Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb

Monday, May 8, 2017

Divine Slickness

Oil.....
A lubricant that reduces friction. Holy Spirit is a symbol for oil. The Holy Spirit reduces the friction of life. He spiritually slicks me up and causes me to run and operate at a higher efficiency that I normally could. 
Oil.....
Produced in Bible times by the olive tree. The number of times the olives are crushed determine the purity of the oil. The oil produced by the first pressing or crushing was always given to the priests for use in the Temple to keep the lamps lit. God always gets the first fruits of everything. He deserves it!

In II Kings 4 we have the story of the widow's oil.
We have a widow whose husband has died. He was a member of the company of prophets associated with the prophet Elisha. Because of the husband's death, creditors have come around demanding that the family debts be paid off. The widow has no other source of income and, as such, stands to lose her two sons. The sons will be taken into indentured servitude until the debt is paid off or the year of jubilee happens. Jubilee is a year given by God where all debt was forgiven, all land returned to rightful owners and all slaves set free. This idea does not bring much comfort to the woman knowing that she will be left alone to fend for herself.

In verse 11, Elisha asks two questions that seemingly have nothing in common.
1.) "How can I help you?"
2.) 'What do you have in your house?"
Maybe the woman was thinking...."Why did he ask me what I had in my house? Does he want me to have a yard sale and get rid of all my personal belongings? Does this guy think that a yard sale is going to take care of my debt?"
Very strange questions.
The one thing about this story is that God wants us to see that the things we think are of no value.....the things we would never list as being a source of salvation or the answer to our problems, are the very things that God desires to use.
Why? Because when God uses the common things......the unsightly things...........the things that no one else would or could see the value of, He gets the glory. That's my God! In the hands of this widow, it would simply be a jar of oil......but given to God, it becomes so much more.

Notice what the woman says.....
"Your servant has nothing there at all...."
Then as an after thought, she says....."Except for a little oil."
Why not flour?
Why not mayonnaise?
Why oil?
Because God was teaching a lesson about Himself and His ability to this woman, using oil was a means of conveying the truth. 
Some commentaries have stated that the oil mentioned here in II Kings 4 story is probably a flask of anointing oil (since her husband was a prophet). When it comes to the Kingdom of God.....and His Holy Spirit............a little goes a long way.
A little faith moves mountains....
A little meal can feed 5,000......
A little portion of the Holy Spirit will empower you in ways you can't imagine.

Next Elisha tells her to go around to her neighbors and round up every pot and pan she can find.
Don't you know this little exercise opened the door to some mighty probing and interesting questions from her neighbors....
"Sure you can borrow my pots and pans. What are you doing? Having a family reunion? Cooking for a big family gathering hoo-ha!" Do you need some help with the meal?" It isn't a meal, what is it you're doing....you do know these are my good pots and pans."
Funny part in all of this, the poor woman was as clueless as the neighbors. She asked for help from the prophet Elisha, and now she is moving in obedience and faith. She doesn't know what is coming next, she only knows she is to carry out what she was told to do. You know, I want to be like that. I would have asked "TWENTY" questions to Elisha. 
1.)How many pots and pans do I need
2.) Does it matter what size they are.
3.) Do I need to arrange them in any certain order
4.) Why do I need all I can find...why not just 10 or 20.
5.) What does the flask of oil have to do with pots and pans.

The woman is instructed to go into her house and shut the door and begin to pour out the oil.
The house would symbolize our hearts.....
We already have written that oil is symbol of Holy Spirit.
Now the amount of oil the woman had did not change....she had a little.....
but as she began to pour, the oil did not run out.
You see when we look at God working in our lives....we sometimes don't see the full extent.
We see just little bits and pieces, yet as the work continues and we began to submit to the Holy Spirit more and more.....He never runs out. IT isn't that our container or home is bigger......We can keep pouring and allowing God to work because there is no end to what he can do.

That is why Proverbs 3:5-6 is so important to me.
It is a reminder that I must, must, must trust in the Lord with all my heart......The place where oil flows.....
And lean not on my own understanding....my brain....my noggin.....my intellect. 
The woman learned quickly that God provided for her and her family in ways that she never thought possible. From that little bit of oil that she possessed. When she looked, she saw a limited supply. When God looked, He saw unlimited healing and provision for her and her family.
I kind of like God's view better.
How 'bout you?

God on you.....
mb

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