Have you checked your oil?
Life has really had some highs and lows over the past couple of months. Conflicts, problems, seasons' endings, new seasons beginning; not all from God, but He will use them for the good of my life, my family, and our ministry.
I have experienced the pain, guilt and shame of reacting out of emotions versus taking the time to self-evaluate. Oh, come on! You know you have too. We allow the spirit of offense (being offended) take over and we start imagining all the negative reasons why someone said something, did something, or did nothing when we felt like they should or shouldn’t have.
Ever heard or had someone say to you, “Hey Joan, it’s not always about you”?
Am I the only one? Ha! As a woman, I know you can relate and know that after we thought it out things weren’t always the way our emotions made us believe they were.
After many unnecessary, relationship destroying incidents and deciding to cultivate my relationship with Jesus, I am thankful to say this is extremely infrequent in my life today.
Laying down my life and opening my heart to what Jesus wants to do in and through me; while it has its costs in and of itself, it has been the best thing for my spirit that I have ever done.
What does that mean? It means I have sat in a room with just myself and Jesus in deep prayer raised my hands and face to heaven and asked for forgiveness for all I have done that wasn’t what living Christ-like means. I have let my Almighty Savior know that I want more of Him and less of me. I ask the LORD daily (if I am being honest, many times in a day) to remove from me what isn’t of Him. (Being irritated with the drivers around me who clearly could not have passed their driving test *wink wink; for the thoughts I have had about someone who says something in their own emotions that causes that feeling of offense to rise up in my mind; being tired and/or hangry and responding to someone else around me with anger or ugliness making me want to raise up in equal ugliness in defense of that person).
I am reminded of 2 Kings 4:1-6. It is the scripture about Elisha and the Widow’s Oil. She had lost her husband and was barely making it. She sought advise and assistance for her situation. Elisha told her to take her single vessel of oil and go borrow as many empty vessels as she could from her neighbors. She was told to fill these empty vessels with the oil she had. Her small amount of oil filled many of the empty vessels until hers was empty.
God was using an illustrating action then, for us now. We each are vessels for the LORD but we cannot receive what He has for us nor can we pour into others if our vessels are filled with ourselves, our own issues, wants, fears, doubts, etc. I read in a well-known female evangelist’s book something that really struck me, I guess it meant her words convicted me of a reality in me. She wrote, “You will never be prepared to reach your destiny unless you are healed from past pain”.
This was exactly what Elisha was saying to the widow. She had to empty herself of her grief, her worry over her financial situation and fill herself back up with the promises of Jesus-- the truths of the LORD. She had to remember that in all things God will provide and protect her, all she needed to do was remain faithful to being in His Word and releasing all of it to Him –100%. In a sense could we not say that the widow was sleeping in her sorrow and worry? (There’s that word sleep again!)
God had placed his glory and power on Elisha so that he could show the widow a miracle all while making it clear to her that it was time for her to wake up her faith and rise in the LORD!
Yours is the glory forever, Yours is the kingdom, Yours is the power LORD and only YOU can change me and whatever my situation is. I come before you today in a state of repentance and ask that you empty my earthly vessel of any impurities in my thoughts, actions, words and inactions. Fill me with all of YOUR ways Father so that I can receive all the goodness you have for me, not just for me, but also to share with those around me; believers and unbelievers alike!! In Your Mighty Name I seal this prayer!!