I Kings 17:8-16
A SPIRITUAL PSYCHO-DRAMA
Don't confuse Elijah with Elisha. They are different prophets who accomplished similar missions as men of God. This story in I Kings is about Elijah and a widow who is not the same as the one appearing in II Kings 4 in Lesson Two. The cast in this spiritual psycho-drama is entirely different.
A psycho-drama is a dramatric re-enactment of a psychological or mind-contained event. In this case, we are going to look at the story as though it took place entirely in the widow's thinking. Therefore, we won't think of Elijah as a person or a prophet, but as a state of consciousness. He will be a symbol for spiritual evidence appearing as reality in the widow's experience. The spiritual evidence he represents in this story is the principle of SHARING.
The widow is a poor woman with only a handful of meal and a bit of oil. She needs money for herself and her little child, a frightening situation. But she does not display fear. Instead, she goes out and gathers sticks, which is a way of saying that she collects her thoughts into an organized request for funds from God.
God hears her prayer. He decides to test her before sending the answer that will lead her to a solution. He sends out an idea called "Elijah," first. Elijah appears in her thinking and tells her that God will help, but she has to share what she gets. This disturbs her. She needs a dollar here and a dollar there. Her plans haven't included a dollar for anyone else, so she argues that there isn't enough.
Lovingly, Elijah rebukes her selfishness by saying, "Fear not!" This implies that what God gives, He gives without sorrow, So, the widow, a clever woman who listens carefully to God's voice, shares with Elijah. What happens?
SHARING IS A LAW OF SUPPLY
II Chronicles 1:12 (to second,)
The widow has put the law of sharing into practice. As a result, she receives more supply than she can use. This is her reward for sharing, which is another way of saying tithing. She is spending, not hoarding. She is circulating God's goodness instead of trying to save it only for herself.
What the widow has learned from her experience is that making money through prayer is only the first half of the task. The second is in putting it to good use. A high degree of spirituality is needed to make money through prayer, but an equally high sense of wisdom is needed to see that this supply, representative of true substance, is not wasted.
Hebrews 11:1 and 3
What is true substance? The substance spoken of in Hebrews is entirely mental, so it becomes necessary to "shift gears" and move rapidly away from the misconception that substance is exclusively material. Think of this kind of substance as a mental activity, like the multiplication tables. We are dealing with the basic substance of mathematics when we repeat that two times two equals four. In this case, we are dealing with the basic substance of God's thoughts and how they can multiply your individual good when we percieve then as "angels of supply."
God says he loves those who love him, those who seek him. How do you seek God? Through prayer! What inspires you to pray? Faith that you will be heard! What is "faith," according to Hebrews 11? "The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Proverbs 8:17 and 21
Reading the two verses together excites the imagination even more. The word "inherit" is used, which means to pass substance on to someone else. So it becomes apparent that when you seek God through prayer, you are dealing with spiritual substance. According to verse 21, this substance will be translated back to you in such a way as to meet your human need, to fill your "treasures." How, then, is spiritual substance transformed into something material like money?
- The human mind appeals to the divine mind through prayer.
- The divine mind responds by translating its spiritual substance to the human mind as ideas.
- These ideas ("angels") are interpreted by the human mind in terms of the daily supplies they bring, i.e., a necessary human contact, a job opportunity, an item to sell, interest declared on a savings account, something of value suddenly uncovered or discovered, money from an unexpected source, etc.
Exodus 16:4 Behold
Nehemiah 9:21 (to;)
Sometimes, as in the case of the bread that fed the Israelites in the wilderness, your daily needs are met simply from "out of nowhere," as a windfall which comes as a surprise to you. More often, however, they are met by the abundance of new ideas that flow into your consciousness by turning thought wholly to God. But, as stated in Deuteronomy 8:18, never forget where the good comes from!
WHEN CAN YOU CLAIM YOUR INHERITANCE?
Matthew 6:33 seek
I John 3:2 (to 2nd,)
Jesus understood perfectly the necessity of claiming your inheritance now. His injunction to "lift up your eyes" (in prayer) "and look on the fields" (the abundance promised by God) carries the authority of a command.
Even his words from the cross on Calvary trumpet this message down through the centuries: "TODAY shalt thou be with me in paradise."
Don't be held back by what you lacked yesterday. And you need not look for a future "ship to come in." You can have it NOW! Why wait?