There have been numerous moments over the last few months where I’ve found myself saying, “I’ve got nothing!”
Overwhelmed, exhausted, tired of the relentless uncertainty, I’ve been acutely aware of my lack.
In 2 Kings 4:1-7, we read the story of a woman who is at the end of herself. Her husband has died and because of his outstanding debts, she is now facing the prospect of her two sons being taken off as slaves to appease the creditor. Desperate she turns to the prophet Elisha for help. She sets out the grim reality of her situation clearly to Elisha who responds by asking, “What do you have in your house?”
The widow replies saying, “Your servant has nothing…”
As a church leader, I’ve found myself talking to so many people who feel like this widow.
God I’ve got nothing. I don’t know where I’m going with my life, I don’t know if I’m good at anything anymore, I don’t know if I’ll ever get through this setback, this hurt, this disappointment, I don’t have the strength, the courage to keep going.
But as we see it’s in this moment of brokenness that God moves in miraculous power.
The widow was so consumed with her scarcity that she forgot the everlasting supply available to her.
“I’ve got nothing … except a small jar of olive oil.”
She suddenly rememberers, well actually I do have something, a small jar of oil.
The truth is we always have something. God will always use something you already have. He’ll take the small, that which feels insignificant, and He’ll use it for His glory.
Elisha responds telling the widow to go around and ask all her neighbours for empty jars. I love what he says, “Don’t just ask for a few.” You get as many empty jars as possible.
In this remarkable encounter we see that the size of the miracle was dependent on how many empty jars they gathered together. Imagine if she had only gathered one or two jars; the oil would have flowed simply into those jars and then stopped. There would never have been enough oil to pay off her debts. But no … she asked for as many jars and vessels as she could get her hands on.
It’s important to note that it’s only when she starts pouring that the oil starts flowing. The miracle only began as she stepped out in faith and obedience.
For some of us the way we’ve learned to operate in our faith is to think, ‘God when you’re clearly moving in my life, when there’s enough momentum, when I feel fully certain of everything, then I’ll step out, then I’ll risk, then I’ll bring my all before you.’ But that’s not the way God works.
Some of us are crying out to the Lord “MORE, MORE, MORE.”
But He’s responding to us saying “POUR, POUR, POUR!”
Pour out your worship. Pour out your gifts. Pour out your time and resources. Pour out the little you feel you have and watch what I can do.
When my wife and I moved to Birmingham, UK, to plant a church, we found an amazing large warehouse in the city centre that was very much empty and derelict. In a city where only 0.9% of the population regularly attend a church, a city desperate for a move of God, we stood in this cold, damp and vacant building daring to believe God could do something miraculous. But in the grand scheme of things it felt like we had nothing. Nothing except a small team of friends who were willing to join us in a faith adventure.
To turn this empty building into a suitable venue for a church we needed to fundraise over £2 million. It felt impossible. The dream felt too big.
But in that moment we began to pour. We poured out our prayers. We poured out our finances. We poured out our time.
And as we did God began to move. Miraculous financial provision. People coming to faith. New ministries being pioneered.
Now, over five years into our church planting journey, what was an empty jar, is now over-flowing with life. Hundreds have become Christians. God has been so faithful and now we begin the adventure of stepping into more new empty buildings and churches that we believe God will also fill.
God is calling us as His people to POUR FOR MORE.
And it’s as we pour out the little we have that we’ll experience the more of heaven.
Tim Hughes – Instagram: @thughes77 – Twitter: @timhughes77
Tim is the co-Lead Pastor of Gas Street Church in Birmingham UK, which he leads alongside his wife Rachel. He is a worship leader and songwriter known for songs such as ‘Here I am to worship’, ‘Happy Day’ and ‘The Way.’ He also pioneered Worship Central, a movement of worship leaders and musicians with a desire to see people encounter God, be equipped as leaders so that the local church can be empowered. Tim and Rachel have five children Phoebe, Simeon, Lois, Judah and Summer.
INVEST IN YOUR GOD-GIVEN GIFTS AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH
Your Gifts: Spiritual Gifts Discovery
God created you with purpose and passion—learn how you can take the gifts He has given you and use them to advance His Kingdom in ways you never imagined.
Here are more free articles, excerpted from the book Your Gifts shown above, one for each of the nine Team Ministry Spiritual Gifts…
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Evangelism?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Prophecy?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Teaching?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Exhortation?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Shepherding?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Mercy-Showing?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Serving?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Giving?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Administration?
Lead others to discover their spiritual gifts.
For pastors and group leaders.
Click on each cover below for more information