This month our study is on New Beginnings. Our Scripture comes from 2 Kings 4:4-6. As background on this passage, a woman came to Elisha and explained that her husband had died, and a creditor came and threatened to put her two sons into slavery unless she could pay the debt. Elisha asked how he could help her and then asked what she had in the house. She explained that all she had was a single flask of oil. “And Elisha said, ‘Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.’ 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.” (NLT) Then Elisha told her to sell the oil, pay off her debt and live off the rest of it.
The woman came to the man of God first because she knew that only God could help her. As we look at new beginnings, we see that because she was obedient and did what she was told, God helped her and she could start with a clean slate, a new beginning. When we are faced with problems that seem insurmountable, we need to remember that we should go to God first. (Matthew 6:33) and ask for help.
As I was speaking to my husband about this, I was telling him that I was really struggling with what to do, how to share with you all, what to focus on, etc. He asked me if I knew what the oil signified. The oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, His presence, and healing that comes from Him. So, I began thinking about how this related to our topic of New Beginnings. The Holy Spirit helps us as we step out in faith to do what God is asking of us. The woman stepped out in faith and did what Elisha told her to do, even though it didn’t make any sense. God rewarded her for her faith and obedience. She received more oil than just what was needed to pay the debt, she had enough to live on and she had a new beginning that was free from debt.
Notice that God didn’t give her just a little oil, He gave her a lot! So, when we go to God with our petitions, we need to go in faith, and ask for more than we can even imagine! “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV) When we go in faith expecting our requests will be fulfilled, God shows us, through the power of His Holy Spirit, just what He can do. He pours out His Holy Spirit on us, just as the oil is poured out in anointing for healing. He has a plan, and He is working out His plan.
Sometimes, I think we limit God by not asking for big things or more than we could even hope for. It isn’t limiting God so much as it is our lack of faith that He can do big things. My husband always tells me, “Big God, little problem!” Every problem we have is a little problem to God. Nothing is impossible for Him.
As we step into a new year, we are hopeful that things will be different…we are looking for a new beginning. God has new beginnings, physically and Spiritually. He asks us to do things, that many times, we don’t think we can do. On our own, we can’t. But, when we ask God to help us, He can provide the means to accomplish what He wants from us. That provision can be more than we ever dreamed was possible. It can put us on a new road, give us a fresh start and bring us hope. When we go to God first in faith, asking for a fresh start, think big, ask big! He can provide more than we can imagine and give us a new beginning full of possibilities!