“Do you believe in miracles?”
That’s a famous question Al Michaels asked during the 1980 Olympics when the US Men’s Hockey Team somehow miraculously took down the superior team from the USSR.
Well, do you believe in miracles?
According to a survey from the Pew Forum on Religion, the vast majority of Americans —79%— believe in MIRACLES.
Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines a miracle as “…an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing or accomplishment. An event manifesting divine intervention, a wonderful occurrence.”
British pastor, Andrew Womack writes, “A miracle is a supernatural intervention of God in a CRISIS situation.”
There’s a story — it’s one woman’s story — about how God blew away every idea she held about what He can do and how He works… Her story teaches us to prepare for a MIRACLE!
The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “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.” Elisha replied to her, “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 small jar of olive oil.” Elisha said, “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.” So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. Soon every container was full to the brim! “Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons. “There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the oil stopped flowing. When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over.” —2 Kings 4:1-7
WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR HOUSE? – Verse 2
So, how do you prepare for your miracle?
ADMIT YOU HAVE A NEED.
This woman was very specific when it came to her need.
“My husband is dead.”
This woman knew what it was to be blessed! She used to “have it all.” This passage gives us a description of her life.
She was married to a great guy — “…you know that he revered the Lord…” “…he was a loyal follower of the Lord…” (NET)
They had two children — two boys — together.
Everything was taken care of.
On the outside, they had the picture-perfect family with the picture-perfect life. When people looked at this couple they saw two people who loved God, had two great kids and were hitting on all cylinders.
Everything looked good. They were “good”. It wasn’t just show.
But even “GOOD” people can get into DEEP WEEDS, and for some reason — we don’t know whether it was legitimate or not — the husband went into pretty significant DEBT. He also failed to take out a life insurance policy. So, when he died, he left his wife and kids with a boat load of DEBT.
Any of you in debt?
Any of you struggling to pay off student debt?
Credit card debt?
This woman’s HUSBAND was DEAD and He left her in DEBT! It’s bad enough to grieve. But it’s more difficult to grieve when you’re hungry. When you’re about to lose everything that’s precious to you. When your children are about to be forced into slavery because of some poor financial decisions the “love of your life” made.
This woman was specific and that is the starting place for your miracle! If you really want God to work in your life, you’ve got to admit, “God, I need Your HELP!”
I know that’s difficult for some of us, because we don’t like to ADMIT that we have a need. We don’t like to ADMIT that we have problems. We’ll hide them, cover them up, blame them on other people, or pretend that they don’t exist. But MIRACLES rarely take place without us ADMITING we NEED one.
MIRACLES RARELY TAKE PLACE WITHOUT US ADMITING WE NEED ONE.
Philippians 4:6 gives us this command:
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. —Philippians 4:6 NLT
CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE.
The kind of loss this woman had lived WITH and lived THROUGH had started to affect her outlook. It had messed with her PERSPECTIVE.
In two verses, she tells us that she knew all about her PAST, she was completely terrified of her FUTURE, and she didn’t have a clue as to what was going on in the PRESENT.
When this woman looked BACK all she could see was what she had LOST. She was spending so much time focused on YESTERDAY that she was missing out on what God was doing TODAY!
She told Elisha all about “what WAS.”
“My husband was a prophet…”
“My husband was a good man…”
“My husband was a guy who revered the Lord…”
“My husband was a loyal follower of the Lord…”
She knows all about what WAS.
She even knows what she thinks is COMING. This is called “worry.” When she looks out all she can see is more LOSS…
“…his creditor is coming to take my two boys as slaves…”
“The repo-man is coming to take my kids…”
“The repo-man is going to make them his slaves…”
Here’s the problem! You can’t get a miracle using “WAS” faith or “WILL BE” faith, Hebrews 11:1 says, “NOW faith is…”
YESTERDAY’S FAITH WON’T WORK ON TODAY AND TOMORROW’S CRISIS. YOU NEED “NOW” FAITH!
So, in Verse 2 Elisha asks her, “What do you have in your house?” In other words, “What do you have NOW?”
Some of us spend way too much time looking back, focused on WHAT WE LOST:
Who didn’t love me?
Who didn’t lead me?
Who betrayed me?
Whose poor decisions got me into this mess?”
The grief process is natural and normal. It’s important to grieve over what you LOST. But at some point, you’ve got to STOP LOOKING BACK at what you lost.
The spouse who left…
The economy that went south…
The investment that didn’t work out…
The persistent sickness or illness that wrecked your plans…
At some point, you have to stop LOOKING BACK and GRIEVING over what you LOST and you have to start FOCUSING ON what you have LEFT.
God LOVES to use what you have LEFT!
The miracle this woman is about to receive is going to start with what she has LEFT.
Elisha asked her, “What do you have in your house? What have you got NOW?”
This woman’s first answer is the most telling answer, “Your servant has NOTHING…” —2 Kings 4:2
Have you ever felt that way?
You would be amazed at the number of people who have this perspective:
I have nothing…
I am nothing…
I’ll never be anything…
There’s nothing left…
It’s all gone…
I have no talent…
I have no skill…
I’m not smart enough…
I’m not tall enough…
I’m not strong enough…
I’m not gifted enough…
I’m not capable enough…
I’m not educated enough…
I don’t make enough…
We don’t have enough margin…
I’m not sure I can take that step…
I’m not enough…
I struggle with the giant of, “I’m not enough…” practically every day!
But the truth of the matter is we almost always have MORE than we may actually be aware of!
We may not be enough, but He is enough! If fact, He is MORE THAN ENOUGH!
Elisha replied to her, “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 small jar of olive oil.” —2 Kings 4:2
You may not have anything left financially…
You may be washed up and washed out when it comes to your bank account…
You may be reeling in terms of your health…
You may be exhausted when it comes to strength…
You may feel like, “All I have is ‘one small jar of oil.’”
“All I have is one little asset…”
“What I have won’t really make a difference…”
But it only takes a “SMALL JAR OF OIL” for God to do a REALLY BIG MIRACLE!