Miracles lie on the other side of our obedience.
Oftentimes, fear, uncertainty, insecurity, and even anger accompany those circumstances. But there’s something in the account of Elijah and the widow in 1 Kings 17 that we would be wise to learn. Take a look at what the NASB has to say (long scripture alert…)
9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, “Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink.” 11 As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.” 12 But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.” 13 Then Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. 14 For thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.’” 15 So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days.
In order for a miracle to exist, we have to encounter an impossible situation.
God told Elijah to go Zarephath and promised him provision through a widow in the midst of famine. So Elijah went. Immediately, without question. Because delayed obedience is disobedience. “Arise and Go,” God said. So Elijah arose and went.
Then Elijah gave the widow – who was in an impossible situation herself – a similar instruction: “Go and do as you have said.: But before the instruction to go and do, Elijah specifically says do not fear, giving us insight into the fact that even when fear abounds, we can still choose to fearlessly participate in God’s instruction.
“Go and do as you have planned, but serve me first,” said Elijah. Serve the man of God first. A bold instruction, considering the limited resources available. The widow’s obedience was an act of faith.
God’s invitation to join the work that He is doing may not always feel safe.
But it is.
Do not fear. Go and do. And on the other side of the widow’s obedience was a miracle.
God’s invitation to join the work that He is doing may not always feel safe. But it is.
It may not always be easy, but it is possible.
We may not always feel courageous, but we can be courageous.
The presence of fear or impossibility is not an indication that we should stop. It only means that we’ve reached the end of our own understanding and our own abilities. And that’s exactly the kind of circumstance that makes a miracle possible.
Arise, go. So he went.
Go and do. So she went and did.
Do not fear.
The presence of fear or impossibility only means that we’ve reached the end of our own abilities. That’s the exact circumstance that makes a miracle possible.
If we’re honest, fear is often at the core of what holds us back from acting on what God directs us to do. It can be disguised as a need for more information: Lord I just need to know more details so that I know for sure I’m doing what you said. Why, though? What we’re really saying is that we’re afraid to get it wrong.
What if I obey and it doesn’t go the way I’m hoping it will? What if it does? What if we just trust Him?
What if I can’t do what you’re asking me to do, God? My track record is not great. What if I just don’t have it in me? Do everything as you had planned, but serve Me first.
The widow didn’t have enough oil in her jar. She didn’t have enough flour. She only had a word.
I wonder, what direction has God given you that you haven’t quite obeyed yet?
Sometimes God calls us to go. Other times He tells us to stay. Both require faith and participation in the plan.