Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Miracles – Part II


While people are praying for a move of God, most often God is waiting for a move of people!

God demands we participate in our miracles.

2 Kings 4 NKJV
1 ¶  A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.”
2  So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.”

Oil is often used in the Bible to represent the presence of the Holy Spirit. Any attempt to spiritualize this verse would certainly include the fact that when we have the Holy Spirit in our home, we ultimately have everything we need. The Holy Spirit is makings for a miracle.

3 Then he said, Go …

* Two thirds of God is Go! Human action is most often a required element preceding divine intervention. What would have been the outcome for Naaman if he had not have went and dipped seven times in the Jordan River? (2 Kings 5) What would have been the end of the story if Noah had not have built the ark, (Genesis 7), or if Moses had not have gone down into Egypt, (Exodus 3) or if the widow of (1 Kings 17) had not have made the prophet Elijah a little meal cake first?

* One’s refusal to do their simple part is the single downfall of God’s great plan for mankind. Go, here, is not a suggestion nor an option, but a command. When speaking with the lawyer of Luke 10:25, Jesus concludes the parable of the good Samaritan and solves the question of who is neighbor in verse 37 by saying,
> Luke 10:37 “Go and do thou likewise.”
* Go and Do are the two cornerstones of the Christian’s gospel responsibility whether they are seeking salvation for themselves or for others.

3 Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors …

* Sometimes when one does not possess what they need to get them from where they are to where they are going, borrowing is God’s provision for the interim. Deuteronomy 15:6 & 28:12 give us to understand that God’s aim is to bring us to the place where we will not need to borrow but shall rather be the lenders. In Exodus 3:22 & 11:2 the Israelites were instructed by God to go and borrow silver, gold, jewels and clothing from the Egyptians before leaving Egypt and thus spoil their captors. These borrowed riches of the sinners would later be used to make the instruments of worship for the wilderness tabernacle.
* God is not against borrowing.
* Borrow with a plan and plan not always to have to borrow.
* Borrowing can also be a test of humility. Will one obey God when they must first humble themselves in the sight of others? Will one admit that they need and then ask for that need to be contributed to? The humility of simply asking for help is and has always been one tenant of receiving the miraculous.

* There is an element of merging the natural with the supernatural to make a miracle. In 1 Kings 17 Elijah’s miracle comes from both the natural brook and the supernatural supply of raven’s food. When the brook dries up Elijah is not sustained only by the supernatural alone. God could have made water to flow from a rock or a jawbone of a donkey as He did for others in their hour of need. (Exodus 17; Numbers 20; Judges 15). Rather Elijah was instructed to proceed to his next miracle location which would require a natural supply from a widow’s meal bin plus the supernatural multiplied supply from God’s increasing hand.

* Where God is unable to motivate people to supply what they can and give what they have, He often does not perform miracles.

3 Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors — empty vessels …

* My brother once told me that the hardest position to fill is one with someone in it. I think this true as well with miracles. Perhaps many are not spiritually filled because they have not yet emptied themselves of the world. I am not talking about stuff. You can have stuff and stuff not have you. This was the barrier to the young rich ruler in Matthew 19:21 and Mark 10:21. The young rich ruler was just too full. The young rich ruler went away sad because his stuff had him. If this man would have emptied himself he would have been filled from heaven with true riches that would never fade, be stolen or corrupted. There is such potential in empty vessels.

* Full vessels are at their greatest day. You have to pour out at least a little before more can be poured in. Give and it will be given to you. Free up some unproductive and wasteful time so it can be filled with better and more profitable adventures. Life is the process of filling empty vessels.

* For more than three decades this concept of seeking empty vessels and lifting them to God to fill has been at the forefront of our church growth and kingdom expansion philosophy. Each time we have filled our Church we have looked for another empty vessel to fill. Full vessels get stagnate. Like Kendal Bevil, an elder in our church, once shared with me, “Even chickens die off to the size of the coup” Pastor Kendal Bevil. When what we are pouring into is not filled yet, there is a freedom to expect more to come from God. When all we have is satisfied then there is no greater expectancy.

3 Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors — empty vessels; do not gather just a few.

* This is where many people limit themselves and limit the hand of God. The prophet knew that he should direct her to get a big vision of supply. A vision that would more than meet her immediate need. A vision that would supply her and her family for many days to come so that she would not soon fall prey to needing another miracle.

* If you are going to go for a miracle anyway, what is the use of wasting all that God can and will do on just barely meeting your desperate temporary need. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you could think or ask according to or limited by whatever is working on the inside of you. (Ephesians 3:20)

* Don’t limit God.
> Psalms 78:41 … they limited the Holy One of Israel
> 2 Kings 13:18-19 King Joash limited his future miraculous victories by his own limited actions. Elisha was angry with him for not getting more.
> About 20 years ago I was praying about the church purchasing our first church van and I took a drive to get away and pray. As I sat at a red light on Twin City Highway I began praying in the spirit. I was agonizing about spending the money. The need was evident and growing but I was wanting assurance from the Lord that He would provide. I knew and operated under the principle that God only pays for what He orders. I was not looking for a miracle I was looking for the divine guidance we need to order our normal daily lives in respect to need verses income. I really wanted to be wise. At that traffic light God’s voice invaded my moment and I heard Him clearly speak louder than my thoughts, interrupting my thinking and praying. He simply said, “When it is all over and done with, I would have been willing to give you more than you will get … (there was a pause for a second and then He said) … go for it.” This gave me a whole new point to consider when thinking about kingdom matters that stretch me beyond my current means and into the realm of the miraculous.

This evening I want to encourage us all to take the limits off God! Your next miracle or the miracle someone else needs may only be waiting for you to “Go and Do!”

> John 10:10 Jesus came to give you abundant life
> 2 Peter 1:3 and all things that pertain to life and Godliness
> 2 Peter 1:4 … exceeding great and precious promises

> Ephesians 3:20 God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above …