Message Series // Empty Part 3
Message Date // May 24, 2020 (Scotty Priest)
Over the past couple months, life has been turned upside down for almost all of us. The pandemic has led to a season that has required things of us we never expected. Parents have had to adjust to a life of managing homeschooling and work. Business has changed, leading to new work environments, and even potential job loss. For some life has ramped up, and for others life has come a boring halt. We have been living differently, and in a lot of ways we are tired. We are feeling dry, depleted…EMPTY. Along with all the empty streets, stadiums, schools, offices, and bank accounts…our souls are empty too. The weight of uncertainty and the mundane of the messy middle has left us depleted. We had plans, we were motivated…but days have turned into weeks and weeks have turned into months…and we’ve grown tired…EMPTY. Where do we go from here?
“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
Read 2 Kings 4:1-7. As we read, we learn about a widow who is facing a personal crisis. Put yourself in her shoes. Maybe you can even relate to her situation because you are experiencing a personal crisis of your own. The tough thing is that life doesn’t stop when we have a crisis in life. And just like the widow, crisis can lead us to a place where we feel empty, and when we feel empty we can be blind to what we have. We focus so much on our scarcity that we don’t see the supply that God has provided for us. Read verses 1-2 again…how do we see this mentality in the widow’s life? How can this be expressed in today’s culture? Have you ever found yourself drowning in this mentality before?
Look at verses 3-4. Elisha asks the widow to do something…something that just doesn’t make sense. She has a decision to make, and it’s going to require something of her. The truth is that sometimes the obstacle between us and the miracle is an act of faith. How do you see this played out in the widow’s life? When have you seen this truth evident in your own life…or not because you honestly had a tough time making the decision?
In verses 5-7, we understand that the widow followed what Elisha asked of her…and God provided. Even though her situation left her feeling empty, she poured the oil, and God did the miraculous. Even though she was “poor” she “poured”…and God created a story worth telling. Many times when we are “poor” (financially, relationally, emotionally, physically, etc.), it can be tough for us to “pour” our lives out. We want to hold on to what we have. We want to complain about what we don’t have. But in the story, it’s not until the widow pours that things begin to grow. In other words, “pour” when you feel “poor”…and see what God does. Why is it foundational that we understand this Biblical principle? Share a story in your life when you’ve seen God provide when you’ve decided to “pour”.
Read Philippians 4:19. Is there a situation in your life right now where you feel “poor”, and God is asking your to “pour”? What is the next step you need to take, that act of faith, that you sense God is wanting you to take? How can your small group help you make this decision?