WHAT DO YOU HAVE?
I Kings 17:15-16
“As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son” – I Kings 17:12-13.
The widow went away and did as Elijah had instructed. As a result of her obedience, there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. Because this woman fulfilled Elijah’s request and in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah, the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry.
Because the woman obeyed the instruction from the prophet Elijah, what she had was multiplied. What she had in her hands was her seed, and this seed released her breakthrough. The woman needed a miracle, and she gave out of obedience. What she needed was connected to her act of obedience. In order to test our obedience, God will oftentimes issue us an instruction that makes little to no logical sense. Obeying God puts us in a place of favor and will cause favor to follow us. Psalm 5:12 says that favor will surround us as a shield.
Obedience will always require action on your part. When we study and meditate on the Word of God, our faith grows. After all, faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God. Each of us is given our own measure of faith; however, God is pleased when we have faith and put action behind it. James 2:22 says, “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.” Your faith and works go hand in hand. A person is considered righteous by what he or she does—not by faith alone (James 2:24).
Abraham was called away from everything with which he was familiar. He left what was familiar to him and stepped out in the unfamiliar. When God tells you to step out in faith like He did Abraham, He will not reveal the full blueprint of how the journey will look. The key is to take the first step—even when you don’t know how His request will look. Only then can God begin to reveal your next step.
Trust me, I get it. Taking those steps can be scary—especially when it’s unfamiliar to you. But friend, I would rather step out afraid then not step out at all. God has a plan and a destiny for every person’s life that is good! He says in Jeremiah 29:11 that He knows the plans that He has for our life—plans that are for our good. Additionally, His plans are far greater than we can ever comprehend. I have many wonderful testimonies of God’s faithfulness when I stepped out in faith—not knowing what the next step would look like.
As a Christian, our desire should be to fulfill all that the Lord has planned for our lives, leaving nothing undone when we leave this earth. Living a life of full surrender will require our trusting God even when we don’t understand His leading. But trusting Him is not about our understanding His plans; rather, trust is about our being willing, obedient, and continually saying YES to God—no matter what that act of obedience looks like in the natural.
Oftentimes we are waiting for the next big event to happen in our lives, but God speaks to us about His plan for our life in the small and the simple—like a still small voice (I Kings 19:12). As a matter of fact, God is generally telling us what to do in the simple routine of day-to-day living that we tend to overlook. As I look back over my life and from what God has brought me, my journals are filled with stories of testimonies, victories, answered prayers, desires and dreams that God had given me. I never would have dreamed that God wanted to use my stories, but they were evidence of the hand of God on my life and His faithfulness to me in every season. He still continues to amaze me with His faithfulness—even at times when I wasn’t so faithful. God helped me to process so many seasons through journaling.
After reading this story about Elijah and the widowed woman, I pondered the question, “What do you have?” The answer was simple: I had my journals. I realized they contained information that could be used to help someone else who could be going through the very same trials and tests that I had gone through. I knew God had placed the ball in my court, and He was waiting to see what I would do with what He had already given me.
So, my question to you is: “What do you have?” What gifts and talents do you have that can used for the kingdom of God? Take an inventory of your life and see what you enjoy doing. About what are you passionate? I have found what you are passionate about is usually a key to your gifts and talents. We have many ways of influencing others with our gifts and talents and by being a faithful steward and investing the resources He has given us will help influence others and also to continue to develop our gift.