This morning in The Warehouse we were reading the story in 2 Kings 4 of the widow who fell into debt when her husband died and was about to lose her children to slavery. She went to Elisha for help and he asked her what he could do for her and what she had. He made a suggestion and then left her to act in faith and obedience and see a generous and supernatural God provide for her and her family. It’s simple. Elisha was (I assume) in conversation with God and so was obedient to passing on what He knew God was saying and then left the consequences up to God. Why then, have I never seen food multiply itself to feed the hungry? Well, it’s because God doesn’t always work that way, sometimes God asks me to give of myself, God wants me to pray for the woman’s emotional healing, God wants to provide for her spiritual needs…yes…maybe…or is it because I’ve never asked? I’ve never had the faith to believe that God hates debt, slavery and starvation and so WILL show up.
I’ve been reading a book recently by Heidi Baker called “Compelled by Love” (Thanks Uncle Graham and Auntie Jen!). I have been so challenged at the countless stories of God supernaturally providing when there isn’t enough “physical” food to provide for everyone that’s hungry. I am challenged in two ways: one – I rarely have to expect God to show up because I have the resources to fill the gaps, are my resources blocking or limiting my perception of God as provider and two – I don’t have the faith to believe that God will show up. In theory I do, but I have never prayed or expected this provision and so my actions suggest otherwise. What is every time I made a pot of food, I prayed multiplication over it to feed the hungry and homeless living on my street? What if, whilst sitting with one of my (hungry) girls in Manenberg, I had faith that one slice of bread could become twenty? How would that change my experience and faith in God? What would it do to world hunger, if we prayed more faith-filled prayers of provision over every stew or casserole we make?
Our response to poverty cannot be money, but a God that loves.