2 Kings 4:2 So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.”
Recently I did a lesson on how God provides for our every need based on this portion of Scripture in 2 Kings, chapter 4. This morning I want to look at this portion of Scripture from a different perspective. God’s word is alive and active and one time you may read a verse or portion of Scripture and He will speak to you in a certain way, but the next time you read that portion of Scripture He may speak to you about something else in your life, a different perspective for the time that you are experiencing in your life at that very moment.
In verse two we see that the widow woman who was in need for provision for her family went to the man of God, Elisha, for direction. Resident within each believer in Christ Jesus is the answer to all of life’s problems. When we develop a living and vital relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ we have within us the Spirit of God that directs us in the way that we should go. As that relationship develops those around us often see that we have something that they don’t have and they are drawn to us. The oil in the Old Testament symbolizes the Spirit of God in the New Testament. So in this portion of Scripture the man of God asks her what she had in her house, or within her, that she might use to solve her problem.
House – Hebrew word bayit – means house; household, family, clan, temple, building, home. Bayit may refer to a dwelling or a family, and is also the word for the temple, the house of God at Jerusalem.
1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
When we understand that the house, or body that we live our earthly live within, is the dwelling place of God’s Spirit we can see from the 2 Kings scriptures that we have the oil of the Holy Spirit within us that provides for our every need. He is the need-meeter. We do not need to go looking for anything in another person, place or thing to provide for us because the Spirit of God within us will lead us and guide us into all truth providing the answers that we need. Likewise, the Spirit of God lives within us to flow out of us to those that we come into contact with to help them, to guide them, to show them that Jesus is the only way to the Father and that we can help them by releasing the flow of His Spirit within us to meet the need in their lives as well as our own.
The widow lady, representative of those of us who are born again, had everything within her house, the temple of the Holy Spirit, to meet the needs of her family.
2 Kings 4:3 Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels, do not gather just a few,
The man of God told her to go around to her neighbors and gather all their empty vessels. The neighbors that are around us, or those that we come into contact with are many times empty, without the life of God within them. They are simply empty vessels waiting for us to pour the oil of God’s Spirit into their lives. What we have within us is enough to fill all the empty people around us if we will pour ourselves into their lives. We can fill them with what we know, understand and believe about God the Father, God the Son, Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit. We have within us the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead!
Ephesians 1:19-23 NLT I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else in this world or in the world to come. And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and he gave him this authority for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is filled by Christ, who fills everything everywhere with his presence.
God has filled us believers, who are His body, His church, with His very presence. That presence of the Holy Spirit within us fills us with the same power that raised Christ from the dead. We have what the world needs. There are empty vessels waiting for us in the workplace, in the marketplace, in the gyms and even in the social media groups that we might be a part of. Empty vessels waiting for us to pour the oil of the Holy Spirit into their lives. The word says to go get them, not a few but as many as you can find. Pour the oil of the Spirit into them and fill them up.
2 Kings 4:4,5 “And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out.
When you live in relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ your family knows that you are His and you have the ability within you to take them to the same place in Christ where you dwell. They see you, they mimic you. Your children are influenced more by what you do than what you say. Your family is touched by your relationship with the Lord. We are not supposed to be closet Christians. We live our relationship with the Lord in front of our families. In these two verses I believe what the Word is saying is that we take our families with us into a deeper walk with the Lord as we live in front of them our relationship with Him. The widow woman was instructed to take her sons into the house or dwelling place of the Lord with her and let them help her pour into the empty vessels. Children live out what they see. When they go to school they often portray through their lives what is taking place at home. If we take them into the secret place of the Most High God with us, they will live out of that relationship as well. We were meant to influence our families for God and then take them with us as we pour into empty vessels. The widow lady shut the door behind her. Often we have to shut the door behind us because the unbelief of the world outside will put a damper on how effective we will be in pouring into the empty vessels around us. We are to be in the world but not of the world. In other words, the life that we pour into empty vessels must be guarded and protected from the unbelief that is in the world. We spend time with the Lord daily to be re-filled; our faith is strengthened through this infilling so that unbelief can be driven out of our lives so we can be strong for those around us. You shut the door to unbelief in your life through guarding your heart and strengthening your spirit through the private times you spend in prayer, Bible study and worship of the Lord your God.
2 Kings 4:6 Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased.
When we stop pouring into other peoples’ lives the oil of the Spirit needed for that task quits flowing. It is only as we continue to draw upon the anointing of the Holy Spirit that we will continue to experience His flowing from us to them. When people that you are currently ministering to become full and able to start drawing from the Lord for themselves it is time to move on to another empty vessel. That is not to say that you cut off your relationship with them, but simply to say that you may have served the purpose in their lives at that moment that they are now able to carry on for themselves. Relationships develop as we pour ourselves into other people’s lives. There is another empty vessel waiting somewhere for you to help.
John 4:34-38 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. “Do not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! “And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. “For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ “I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.
There will always be empty vessels around us. Until Jesus returns there is work to be done. People need the Lord and those who have already received Him into their hearts are the ones that God is using to fill the empty vessels around them. There are some believers who are meant to sow into another person’s life; some are there to water what has already been sown, and some are there to reap the harvest. We all have a job to do and God is the one who gives the increase. He causes our efforts to be fruitful. He moves through us to effect change in the lives of those who are empty, lost, sick and hurting. But if we don’t seek out the empty vessels the oil of the Spirit within us will grow stagnant. Any body of water without an outlet to release it’s flow grows stagnant. You can take in and take in but if you never give out you will become stagnant and no one will want to partake of what is within you.
2 Kings 4:7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”
God blesses us that we might be a blessing to those around us. When we are giving out of the oil of the Spirit within us it is impossible for us to not be blessed through the process.
Acts 20:35 “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Supporting the weak, pouring into empty vessels, giving of ourselves to meet the need of others is more of a blessing to us as givers than it is to us when we receive from someone else. God’s economy works in reverse of the world’s. His economy is to give so you can receive instead of waiting to receive before you give anything away. When you give of yourself to fill another empty person around you the flow of God’s Spirit brings refreshing to your soul, your life is blessed and you have more to give the next time it is needed. Will you be a giver today? Will you fill the empty vessels around you with the oil of God’s Spirit within you?
Father, I thank You for filling me to overflowing that I might be a blessing to the empty vessels that you have placed in my life. I thank You for always giving me what I need to give away to another that needs what you have placed within me. I pray this morning for those who are needy that they will link up with a believer in Christ Jesus so they can be filled as well. Father, for those who are empty and hurting today I pray that you will bring them into divine appointments with believers who will be able to share with them what You want to do in their lives and how You want to bless them with the answers to all their problems and needs. Father, show us who You want us to fill with the anointing of Your Spirit who is within us. May our eyes be opened to see the fields that are ripe for harvest that we might usher them into the kingdom of God. Show us the hurting, the oppressed, the sick and needy that we might deposit within them what You have placed of Your life within us. Make us a channel of blessing to those around us today. We bring these requests before You knowing that You hear and answer prayer when we pray according to Your will. Amen.