Formations Lesson for Sept- 5- Trusting God-s Supply
August 24 2010 by Don Gordon, senior pastor, Yates Baptist Church, Durham

Focal Passage: 1 Kings 17:1-24

This is the kind of text that attracts derision from modern people. Birds bringing bread and meat to starving prophets. A widow feeding prophets with a little flour and oil that never runs out. A dead boy revived because a man lies on top of him three times and offers a prayer.

Moderns look at these incredible tales and ask, “Why can’t this be replicated today? In Haiti?”

Perhaps it would do us good to look underneath the miracle and discover what this story might be leading us modern Christians TO DO in our comfortable world.

Perhaps we would witness more miracles if we followed in the footsteps of Elijah and this mystery widow from Zaraphath.

First, we might notice that Elijah has gone into enemy territory, Sidon, the heartland of Baalism. Elijah’s life mission is to struggle against King Ahab, his lovely bride Jezebel, and the syncretistic tendencies of God’s people.

Trusting God from the security of our Bible study group, local church, familiar geography, and a supportive family leads to a benign, impotent faith.

It’s only when we step out of our comfort zones and place ourselves in the jaws of risk that our faith can mature and witness the power of God.

We don’t see more miracles because we’re too busy calculating the loss of our retirement portfolio, instead of risking opposition and danger for the sake of God’s call.

Second, notice the adjectives of this story describing the small beginnings to a great work of God.

Elijah wants a “little water.” He wants a “piece of bread.” She doesn’t have “any bread,” only a “handful of flour,” only a “little oil.” She is gathering a “few sticks.” She anticipates having a “last meal” and dying of starvation with her son. Elijah tells her to make him a “small cake of bread.”

The miracle begins when she willingly offers her last meal to this man of God.

Miracles often follow on the heels of letting go of what we have. When I was graduating from seminary one of my fellow graduates was a Korean with a Ph.D in biology. I can only guess what kind of salary cut he was facing.

Another graduate was a lady with a law degree from UNC. The graduate seated next to me was the co-pastor of a church with 3,000 members. God was calling her to start a small prayer retreat center in the mountains of Georgia. 

Here’s a thought: If God is not in the process of asking you to give up something for the promise of something better, either you’re not listening or God has stopped asking.
8/24/2010 4:46:00 AM by Don Gordon, senior pastor, Yates Baptist Church, Durham | with 0 comments

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