Thursday, January 14, 2010
Remember to Expect
What is your measure of expectation as you approach God for a blessing? Do you expect to receive from God or do you tend to be forgetful like me?
In our women’s Sunday school class we are going through the book “Women of the Covenant: Spiritual Wisdom from Women of the Bible” by Kimberly Sowell and Edna Ellison. Each chapter focuses on one woman from the Bible and encourages you to make connections between the Biblical woman’s life and your own. It has been an excellent study so far! Each week I am blessed by the very insightful lessons that are also very applicable to my daily life journey.
This past Sunday we discussed, “The Needy Widow: Like Oil, the Blessing Flowed”. This was a focus on an unnamed woman featured in II Kings 4:1-7. She was the widow of a prophet. A creditor had come threatening to take her sons as slaves. She went to Elisha the prophet for help. Elisha asked her what she had in her house. The only thing she had was a flask of olive oil. Elisha told her to borrow as many empty jars as she could. Then go into her house, shut the door and start pouring the olive oil from the flask into the jars.
Vs 5 and 6 says: “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 olive oil stopped flowing.”
Elisha told the widow to sell the olive oil and pay her debt. They had enough left over for her and her sons to live on!
As we discussed this lessons many aspects of the story “came to light.” Eventually the question was asked, “What is your measure of expectation as you approach God for a blessing?” The widow obviously expected God to do what He said that He would do (through the prophet Elisha), because she gathered jars…apparently many, many jars as they had enough money left over to live on!
What about me and you...what is our measure of expectation as we approach God for a blessing?
As I listened to these lovely Christian ladies share in Sunday school, it became obvious to me that it is all too easy for us to forget God’s faithfulness, provision, ability and promises…even immediately after He’s done something major in our life!
Why do we start to forget all too quickly? Why don’t we always recognize the things He’s doing for us even in the ordinary moments of our days? Why are we so human?
God IS capable! It’s not that God has changed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He remembers! It’s that we have changed. We forget! It’s that our focus gets…well, out of focus. Our memory fails us. Our expectancy wanes. We get caught up in the “hum drum” of life. Our focus in on what we can currently see and what we feel (feelings lie) instead of on the One who is faithful and just!
How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails. He causes us to remember his wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our LORD! He gives food to those who fear him; he always remembers his covenant. Psalm 111:2-5
Do I believe that God truly wants to bless me? Well, why wouldn’t I?! God has shown his faithfulness to me time and time again. Do I believe that He’s interested in every detail of my life? Well, why wouldn’t I?! He has answered prayers, performed miracles and opened doors for me, showing me His abundant love many times! How about you?!
I want to go to Him with that child like faith, expecting to hear from Him. To see miracles like that the “Needy Widow” experienced…and even less extravagant ones (in the eyes of others) that will mean everything to me! To see His hand at work even in the midst of potty training, laundry and making supper for my family. Don't you?!
In Joshua 4 after God dried up the Jordan River so that the Israelites could pass safely on dry land, the people took 12 stones to set up a memorial. God told the people to do this so that the stones would be a reminder to them and future generations of God’s provision and power.
In Genesis 32 Jacob was afraid that his brother Esau would kill him as he tried returning to his homeland. However, Jacob remembered God’s earlier promise to him, “I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore--too many to count.” (vs. 11) Jacob remembered! Although he was afraid, he prayed and reminded God of his promise.
It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. Hebrews 11:11
It seems to me that the way to be more expectant is to remember His faithfulness from the past more vividly! To set up memorials for ourselves so that we won’t forget His provision and ability to see us through any situation…even the norms of everyday life. Keeping His trustworthy promises fresh in our memory. Building our faith with evidence of His faithfulness!
What are some modern day memorials that I can set up? Perhaps keeping a journal; speaking to my son (and others) on a regular basis about the things God has done for me in the past (leaving a legacy); maybe even blogging about answered prayer and unexpected provision. Of course, I need to be in God’s Word and prayer. I need to meditate on His promises. And reflect on His good deeds. What else should I be doing?
I don’t want to forget! I want to go to God in eager expectation of what He is going to do next! I want to believe His promises and remember His faithfulness! I want to set up some very practical memorials for myself and my family!
I would love to hear your thoughts. How do you remember God‘s faithfulness? Have you set up memorials for yourself and your family? How do you keep from becoming “stale” in your Christian walk? Please share!