The old and true cliché’ reads like this: If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten just like folding a fitted sheet over and over again and expecting different results. The method turns into absurdity and begs for a new approach.
So how does one truly crack into the art of being a change agent of one’s own life, and, in turn, bless those that are watching and following? Like it or not, if you are a believer, you are being observed every day by those around you looking for hope and a difference – to see if this “God thing” is the real McCoy. To boot, one of the greatest feelings on earth is knowing that you are working smack dab in the middle of the Lord’s calling being all that He has made you to be for such a time as this. But what if you don’t find yourself there? How do you get into that mode to begin with and stay there? What if you have been sitting on an idea or product or service plan that you have yet to put into the market-place. What about that ministry idea that gives you the butterflies but you are too afraid to take hold of ???
The answer is simple, but not simple: He or she prays, dreams, prays again, makes a plan, does a mother load of due diligence accompanied by a load of wise counsel, and then without holding back, against all doubt and fear, GOES FOR IT, without looking back, pushing past every obstacle, and keeping one’s eye on the prize at all times. The key to making all of this happen is to not procrastinate on getting started, otherwise that hope deferred will make the heart sick, just like the Word of God states in Proverbs 13:12. By dedicating that skill set, dream, gifts and talents, to the Lord, those things that He gave you, and by following His wisdom in the fail proof blueprint of His written Word, one cannot go wrong.
Several years ago emerging slowly from a very dark and painful season, I wrote a Bible study, birthed out of the loss of love, finances, and my very well-being. It was a time of betrayal so deep I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to survive it emotionally and often during that time I prayed for the Lord to take me to glory in order to escape the burden of the chains to emotional pain, isolation and sheer broken-ness in my world. However one day I realized that I couldn’t push the Lord away any more in my furry and anger asking Him “why” every five minutes, and decided to forgive my enemies, turning my heart earnestly toward the One Who patiently held me during my loss and bellowing. With a steady climb out of a wickedly debilitating depression, with prayer, I reminded the Lord that He told me He had a plan for my life, and I searched for answers with a new hope through God’s Word. The Lord didn’t need my reminding of His truth, but He certainly did act as a tender Father when He proved He was listening the whole time and loved that I reached out to hold Him to His promise. Very soon I could feel the literal pop of chains of bondage on my wrist to my sadness, break free and GLORY was that ever a moment!
It was not any overnight transformation for sure, but through a consistent earnest search for His healing and will, the Lord not only released me to move on, but continued with a powerful punctuation to the script for my life He already had in mind. He navigated me out of the abyss of sadness and despair, according to Psalm 18, and set me onto a wide open space to start afresh and anew. That’s the time I providentially fell into the story of the widow and Elisha.
The Bible Study He gave me to write and share, that followed out of this season of challenge, came from II Kings 4:1-7 about the true story of the little pot of oil that Elisha taught the debt-driven-desperate-widow to use and multiply in order to pay off her creditor. She was in a terrible place and no other option to go but up! Obeying the voice of the Lord through Elisha, not only was she able to pay off her debt, but Scripture specifically states that she was then going to “live off the rest”.
WOW, what a miracle! And if it could happen for her, it could happen for me … and for that matter >>>> ANYONE!
From that moment through the next eleven years to the present time, my Provider in glory worked beside me as a new business partner in a venture where He multiplied the oil He had given me, placed me in front of live t.v. and radio to share my story and this treasured passage that has become the mantra of my work ethic, and has grown our (the Lord and me) business to a higher level than I ever imagined – garnering a steady seven-figure retail income, while being able to pay myself a six figure yearly salary. The income this produces also freed me up to work in two incredible ministries that transformed my world and allowed me to give back in return for all that was poured into me.
And guess what? As I said, others were watching. This has created more curiosity and cause for others to seek my counsel on growing their own venture, their new business, their idea they have in mind to create and bring to fruition on the shelves, their on-line endeavors, and more, of which I delight in helping people with applying the same principles I have learned and still use though coaching and speaking and more. You cannot go wrong with God’s Word as the G.P.S. to life’s direction. The following is a video outline and the written Bible Study lovingly prepared and prayed through so that anyone will have full access of the points of application in order to grow a dream, from zero to infinity in God’s timing.
Before you begin – pray first, drink in deeply the passage provided, and work steadily with the passion for a new beginning, or stronger path to flourish in, right in front of you. Please feel free to comment and ask questions as I so enjoy seeing others break out of the ordinary and go to extraordinary heights! With the Lord as your partner there is absolutely NOTHING you cannot accomplish. My greatest joy is to know that you are doing and being all you can for God’s glory in your businesses and ministries. As my favorite lady in history, Corrie ten Boom, stated, “He uses the pieces of our broken heart, to feed the multitude.”
(King James Version – http://www.BlueLetterBible.com)
2Kings 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
2Ki 4:2 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.
2Ki 4:3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors, [even] empty vessels; borrow not a few.
2Ki 4:4 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.
2Ki 4:5 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.
2Ki 4:6 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.
2Ki 4:7 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.
1. What state of mind was the woman in when she came to Elisha? Look up the word cried in the Strong’s Concordance and describe more fully the type of “cry” she made to Elisha in verse 1? Have you ever been in this situation of desperation? __________________________________________________________
2. What do you think of Elisha’s reaction? What first step did he tell her to do? What was the second step he instructed her to do? What happened in between? __________________________________________________________
3. What was the issue at hand and what led up to the crises? __________________________________________________________
4. Do you think she had tried anything before this to remedy her debt? Think of what she told Elisha she had when he asked her what she had . . . she answered “nothing, save a pot of oil.” Think of the story of Jonah, a dear teacher of mine pointed out that he didn’t cry out to the Lord until AFTER he had spent three days in the darkness of the whale’s stomach. Why did he, and why do we, wait so long to cry out to the Lord for help? __________________________________________________________
5. The word oil is used five times in this passage – five is the number of grace … What is that little pot of oil in your life that can be used of God – no matter how meaningless it may seem to you? Take time to pray and think on this … __________________________________________________________
6. Vessels is mentioned seven times – seven is the the number of completion. God always does His delivery rescue completely and fully. In this passage vessel can stand for people, or commodities that can be of value- we are vessels of honor as people. What are the vessels or who are the vessels in your life? __________________________________________________________
7. Who are your neighbors in your circumstances? What is it that God can use in your life to bless you and others? How can you pour for more into others? __________________________________________________________
8. Explain what you think it means when the passage mentions that she closed the door on herself and her sons when she began to pour and the miracle took place – Who was present with her besides her two sons. Closing the door is representative of prayer … __________________________________________________________
9. How does this apply to your life or to someone you know? __________________________________________________________
10. Are you willing to give everything you have to the Lord to use, or do you feel you having nothing to offer him? How far are you willing to sell out to get answers to your needs, before you go to the Father for answers and for replenishment? What is YOUR oil that God could use to multiply? __________________________________________________________
11. Do you BELIEVE that the Lord can do the same miracle for you as He did in this passage for this woman? __________________________________________________________
12. Once the woman finished pouring the oil, what did she do then? __________________________________________________________
13. Did the widow know before hand when she performed part one of the instructions from Elisha what he was going to tell her to do with all of that oil she collected? Did she even know ahead of time that the Lord was going to perform a miracle? What does this tell you about faith? __________________________________________________________
14. Why would it have been a disaster if she had simply given up and not followed through with Elisha’s wise counsel for the reason of that fact she didn’t see how this would work or remedy her problem? __________________________________________________________
15. When you are in a despair, run out of resources, are destitute, and on your last few drops of oil, do you think it is simply enough that someone hands you replenishment, or is it more valuable to learn how to exercise faith and a strategy that can supply you for a lifetime. “Feed a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime”.
Does it make sense that this woman had NO experience as an entrepreneur oil merchant, yet the Lord made her into a success story almost over night? It certainly doesn’t mean she didn’t have to work, exercise faith, and OBEY, but none the less, she was set for future means forever, and she could now help others with the overflow from the oil. Can you imagine what she told her neighbors once she sold the oil and then returned the borrowed vessels back to them? What vessels do you have in your life that may be filled with impurities or foul waters and need to be emptied in order for the Lord to fill them with fresh oil? __________________________________________________________
My prayer for you: Lord Jesus, You can show us what our resources, talents, and skills are regardless if we believe we have anything to offer. Will you lift the veil of our eyes to see You more clearly as we turn our faces to You according to II Corinthians 3:16 and guide us into where we should use our abilities for Your glory? Show the person reading this right now, that NOTHING is too insignificant for use, but more importantly, that we offer what we have without assumptions, and not sit on a miracle waiting to happen right in front of us. Please guide us and show us what to do for Your glory. Amen