim they just got lucky. God is often taken out of the picture.

This cannot be the work of Satan. Satan does not want to kick himself or his cohorts out. He came to steal, kill and destroy. He will not go around making things better. He wants to occupy every person on this earth and keep them off focus of God and destroy them. 

Today people do not do a whole lot of blaming demonic powers for things happening, but they will deny God in doing things. They will claim a person or something else did it. Many believe in karma, saying that a person got what they had coming.

Regardless of the method of healing, God is always behind the scenes in the healing. God may use doctors or medicine or some other method, but He is the One doing the healing. 

As a believer, you need to keep your focus on God and give Him the credit due to Him and Him alone. When a healing or some other miracle occurs, give God thanks for it. Give God thanks for the method He used to bring about the healing, whether a doctor and medicine or a miracle.

Do not just give credit to the doctor, medicine or just good luck. It was God who brought you meeting your need.

I pray today that you will know the work on God in your life; that you will give God thanks for all He does; that God will heal of sickness and the work of demons in your life; and that you will be a witness to the world of His work in your life. 

2 Kings 5:13 Follow The Directions

Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 2 Kings 5:13

Naaman, who was the commander of the army for the king of Aram, came down with leprosy. He was told to go and find the prophet, Elisha, in Samaria to be healed. When he did see Elisha he was told to go wash in the Jordan river seven times. He was angry and did not want to do that, he wanted to have something great happen. His servant told him that he should follow the directions of the prophet. Naaman does and was healed of his leprosy.

People will often ask God for a touch in their lives, desiring a miracle in some area of their life. As they ask, they often have a thought on how that miracle should occur. Many desire to see the miracle in some great way with lots of excitement, publicity, and God doing it on the grand stage around others. The desire is also that the miracle will occur immediately with nothing to be done to get that miracle.

God can, and does, work some miracles in those ways, with a lot of fan-fare and excitement. Often, however, He works miracles in quiet simple ways behind the scenes. In Naaman’s case, it was the simple way of washing seven times in a river, and a dirty river at that. It was not done with a lot of publicity, though in public.

You may be seeking answers to some situation in your life. As like most people, you probably have a way that you think God should deal with that situation. You may have already heard something from God in how He wants to meet that situation in your life.

Listen to what God tells you to do. Be willing to follow His directions. Do not place God in a box and tell Him how to meet your needs. Allow God to be God and to be in control of the situation.

God may be wanting to do it in a way that someone else is involved to build their faith; or He may be doing it in a way to keep you from being filled with self-pride; or He may be doing it in a way build your trust in Him. In any case, follow His directions fully, no matter how small or great they are, to see His hand at work in your life.

I pray today that God will reveal His plans for you to you; that you will follow all of God’s directions to you; that you will allow God to meet all of your needs in His way and time; and that God will do mighty miracles in and through you.