Bring Me Empty Vessels

He said, “Go out and borrow containers from all your neighbors. Get as many empty containers as possible. Then go in and close the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all those containers. Set each one aside when it’s full.” She left Elisha and closed the door behind her and her sons. They brought her containers as she kept on pouring.  When she had filled the containers, she said to her son, “Bring me another container.”  He said to her, “There aren’t any more.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
-2 Kings 4:3-6

Are you full of God or full of yourself?  Are you hungry for God or satisfied?

Do you believe that if God blesses you, he will also bless all those around you: your family, your friends and neighbors, your neighborhood, your town, your city, your state, your nation, and the whole world?

Did you know that God's generosity and provision is so abundant that we are usually the ones who limit God?  How do we limit God?  By walking away when God is not through,  by not offering something for God to fill.

When it rains, if you want some rain water, you have to go out and get in it.  Then you have to open something that is empty to catch it.

That is how it is with God.  You have to go out.  You have to open up.  You have to be receptive.  You also have to be empty to get filled.

Being filled with self righteousness is a greater hindrance to God than being filled with sin.  Jesus comes to save sinners.

Some people who are saved are still carrying some of their sins and they need to let them go and make a trade.  Some people are saved, but keep punishing themselves.  Some people are saved, but are still sinning as a life style.  We need to empty these and get filled with grace and love from God.

Some of us are waiting on God for something and we are tapped out, we are empty.  God never promises to do what we want when we want it.  We have to wait.  There is a hallway between your promise or your request and it's fulfillment.  Your faith is being tried by your unmet need.  All faith must go through trial to be real.

When this lady's fulfillment came, she had to do something uncomfortable in borrowing containers from her neighbors.  She was desperate and destitute and the waiting and lack over time had tried her faith, but she had enough faith to make the request to be blessed or to receive provision in her destitute state.  She had to now exercise her faith by following strange instructions.

We might be at the end of our rope, but we are still exercising our faith, even if it is in a small way, by waiting and asking; continuing to wait and ask.  We are keeping the fire of faith lit in our lives. 

Then God, probably through a person, asks us to do something strange, something awkward.  We've sat before the Lord in our waiting room.  We've stood before the Lord in worship and warfare.  These were hard enough, but we've kept on keeping on and when we've stumbled we've fallen forward and we've gotten up and kept going.  Now, we are asked to do something that goes beyond our present comfort zones.

The lady in the story had to go borrow empty containers from all her neighbors.  She had to "go public" with her strange faith and risk ridicule.  Was she going to be able to step out and look like a fool or be a person who does not make sense?  Will she be able to do this, to carry out this assignment, without taking offense at God?

It's the same with us.  God solves our problems in unconventional ways.  God is not logical.  Will we follow him as he skips steps and takes us off the map, through a way we do not know?  Are we willing to walk out a life that defies human explanation? 

Notice in the story that the oil kept flowing as long as it had an empty place to go into.  Once you get filled by God, with his love, his grace, his power, his wisdom; God will keep filling you as long as you give him something to fill.

It is a New Testament, kingdom principle that those who have can have more and those who don't have will even lose what they have (Mark 4:12, Matt. 13:12, 25:25; and Luke 8:18b).  Jesus' point is not that the rich get richer, but that it is all about receptivity or hunger.

Have you stopped asking for more?  Are you holy enough?  Have you stopped repenting?  Have you stopped engaging with God and had enough spiritual growth?  Did you start to get healed or delivered, then stopped asking for more healing and deliverance?

Some of us need to make space in our lives for God to fill.  That might be specific time, but it is more likely to be space in your heart.  Do you long for God all through the day and while you sleep?  Are you aware of your need for God all the time?  Do you have real estate for God?  Do you have space available?

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