In this iconic story, a penniless and bereaved widow is at risk of having her two sons taken as slaves by a creditor because of her debt. Elisha, the prophet, offers help and asks the widow what she has in her house. She told Elisha that she only had a small jar of oil. Elisha gives the widow an instruction to borrow as many empty jars as she can from her friends and neighbors and then go home and shut the door. Upon her return home, the woman took the small jar of oil and began to pour into each of the empty vessels. Every single one of them was filled. The oil didn’t stop flowing until there were no more jars available. The prophet told her to sell the oil, pay her debt and live on what was left over.
This poor woman followed an unusual instruction and received an unusual miracle. Throughout the Bible we find instances where Jesus gives unusual instructions to bring about unusual miracles (e.g. Jesus feeding the multitude, Jesus turning water to wine) just to name a few. In some cases, Jesus took a small amount of something and turned it into plenty! Many of you are asking, “How am I going to accomplish my goals with the little that I have right now?” I want you to know that God can take your little and multiply it if you obey what He tells you to do. Here are three factors from this story that can help you prepare for plenty.
1. Commit to the Lord what little you have.
The Prophet Elisha asks the poor woman, “Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She told him that she had nothing but a small jar of oil. Some of you are wondering how you’re going to succeed with the little business you have or the little idea you have in your head right now. The Lord can take what little you have and work wonders. Start with what you have right now.
Elisha instructs the woman to go and borrow empty vessels from her neighbors and friends. This goes against human logic because the small amount of oil she had in her house couldn’t possibly fill one jar, much less several of them. Though you may have a small business or an idea in your heart, start gathering what you need for the volume of business you desire. Write the business plan; do the budget even if you don’t have the money right now, etc. Preparation is an act of faith! Prepare for what you are praying for. God can take your little and multiply it if you just obey!
3. Shut the door and Go to Work
Elisha instructs the woman to shut the door behind her when she and her sons return home from borrowing empty vessels. Upon her return, she shut the door and started pouring into the empty jars. Miraculously, oil filled each jar until there were none left. Now, why would Elisha tell her to shut the door? Everything isn’t for public consumption. Perhaps if others saw what the woman was doing it could have interfered with her faith, thus forfeiting her miracle!
The lesson is simple here: There are some things you can’t share with anybody. In today’s culture we often see people run to social media to publicize every move they make as they work toward their goals–only to be met with comments of doubt from naysayers. Negative speak can be a barrier to breakthrough. Protect your faith at all times. Know that it’s OK to work in silence! Close any doors in your life that could lead to unbelief.
In conclusion, take what little you have, and by faith, start preparing for plenty. Obey what He tells you no matter how crazy His instructions may sound! God is going to take what little you have and do the miraculous! Prepare for plenty!