For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’ ” And she went and did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.
1 KING 17:14–16
Elijah’s only been on the job as God’s messenger for a short time. At this point, a drought has dried up his water supply, and famine decreases his chances of survival. Elijah is in desperate need of God’s help. What happens next is extraordinary. God provides through the most unlikely source, a poor pagan widow who’s down to her last meal. For this to work, it will require trust on both the part of Elijah and the widow. For Elijah, he must be obedient and make the ask even though he knows there is no way she can fulfill it. For the widow, she must give generously trusting that God will keep his promise and provide for her abundantly. Both are presented with the same dilemma we all face. Can we trust the Lord God to take care of us, even when we are at our lowest?
In this moment, we are faced with two competing fears. Sinful fear, which is a craving for something not to happen. We fear not having enough, so we accumulate as much as we can, for the sake of self-preservation. On the other hand, Godly fear says, no matter what, everything will be ok because my confidence is in Christ, and my resting place is at His throne of grace. The difference is that sinful fear controls, paralyzes, and draws us into the trap of selfishness. While Godly fear frees us to enter into an intimate relationship with God our father, the one who gives abundantly. When we are overcome by Godly fear we can respond like Elijah and the widow, not hesitating to be both obedient and generous. Simply because God has already provided for us abundantly in Christ.
- What fears are holding you back from seeing all that you own is from God?
- What’s keeping you from trusting the Lord with your time, talents, and treasure?
Today’s devotional was prayed over and prepared by Thomas Anderson, Director of Men’s Ministry