“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.” I Kings 17:16 (NIV)
During my faith journey, I’ve learned an important lesson. It involves obedience, and sacrifice. Stepping out in faith usually requires something of importance from us. The more I study the Bible, the more I learn that to trust God and grow in faith, a giving up of something important will always be involved.
When we obey and step out in faith, the rewards we receive are far greater than anything we may have been asked to give up. There are many examples in the Bible of this. In I Kings 17: 7-15, God talks about a widow and her son who were very poor. There had been a drought in the land and as a result, she had very little oil and flour left to feed them. God commanded Elijah, a prophet, to seek out the widow and ask for some food from her small supply. The widow obeyed and made a small cake out of the oil and flour she had before making some for herself and her child. As a result of her obedience with what little she had, God allowed her supply to never run out. “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.” (I Kings 17:15). By giving from the little she had first (sacrifice) and trusting God to supply her needs (obedience), she ended up with far more.
Think about it. Here’s a woman without a job or husband, and a child to feed. She had very little resources and was asked to give some to feed a stranger. But because God commanded her, she obeyed. That’s the kind of woman I want to be. When God stirs my heart to share our resources, my time, or our finances, I want to do it without fear, but instead with faith.
Another example of this concept hits closer to home for me as it involves my mom. Several years ago she offered to go help her parents for a few days while my grandmother went to the hospital for a small procedure. Nine months later, after being away from my dad and the rest of her family, money for plane tickets, and having to leave her church body and friends for the majority of that time, she finally came back home for good. The blessings she received have far outweighed the sacrifices she made. She obeyed willingly, even though there was sacrifice involved.
I have found personally and by reading inspiring stories about others, God loves a cheerful and generous heart. He wants us to give not only when we have more than enough, but give when we have barely enough. If God is truly laying someone or something on our heart, when we step out in faith and in obedience, His blessings will far outweigh whatever sacrifice He’s asking us to make.
I’m not saying throw your money around carelessly or give everything away “just because.” I’m saying when God speaks to you clearly to help meet the need of someone else, He will bless you for the sacrifice you make. He gave us many examples of that in the Bible to learn from. Since He’s the same God today that He was back then, you can be certain what He did in the past for others, He’s willing to continue to do now for you.
© 2013 Cheri Swalwell