Summary: How does God’s provision come. Extracting principles from the life fo Elijah as to God’s provision.
God promises us ’daily bread’ (Matt 6:11) which starts with the WORD of God (Matt 4:4). Many times we don’t receive God’s promised provision as we don’t keep His Word or we receive provision but not from the Word of God and miss God’s will. The Prodigal Son is an example of this. He asked the Father for his inheritance and the Father gave it to him - but it was not the right time to give it and the son wasted the money on himself. God knows the right time to give us all provision and we need to hear His word and live by His word concerning this.
WORD > FAITH >SUBSTANCE
(2) PROVISION COMES...
’God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply’ Hudson Taylor
Looking at the story of Elijah we see that his daily bread came...
(a) When he sought God’s will first (vv1-5)- Elijah first sought the WORD of God and then his needs were met as he simply walked in obedience to that WORD.
Read Matthew 6:33
It doesn’t say ’Seek first all these things and then....’ but ’Seek first the KINGDOM OF GOD and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS’. As we seek to do His will , seeking His Word as to what we should do and then living in His Kingdom life and uprightness, then He promises to provide all our NEEDS not our GREEDS!
My own personal testimony is that since 1988 until now (2001) I have not been drawing a salary but ’living by faith’ - God has always provided and still does now I am married with two kids - as I do His specific work for me according to His Word.
(b) Through God’s appointed sources (vv6-9) - Ravens and Widows!
Ravens were unclean birds to Elijah and yet God used them to provide. God will use unbelievers to provied for us (non Christian bosses etc..)even in times of famine (recession in economy etc..).
The widow was not wealthy but quite poor and yet God used her to provide a little for him and this was multiplied into much. In all my years living by faith I have seen God use the ’widow’s mite’ very often. It’s not the rich who give most (in terms of sacrifice) but the simple, the poor and under priveledged.
Keep your eyes always on THE source (God)and not the instrument God uses to bless you.
(c) In Order to bless others (vv10-16) - Philippians 4:17.
Anything we are blessed with is to bless others! That was God’s design from the beginning (Read Genesis 12:1-3). Many Christians have tunnel vision - they think that they merely give to God so that God will bless them out of their socks. Well God does bless us not only out of our socks but also out of our comfort zone so we can use that blessing to do His specific will for our lives (the ministry He has for us).
Come daily before the Lord for fresh ’bread’ (Word) that you can claim by faith receive in substance so that you can bless others.
Small Group Discussion Questions...
1. Read again 1 Kings 17:1-16 and discuss how and why Elijah received such miraculous provision.
2. Is all income and increase a blessing from God ? Are all millionaires more blessed than the
poorer people ? Discuss.
3. Talk about what it means to daily ’live by faith’ for each one of you in the group. Pray for each other’s needs in faith (i.e. seeking God’s word on the matter).