Note: There are a variety of notes in here from study and research. Some are from Charles Brewington's message on the same topic. Also one other author that I could not find in my notes.
Title: Empty Vessels
Theme: Showing the importance of being empty for the Lord
Text: 2 Kings 4:1-7
1Co 11:23-29 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;
(24) and when He had given thanks,
This is how he began communion. In thanks an worship.
He broke it and said, "Take, eat;  this is My body which is broken  for you; do this in remembrance of Me." (25) In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." (26) For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes. (27) Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood  of the Lord. (28) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. (29) For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner  eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's  body.
Luke 6:38 ESV / Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
2Ki 4:1-7 NKJV A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves." (2) So Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?" And she said, "Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil." (3) Then he said, "Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors; empty vessels; do not gather just a few. (4) "And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones." (5) So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. (6) Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, "Bring me another vessel." And he said to her, "There is not another vessel." So the oil ceased. (7) Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, "Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest."
Elisha was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom. During the reign of King Rehoboam, son of Solomon, Israel had been split up into two kingdoms the North and the South. A prophet in those days carried to same role as a preacher today. He or she was sent to share the principles of the kingdom of God. To share the word of God and how it affected the lives of the people.
This is one miracle in a series of many where God was affecting the destiny of an individual. Let me just pause right here and tell you that God is interested in where you are. No matter how insignificant you seem an only 1 of 7 billion. But God cares where you are. I think it is interesting that the one spiritual principle that is seen the most is the principle of faith.
What a beautiful story of God’s provision. Can I tell you today that God’s makes provision for those who trusts Him? If you will trust the Lord you can know that he will always come through. Now it might be blind trust but you can trust him.
This is what this lady realized. The story is simple. Her husband had been one of the prophets who was part of company of prophets that followed Elisha. The Bible says that he died. Now we know that in the OT times only men worked. So when he died she lost all of her income. On top of that they were in deep debt. With no income and debt the only option was for the creditors to take her sons and sell them as a slaves, this is part of the OT law. It was legal until the year of Jubilee.
So she became desperate.
She was at a critical point. She was at a desperate point. Have you ever been there? Maybe you are there today. You are so desperate for a miracle from God. You maybe even so desperate for a Word from God.
Desperate people do desperate things.
Desperate people will run red lights, break speed limits, break religious traditions, risk their lives, climb a tree, jump in a lake, crawl on their hands and their knees, get their fingers stepped on and their feelings stepped on and keep on coming.
Desperate people will push the crowd (woman with issue of blood) or yell about the noise to and extreme embarrassment (blind man trying to get Jesus attention)
There’s something about desperation that puts a fire in your belly.
When you get desperate your willing to look stupid
Desperate people aren’t worried about being dignified, If you’ve ever been in an emergency situation you know that when it’s a matter of life and death dignity is no issue.
By the time people reach desperation they’re willing to try anything.
(End of Author Unknown Material)
This widow had come to a point of desperation that she had never experienced before. She had lost her husband and was left with debts that she couldn’t pay. But it didn’t amount to this measure of desperation. And that was her sons were about to be taken and sold into slavery.
People that are enslaved or about to become enslaved become desperate very quickly. You been there before, we all have. A place where we don’t want what we’re getting or. We don’t want to continue on in this sin but we can’t stop. We don’t want to keep stealing to support this addiction but…, we don’t want to keep hiding in the bedroom while looking at internet pornography but…, we don’t want to smoke this cigarette but…, we don’t want to eat this chocolate but…, we’re addicted!!! We’re enslaved to this thing and can’t stop!!! We are at a place of desperation!!!
Desperation is the breeding ground for miracles.
Psa_34:18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Psa_51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-- These, O God, You will not despise.
MSG 17 I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered.
It was her desperation that brought her to the prophet.
Here Elisha is the Prophet of God who represents the Word of God.
What you need is a word from God, one word from God can completely change your world, get you out of your mess and transform your life.
Her husband was a faithful servant of God and she went back to that same God. She knew of God’s provision. Elisha responded by asking “What can I do for thee?” “Ask and it shall be given”
Notice that He used what she already had. It was not about God providing from an outside source but with all she had. When we give to God he gives so much back.
She had a need instead of making plans she to God’s man.
What she had was a small portion of oil. What she needed was a miracle. What the disciples had was 15,000 people to feed what they needed was a miracle. What Moses needed was a miracle to get the attention of Pharaoh what God used was a simple rod (his testimony) that he had in his hand.
Elisha tells her to go and get as many vessels as she can.
Are you there yet?
How many times have you read in the scripture that the anointing is already inside you, that greatness was placed in you before you were formed in your mother’s womb, that you were created in the image and likeness of God? And the emptiness you’re trying to fill can only be filled by a relationship with your creator.
Instruction: Go to all her neighbors and borrow these empty vessels.
Take the empty vessel and now fill it up. Take that which is empty. God needs an empty vessel. He needs a vessel that is willing to be emptied. We so much from the Lord in the 1 hour we spend here at church. We forget about the many hours we spend filling ourselves up with the junk of this world. Filling ourselves up with the mess that we watch or hear from people.
Notice that the prophet asked her what do you have in your house? It’s what is in your house that matters. God wants vessels empty of self-desires, motives, strengths and abilities. We must empty ourselves of our self so that He can through the Holy Ghost fill us with His power, strength, motives, desires and abilities. In our weakness He is made strong!
We are going from the premise of having done emptied out our vessels! So did you empty yourself out during praise and worship this morning or did you hold on to something of you?
We wonder why we can’t get a breakthrough when God is just trying to break in.
1 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.
NIV 1 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
It believe it took a great act of faith to do this. So the Bible says she did this.
Instruction: Shut the door. You need Godly people around you.
When she has done that take that little vial of oil and begin to pour until each is full.
She shut the door as was instructed and began to pour. Now here we come to verse 6.
Let me read vs. 6 again “And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, “Bring me yet a vessel.”
Sometimes you got to close some things out. Sometimes you have got to close some people out in you life so God can fill up your vessel.
The vessels had to be full. She didn’t need a
Are you full yet?
Don’t stop till your full
One of the problems we have in the church is we have too many Christians who have the burl cream religion.
For those who may be too young to know what I’m talking about, burl cream is a hair dressing to hold your hair in place, and the slogan for it was (burl cream, a little dab’ll do ya’)
We have too many Christians who have the little dab’ll do me mentality.
They’re satisfied with just a touch, satisfied to be blessed, they want just enough to make them happy but not enough to make them live holy separated consecrated lives.
But I read in the bible that Our God is a consuming fire, and he doesn’t just want to touch you or bless you he wants to consume you.
He wants to walk through your feet, touch through your hands, speak through your lips.
When you get full you’ll walk different, you’ll talk different, you’ll sing different, you’ll preach different, you’ll pray different, you’ll dress different.
When you get full of the Holy Ghost it will affect every part of your life.
When you get full of the anointing you will see the “yoke being broken”.
When you get full your radio station will change, your television channel will change, your associations will change.
Ever so often my cell phone has to be recharged. When I put it on the charger the light flashes red, I know that means (leave me on the charger I’m not ready yet) then after awhile it flashes green, I know that means I’m ready for service now.
Somebody today needs to get back on the charger and wait for the green light from the Holy ghost that says Your full your ready for service.
And he said to her, “There is not a vessel more.” And the oil stayed or (stopped flowing).
Today: If you’ve come to the end of your rope, your ability, your resources, open your heart and expect a miracle, believe that God is going to move on your behalf.
-Philippians 4:19, "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
First thing God is looking for is an empty vessel
The second thing God is looking for is a vessel that will hold something.
May times people come to these altars or make a promise to God that goes unfilled because the do it on empty words. They want God to change them as an event and God said I am working in a process. You can’t just pick up and go back the same but something has to change.
Third God is going to use something you already have.
Luke 6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom (as a person would take their shirt and put something in it, until it would over flow and you couldn’t carry any more). For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."
Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
The prophet was sent to awaken up in someone the principles of God. To help them receive a blessing by faith.
God has sent men here this morning to awaken up a principle of God that someone here today will receive a blessing by faith. It is amazing what we will try to get something or more. We will try . . . connections,
Yet God says if you will by faith trust in Him.
It is so hard for us. Some are so afraid to make a “faith commitment”. It don’t know what has happened to you in the past. I don’t know if someone has taken this principle and pushed you away by abusing it. I do sense that for some of you there is a reservation. Maybe because of fear of the future. But let me tell you God will not let you down.
This is a faith commitment. This is as the Lord provides.
Are you at a desperate time in a desperation situation? You just need a miracle from God.
Are you willing to be emptied out before the Lord?
Are you willing to stay until you get full?
I want you to bring your cruise of oil to the altar? I don’t know what your cruise of oil is. I don’t what you have in your house that you need to give to the Lord.