Friday, October 5, 2012

Don't ask for just a few!

The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to the Prophet of God, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves."

He inquired, "How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?"

"Your servant has nothing there at all," she said, "except a little oil."

He replied, "Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don't ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side." She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, "Bring me another one." But he replied, "There is not a jar left." Then the oil stopped flowing.
2 Kings 4:1-7

Can you imagine how it would be if your father owned everything in this world? How rich could you be? Such a son or daughter is born a millionaire. Back in high school we really loved singing the "Happy Millionaire" song:
I'm a millionaire/
My Father is rich in lands and fields/
I'm a happy millionaire.

What should we ask of you Lord? "If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it", "Ask and it shall be given to you... every one that asks receives" (John 14:14, Luke 11:9-13). But how much Lord? I believe asking anything includes everything. Like Elisha told the widow, our Lord says, "Come and ask. Do not ask for just a few." The riches of his glory know no limits. He is ready to and will fill all our empty jars, but just the ones we bring. His oil will only stop flowing because there is no more jar left to fill.

Above all that we ask.

As I was doing my study on this subject , I was troubled what to share in this little space. I believe Paul, in Eph. 3:20, enables us understand and answer all the "Wh" questions on how much God can do for us.

He says, "Now unto him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us..." What does it mean that God does not deserve "just a few;" that He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us? Here is what I was able to glean from this text:

(1) There are no limitations on what God will do for us.

(2) Exceeding abundantly means super abundantly above and beyond the greatest abundance that we may ask or think. The word 'exceeding' here answers the question, how abundant? More than the abundance we can imagine. In fact I've always wondered how many empty jars the widow collected. They must have been many and of all sizes. She even lost count (vs 6) but the oil did not run out. It only stopped flowing. We can bring to Him all our cares, 'small or big.'

(3) According to the power that works in us refers to our yieldedness or surrender to the Holy Spirit. We must realize that we are empty vessels; specially those that need filling. Therefore, every one must lift their spiritual cups and pray the Lord of all fountains "Come and quench this thirsting of my soul, bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more."

(4) God is able to do for us and answer our prayers according to the outworking of the Holy Spirit in our lives. So it is we ourselves who determine what God will do for us.

(5) There is no limit to what God can do in and through us, but we limit Him by the degree of our surrender to the Holy Spirit.

Friends, it is a rare thing to be told not to ask for just a few. More often than not, we are challenged never to ask leave alone a few. And naturally so, given an opportunity to ask, we tend to ask for just a few, for that we are likely to receive. The Lord knows we have this tendency, and bids us: Ask and ye shall receive, but, don't ask for just a few!

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