December 28, 2016
READ: 1 Kings 17:1-16
[The widow] did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days (v.15).
When I was first called to pastor a church, my family and I were, frankly, broke! I had just finished Bible college and my wife had been homeschooling our young daughters. The church was in a popular area, and house prices were at a premium. We needed a home, but they were all so very expensive. We really liked one place, but had no money for a deposit or to offer for rent. The real estate agent asked us if we wanted it.
I took my wife aside and said, “What do we do? We have no money for this.” Her wise words humbled me: “This was not our idea; we never asked to be here or even to pastor a church. It was God’s idea, so it’s His job. We just obey.” So we simply said “yes” to the agent and walked away. All the money came in over the next few days.
Elijah heard from God and was bold enough to walk up to a king and tell him some hard news—the land was about to experience a 3 1/2-year drought (1 Kings 17:1). Then, following God’s instruction, he went and waited at a brook. God provided food in a miraculous way! “The ravens brought him bread and meat each morning and evening” (v.6). After the water dried up, God sent Elijah to Zarephath. In that village, God performed another amazing act of provision. This time, the food didn’t come by way of birds, but by a simple request made by the prophet to a widow (v.13). She obeyed and God did the rest (vv.14-15).
The pattern here is very simple. It’s our job to follow as God leads, and then obey the things He asks us to do (vv.1-4). As we follow Him, He will provide not what we necessarily want, but what we truly need—sometimes in amazing ways.
365-day plan: Jude 1:17-25
Read Matthew 14:13-21 and consider what Jesus asked His disciples to do and how they responded.
What next step is God asking you to take? How does obedience reflect your love for God and trust in Him?