Those of us who grow house plants know how important it is to fertilize them regularly, especially during the growing season. We do this so that they receive the minerals and nutrients they need to produce healthy leaves and flowers. The plants that grow outside receive these needed elements through rain and snow. That is why I have a bucket on my balcony deck ready to receive the precious liquid to pour onto my houseplants. This past spring and summer we have been receiving such a consistent amount of rainwater that even the grass remains green in the heat of the summer.
The key to collecting the precious rainwater is having a container strategically located in the right place at the right time. Remember the story of Elisha and the widow in 2 Kings 4? The widow had been married to one of the company of prophets. Her husband was in debt when he died, and his creditor was going to take her two sons as slaves to satisfy the debt. She told Elisha that the only thing she had in her house was a small jar of oil. He instructed her to ask all her neighbors for empty jars, as many as she could gather. The widow was to take all the empty containers and pour oil from her jar into the empty jars. As long as there was an empty jar, the oil kept flowing. As soon as there were no more jars, the oil stopped flowing. The widow could sell the oil to the people of her community who used it for cooking, lamps and fuel. The Lord made her small blessing into bountiful provision because of her faith and willingness to obey.
The oil could not have been collected without a container to hold it! We read in 2 Timothy 2:20-21 that we are vessels of the Lord. "But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor, and some for dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel of honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work." (NKJV)
Just as God blessed the widow with oil for every one of her jars, He wants to bless us with the oil of the Holy Spirit. Without this anointing we are ineffective for the Kingdom of Heaven. God wants us to collect enough oil of the Spirit so that we can burn brightly for Him and stand out in a dark world.
How do we become those vessels of honor, sanctified for the Master's use and prepared for every good work? We must make ourselves available to Him so that when He is pouring out the anointing, we allow ourselves to be filled up. Just like my bucket had to be placed in a strategic location during periods of rain, we must place ourselves in His presence through worship and quiet meditation. This is the way to give the Holy Spirit unhindered access for Him to do what He desires. Only in the presence of God is their fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11) and abundant love (Psalm 86:5) and provision. (Psalm 132:15)
Joan E. Mathias