Walking In The Overflow
One day Elisha went to the town of Shunem. A wealthy woman lived there, and she urged him to come to her home for a meal. After that, whenever he passed that way, he would stop there for something to eat. She said to her husband, “I am sure this man who stops in from time to time is a holy man of God. Let’s build a small room for him on the roof and furnish it with a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp. Then he will have a place to stay whenever he comes by.” One day Elisha returned to Shunem, and he went up to this upper room to rest. He said to his servant Gehazi, “Tell the woman from Shunem I want to speak to her.” When she appeared, Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tell her, ‘We appreciate the kind concern you have shown us. What can we do for you? Can we put in a good word for you to the king or to the commander of the army?’” “No,” she replied, “my family takes good care of me.” Later Elisha asked Gehazi, “What can we do for her?” Gehazi replied, “She doesn’t have a son, and her husband is an old man.” “Call her back again,” Elisha told him. When the woman returned, Elisha said to her as she stood in the doorway, “Next year at this time you will be holding a son in your arms!” “No, my lord!” she cried. “O man of God, don’t deceive me and get my hopes up like that.” But sure enough, the woman soon became pregnant. And at that time the following year she had a son, just as Elisha had said.” 2 Kings 4:8-17 NLT
There is an interesting phenomenon I am seeing become manifest in my life. On Friday, someone gave me a purse. It wasn’t the first gift purse I have received these past few months (as a matter it was the fourth). Yet, it was the first purse I received that made me take note that something was happening in my life. In addition to the purse, I have received jewelry, an offer for some gently used size 12 shoes (trust me – this is near miraculous), and a free month membership at the gym amongst other items. What made me pause is they were all answered prayers that those who gave them to me had no idea that I needed, desired, or prayed for. And before you think I am drawing unnecessary conclusions, I noticed all of this AFTER I declared this year I would intentionally give more of my time and resources to being the hands and feet of Christ.This phenomenon is based on the biblical principle of your giving and serving the Lord being directly tied to answered prayers and opened doors. This principal is best displayed in the story of the Shunammite woman. She is introduced to us in 2 Kings as she interacts with the prophet of God, Elisha. Noticing his need, without asking or prompting, she offers her home as a resting place for a meal. This is noteworthy in itself; but, not only does she invite Elisha to her home once, she goes and prepares a room for Elijah to have as he travels on the Lord’s business. A room that the Bible tells us he used often. So often that Elijah the prophet one day called the woman in and asked what she desired because he wanted to give her something in return. Her service to Elijah opened a door. Although she originally kept secret from Elijah her innermost heart desires, he soon found out. She desired a child. And because of her service to Elisha and to the Lord, she received an unexpected blessing and answer to her prayers. The Shunammite woman was walking in the overflow. She was walking in the overflow of her service and her giving. And because of her unselfish desire to serve the Lord and to give to others, the Lord blessed her through Elijah and gave her a son.The Bible clearly speaks that obedience leads to a blessed life (Deuteronomy 7:9), so why not giving and service? I do not support the concept of prosperity preaching (pimping) and giving beyond what you have, but God does desire sacrifice and God does reward those who take care of the least of these. He takes care of those that follow His will, give to the poor, and those that simply serve Him. If you desire to see an increase in your life, beyond finances, then I encourage you to give and serve more. Help others more. Be the hands and feet of Christ in whichever way that God calls you and you too will walk in the overflow. The overflow of faith, the overflow of patience, the overflow of love, and yes, even the overflow of answered prayers.