What would happen if the people of God would get out of debt, follow His instructions on how to manage money, and build ridiculous amounts of wealth? Could we solve the clean water problem around the world? What about hunger? Poverty? Sex-Trafficking? What else would we be able to do?
Normally I don’t bring a bunch of Bible theology over to this blog, and I’m not really going to start that today. But I do want to take a look at an interesting story in the book of 1 Kings chapter 19. To recap what happened in chapter 18, there was some awesomeness thrown down in Mount Carmel with the prophets of Baal. After the 450 prophets of Baal failed to have their offering set on fire, Elijah poured water all over his bull, the alter, and the ground around it. Then Yahweh sent fire from heaven and burned up not only the offering, but the alter and all the water in the trenches around it. Elijah had the people gather up the prophets of Baal and execute them.
To sum it up, Elijah had just seen God do some awesome work.
This catches us up to chapter 19. Queen Jezebel finds out that Elijah killed all the prophets of Baal and threatened to kill him. Elijah just saw the awesome power of God so of course he just stands up to Jezebel…. no,that’s the exact opposite of what happens. Instead he runs away, some 40 miles. He runs into the wilderness for a full day and when he stops under a tree he prays to die. God wasn’t a big fan of that plan so instead he sent an angel to give Elijah bread and water and some time to sleep under a nice shade tree.
Then he gets up and walks from Beer-sheba another 420 miles over 40 days and climbs 7,000 ft of jagged rock to get to Mt. Horeb without stopping to eat. When he gets there he decides to sleep in a cave. When he woke up he had an encounter with God and heard His voice not in the wind, or in the earthquake, but in a still small whisper. Gods reassuring voice came to Elijah and ministered to his weary soul that he had not been left alone. God assured him that there were still 7,000 people in Israel that had not forsaken Him and not bowed down to Baal.
As a side note, and maybe a different post someday, I think it’s interesting that we hear God’s voice in the whisper, and not in the powerful mighty wind or in the earthquake… but again that’s a post for another day.
We know that at the core character of God, He is a giver. It says so in John 3:16. We also know that we were created in His image from Genesis 1:27. It makes sense then that we would be most fulfilled when we are giving.
And here’s the lesson we can take away from 1 Kings 19. Elijah was weary and tired. He was beat down and didn’t feel like he had anything else to live for. He had no hope. But an angel of the Lord came and provided Elijah not with hope, not with a prophetic message, or an amazing story of redemption. The angel gave Elijah some bread and water and an opportunity to rest. He met Elijah’s physical needs.
40 days later, after an incredible journey, God reveals himself to Elijah!
Here’s the lesson we need to learn: When we can first minster to someones physical needs, we earn the opportunity to minister to their spiritual needs as well.
So often as Christians we focus on telling people about the love of Jesus instead of SHOWING them the love of Jesus by providing for their physical needs. To put it bluntly, do you really think someone who is struggling to pay rent this month or to feed their kids really wants to hear your testimony of how Jesus changed your life? Absolutely not! Instead they’re worried about taking care of the main essentials to life.
By taking care of their physical needs we provide an opportunity for God to reveal himself to them. We eliminate a barrier for that person to hear God’s voice in a whisper.
Of course, broke people can’t do this type of stuff. Broke Christians are too worried about taking care of their own rent and their own kids to be focused on how they can give to others.
So I’ll say it again. What would happen if the people of God would get out of debt, follow His instructions on how to manage money, and build ridiculous amounts of wealth? Could we solve the clean water problem around the world? What about hunger? Poverty? Sex-Trafficking? What else would we be able to do?