Chhristine Caine - Unlikely Miracles

Chhristine Caine - Unlikely Miracles

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Chhristine Caine - Unlikely Miracles

You know the thing that I've discovered after 30 years of following Jesus? I've discovered that God always sends highly unlikely people to highly unlikely places and gives them a highly unlikely assignment so that there is a highly unlikely result. God does not do things the way that everyone else does it. It's human nature to be wary of the unknown. The unknown is full of what-ifs. What if I don't make it? What if I'm rejected? What if I fail? Well, I have some what ifs for you. What if God is bigger than all your fears? What if God wants to do something new, something highly unlikely? I wonder, what if God wants to do that through you? I'm Christine Caine, and I have a personal mission to equip and empower people like you to connect with your God given purpose and potential. I'm so glad you're joining us today, let's get to the message.

Hey everyone! Hey everyone, how you all doing? I am so excited that you joined us today. I don't believe it's an accident that you've tuned in at this time. God has a word for you. Well I am so fired up. You know, I don't know if you've ever met someone, and perhaps you had a relationship formed on Facebook, and I mean a friendship, it doesn't have to be any other kind of relationship, okay, I know I said Spacebook but, and you kind of saw them then in the flesh when you went to meet them in real life to have a coffee and you went, whoa, you kind of were, look really unlikely, that is not like anything that I ever imagined. You ever come across anybody, and you're thinking, wow that profile, that person, that achievement, I was not expecting that body.

Well, I say that because that happens to me all the time. As in, it happens to me because often people will invite me to go and speak, and I get off the plane, and they're waiting for me in baggage claim or where you wait for the people to come, and I can see. Now, often what happens is they'll miss me. They'll just like, they're still looking. I've walked past them and they're still looking, or they're holding a sign that says, you know, Christine Caine, and I'm like, it's me, me, and they sort of like, look and looking somewhere else. I'm like, it's me! Because I need you to know, when I don't have this makeup on, I don't look like this.

And, because if people have seen me, either through TV with all of this makeup, or that I'm on a stage. I get off and I'm like five foot two on a good day with high heels. I'm like, five foot two, and just, no makeup, just flat hair, and just, and I see one person said to me, and they were trying to be polite, I could tell, like, is that it? Basically. And I went yep, this is about as good as it gets, I'm so sorry that all you've ever done is seen through TV or you've seen me on a stage at an event, but no, this is about as good as it gets. This person said to me, "Well you know, you're just like, really unlikely that you would be someone that helps to fight human trafficking, or that has this organization in 80 countries helping to empower women leaders, or a TV show". And I go, "I know, I know, God is desperate, God is so desperate that this is about the best that he can do".

I am living proof that God can use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and that God will use anybody that's willing. I always say that, the reason I think the Lord's using me is just because I haven't quit, and I keep turning up, and nobody else does, so it's like tag she's it. I'm definitely, God's like, I am going to look so good because people are going to know that she couldn't have done what she's done. But here is the deal, throughout history, from Genesis to revelation, God has always used highly unlikely people to do highly unlikely things in highly unlikely places so that he gets great glory in his life.

And in this series, we're going to look at someone in the Bible that was a very, very unlikely woman that God used to do something extraordinary in and through her life, and I am so grateful that you're watching this, because I'm believing that God's going to speak to you and something is going to come alive on the inside of you. You're sitting on the other side of the screen in your lounge room and you're sipping a beer, and you're working with the remote control, and you're just going, this is as good as life gets. And I'm here to tell you, that God's got so much for you. And you might be the most unlikeliest person in the world but God specializes in taking highly unlikely people and doing highly extraordinary things in and through their lives and you are one of those people, absolutely one of those people.

So, I want you to turn with me, in the Bible, to the book of 1 Kings. And the Bible says in 1 Kings 17, "Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead", see that's why Elijah the Tishbite of Tishbe, it makes me laugh. I think yes of course, that's why Elijah the Tishbite is from Tishbe, because Tishbe makes you a Tishbite, but anyway, "In Gilead, said to Ahab, 'as the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word'". So he just called a drought. Now, you know things are not going to be good when the prophet of God is calling a drought. You're like, fill the water bottles yesterday. Okay, "And the word of the Lord came to him: 'depart from here, turn eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, I have commanded the ravens to feed you there'".

I just love this. That God commands a bird to feed you. This is what I want you to know. Whatever your situation in life is, wherever you are, God can use absolutely anything or anybody to provide for you. God is not limited by the same limitations that we have. If God wants to get food to you via a bird, let me tell you, God can talk to a bird and tell a bird to come and bring food to you, that's the kind of God we serve, that's the kind of God we serve. "So he went and did according to the word of the Lord". Which is always a good thing to do, what the Word of God says. "He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan, and the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him, arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you'".

Listen, the only thing worse than getting a raven to feed you, is getting a widow. We're going to get to why that is actually, you would have thought, please God, you're going to get Bill Gates to feed me? Are you going to get maybe, you know, somebody that's got something, but no, a widow to feed you. "So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and he said, 'bring me a little water in a vessel, that I might drink'. And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, 'bring me a morsel of bread in your hand'. And she said, 'as the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug and now I'm gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we might eat it and die'".

She's obviously a very, very motivated person right here. This is the kind of person I'd be wishing God sent me to for provision right here, this is it. "And Elijah said to her, 'do not fear, go and do as you have said, but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, "The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth"'. And she went and did as Elijah said. And she, and he, and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke to Elijah".

I mean, what a story. So this happens during the time of king Ahab, and in chapter 16 verse 30 you need to hear. This is what kind of king this was. This king is verse 30 it says, "And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him". Imagine going down as one of the kings that did the most evil in the sight of the Lord, ever. So he was not a cool dude, he was pretty bad. And so, during the time of king Ahab, the Lord tells Elijah, I want you to go, and I want you to declare that there is going to be a famine in the land. There is going to be a drought in the land. So he went and did that. And so then he goes and he goes by the brook and the ravens bring him food morning and night, and then God goes, we're done with this, and now I want you to arise, and I want you to go to Zarephath.

Now, that might not sound like any cool place, but Zarephath, king Ahab, who was the king that did more evil in the sight of the Lord than all of the ones before him, he was married to a really interesting chick, and her name was queen Jezebel. And so I don't know if you've ever heard that, but it's not the kind of name you're going to name your daughter, so. Jezebel was a very, very evil woman as well, so they were very equally matched. Now Jezebel came from this place called Zarephath. In fact, it was the center of Baal worship. It's where they worship the God Baal, who was just evil, and I mean it was the epicenter of darkness. It was the epicenter of demonic activity. It was the epicenter of evil.

And so now, the Lord's telling the prophet, I want you to get up and I want you to go to this place. Now a lot of us would think, it is so dark, surely God has not sent me there. Surely God would be calling me to Santorini, or to Mykonos or to the Amalfi Coast. He would not be calling me to this place. But the interesting thing is the Lord told him to go to where Jezebel was from, where the epicenter of Baal worship was from, where he said there's going to be a widow there.

Now widows were the most marginalized people group of this time. She would have, she had no husband, therefore she was a non-entity, she was a non-person. They had no rights, they had no money, they had no identity. Outside of your husband you were nothing, you were a non-entity. To a widow who was on her last meal, but you know the thing that I've discovered, in the natural, this is not a story for a best-selling novel, because this is not where you would send him. If you were God, and you were wanting to show off, you're not thinking that I'm going to go and send him into the epicenter of darkness, into the epicenter of Baal worship where queen Jezebel is from, and I'm not going to send him to a widow who actually has nothing.

She's about to prepare her last meal and die. But you know the thing that I've discovered after 30 years of following Jesus? I've discovered that God always sends highly unlikely people to highly unlikely places, and gives them a highly unlikely assignment so that there is a highly unlikely result. God does not do things the way that everyone else does it. Man has a trajectory that says you need to be educated here, you need to have this amount of money, you need to be connected to this group of people, but God goes, no, I will pick people out of nowhere and I will use nobodies and turn them into somebodies and do something extraordinary with their life.

I remember when I was in my 20s with dreams of one day reaching the world with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Doing something significant, like, I didn't know what it was but I see a21 coming through or what we're doing with propel around the world. There was something in me, this sense of destiny. But if I didn't start where I was then I wouldn't be where I am, because where I am now, three decades later, is here now. And where I was three decades ago is there then. But when I was there then it was here now. And the only way I got there then is for here now to become there then, and there then to become here now. But most "here nows" never become "there thens" because we do nothing with here now talking about there then, and we never get to there then, which then becomes here now, and I hope you're all confused on the other side of the screen.

If you have just tuned in you are like, am I here now, or am I there then? But if I could get into you the value of here and now, it would change everything in your life. Because most of us so devalue here and now. You just think, man if I wasn't here now. And God goes, but you are here now, and here is the power I'm with you here now. And the fact that God is with you here now is what makes your here now supernatural that will take you to your there then. But you will not see the purpose that God has for your life if you devalue and you despise the day of small beginnings and you despise where you are here now. We are only ever here now.

You go, well Chris if I was just there where you are, there, so you're on the other side of the screen and you think I'm there, because I'm bringing this show to you. But I'm standing here. I'm not there, you're there. So you're there and I'm here. And you think I'm there and you're here, and that's what I mean. We're only ever all here, that's all there is now. And if we could just lose that illusion. I think social media's feeding that a lot. Man if only, if only that was me. If only that was my life. If only I was there. If only I had that spouse. If only I had that guy. If only I had that girl. If only I had that degree. If only I lived over there. If only I had that car. If only I had that opportunity. If only, if only, if only.

And we miss the purpose that God has for us, because we keep wishing for an if only, rather than saying, hang on a minute, I'm right here, I'm right now. And God is with me, right here and right now. And the thing that makes this amazing is God, it's not me anyway. It doesn't matter how talented I am or how gifted I am, if only is killing us. If only is thwarting so many of our destinies. If only I had something. If only I was thinner! If only I was smarter! If only I was richer! Well then what happens? You'll get thinner then it's like, if only I was thinnest. If only I was the smartest. If only I was the richest.

We spend our whole life trying to be "er", or "est", rather than acknowledging this is who we are right now. This is how God made me. I'm created in the image of God. There's not one accident in the Kingdom of God. He created me on purpose, and he created me for a purpose, before I ever got into my mother's womb. He fashioned together my innermost parts. He fashioned all of my days before as yet there was one of them. He has written all of my days down. I need to start living. I don't need to wait for if only. I don't have to wish that I was born at a different time or born to different parents, or had a different upbringing, or was better educated, or had more money, or was better connected, or if, all I'd live my life wishing that my life wasn't what my life is. But if I could just acknowledge that my life is on purpose and for a purpose than allow God to step into this purpose I would fulfill the purpose of God, it's not an accident. You are not an accident, no matter what has happened to you, no matter what pain or tragedy has come your way. And I'm not minimizing that.

I want you to know that no matter what parent may have said I wish you were never born, what teacher said you are dumb, you are stupid, you'll never amount to anything, a spouse that might have walked out on you and said you are not even worth loving, I'm here to tell you that is a lie from the pit of hell. You're created by God in the image of God and you are filled with God-given purpose and God-given destiny. There are no accidents in the Kingdom of God. But we've got to let go of if only. And we've got to let go of there and then. Man, when I get there. The amount of people that I meet that are like, one day when I get there Chris, when I get there where you are, when I'm writing books, when I'm, then I'm going to start living for God. I'm like, are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?

If you cannot live for God where you are it's not going to happen there and then. If you can't stay faithful as a single purpose, you're not likely to remain faithful when you're married. Ooh, now I'm meddling. The fact is, what you do here and now is going to determine what you're going to if you can't follow Jesus faithfully here and now, I don't know why you think if you're given a bigger platform you're going to be more faithful to God. If you are mismanaging the resources that Jesus has given you here and now, I don't know why you think God would give you more resources to mismanage. I don't know why you think if there was more visibility, man if I just had more followers, if I just had more p, then, then I'll just give God all the glory.

I go, how 'about you just live for the glory of God now? Rather than live a life of compromise now and thinking that God needs you to just tip your hat off to him when you make it. 'cause the deal is, how we are here now is likely to be how we're going to be there then, and the muscle, and the resilience, and the character you build here and now is going to determine what you're going to be able to handle there and then.

You know, the fact is that my here now, way back when I started, was working in a community-based youth center. We started it from scratch. I was going out and speaking to 20 kids in a youth group in places called Wagga Wagga. 20 kids here, 15 kids here, driving eight hours to talk to 15 kids. Do you wonder why God allows me to talk to millions today? But if I was devaluing 15 kids when I was back there, that was my here now, then I wouldn't be talking to millions here now that was there then, 30 years ago. So I don't know how we think we're going to do it there if we're not prepared to do it here. You know, when I was filling out government applications and working at a community-based youth center 30 years ago just pioneering community-based evangelism and a real different way of reaching the lost.

You know people just used to mock me and go, "You're wasting your time, and you should be", you know if wasn't doing that back then, I don't think there would be an A21 today. So today we're in 15 countries, and working with the European Union, and with the United Nations, and law enforcement around the world, and Thai Internet Crimes and so many other great organizations around the world. None of that would be happening here now if I wasn't doing the youth center back there then. Because there then was my here now.

Highly unlikely, nobody back then would have seen a global anti-trafficking organization, but I had it in my heart. But if I wasn't doing something there, if I wasn't speaking to women around the world and helping to serve women from the late 1990s. I know for some of you, you didn't even know there was a last century but there was. There wouldn't be propel, 4.000 chapters in 80 countries around the world today. The amount of women's ministry meetings I've been to, the amount of tea towels I've been given as beautiful offerings from people around the world. I have a great collection. For speaking to women. But if I didn't do that, do you think there would be a propel today?

And so many of us, all we do is talk about one day, one day there, there and then man, when I get there and then! And we're not doing anything here and now. What are you doing here and now to build good friendships so that there and then you will be a great friend? How are you keeping yourself morally pure in the here and now as a single person, so there and then when you're married you'll stay faithful, you'll stay faithful? How are you growing in the things of God here and now so that he can trust you with a little and give you a lot? He who is faithful in small scriptures says, will be faithful in much. So maybe it's time that we stop scrolling through everybody's there and then life, and start living our here and now life for the glory of God, in Jesus' name.

Maybe that's what we've got to start doing! And as we stay faithful here and now with whatever God has put in our hand and not wait for one day when my life becomes perfect, because it never will, it never will. You only always will have here and now, and here is the key to stepping into your God-given destiny. It's understanding the power that the same spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives with you right here, right now, and can transcend any circumstance to take you into the purpose of God, in Jesus' name, in Jesus' name.

Hey everyone, I am so grateful that you've joined us today. I know that God has orchestrated that you have tuned in to this program at this time and that God has a word for you. I am loving this series. We are talking about the way that God uses highly unlikely people in highly unlikely places. He gives them highly unlikely assignments and fulfills a highly unlikely result through their life and you know, I'm living proof of that. If you've ever heard the scripture that says God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise I want you to tell you, herein lies exhibit a of that.

That is, you could actually put my picture in front of that. It would be just like our glorious, gracious, Father in heaven to take a girl that was left in a hospital in Sydney Australia in 1966. Unnamed and unwanted, sexually abused for 12 years at the hands of four men. Grew up in the poorest zip-code in my state and the daughter of Greek immigrants, very marginalized because of my ethnicity, it would be just like God to take a girl with that kind of background that should've been a statistic that should've just been a no-hoper.

But I am living, living proof that God would take someone left like that and then raise her up by his grace and allow her the privilege of leading a global anti-trafficking organization where not only do I help to rescue victims of abuse and victims of sex trafficking and to help convict traffickers and help put them in jail and see justice being served, it would be just like God to take this unnamed, unwanted, abused, adopted girl from the back of nowhere and say not only am I going to save your life but now I'm going to use you to turn around and open the prison doors for so many others that are bound.

That's the kind of redemption that our God does. That's the kind of grace that our God does. He takes a girl that was so disesteemed because of my gender and ethnicity and says oh I might just use her to lead a global women's movement and see thousands of chapters in 80 countries around the world helping to empower women, helping to speak life into women. That's what God does. I want this series to convince you that God wants to use you because even as I'm talking you've got 1000 reasons going through your head going Chris, I'm just unlikely.

You don't know where I'm from, you don't know what I've done, you don't know what I'm not able to do. And you're exactly right, I don't know where you're from and I've got no clue what you've done and I don't know what your limitations are but I do know who God is and I do know what he is able to do and I know that he's able to exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond anything you can ask, hope or think according to that power that works on the inside of us. It is never about what we can't do, it's about who he is. It's about who he is and I want to unleash on the earth a generation of believing believers that dare to believe that God is who he says he is, that God can do what he says he can do, that we are not crippled by fear and doubt and unbelief, but we're a generation of believing believers.

I want people to look at us at A21 and go "But God" because we all know that. Only God could do that. I want them to look at propel and go how is this thing exploding, it must be God. I'm like yes it is only God. None of us are smart enough, none of us are talented enough, none of us are gifted enough, none of us are good enough. I don't want something that only I can do, I want something that blows my mind because only God can do it, that's the kind of life that I want to live. A life that would blow his mind.

And so, here we are in the book of 1 Kings and we'll just recap the story of the widow of Zarephath when the word of the Lord came to him, him being Elijah. "Arise and go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon and dwell there. Behold I have commanded a widow there to feed you". We're in the time of drought and so now the prophet has been sent to Zarephath which is where Jezebel is from, into the epicenter of Baal worship, a place of darkness, a place of evil and a place of famine and hunger. So he arose and he went to Zarephath. And he came to the gate of city, behold a widow was there gathering sticks and he called to her and said, "Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I might drink".

And as she was going to bring it he called to her and said, "Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand". And she said, "As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing to bake, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I might go in and prepare it for myself and my son that we might eat it and die". And I'm feeling so encouraged right now. This is fantastic. And Elijah said to her, "Do not fear. And do as you have said. But first, make me a little cake and bring it to me, and afterward make something for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel. The jar of flour shall not be spend and the jug of oil shall not be empty until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth". And she went and she did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke to Elijah.

So we see in this text that Elijah was sent to a very unlikely place. It was the place that was Zarephath and we've all recognized that not only was he sent to an unlikely place, the most unlikely place that most of us have sent to is right where we are right now. That's the place we're trying to run from. You know, that home, that school, that university, that job, that workplace, that community, that place where we think one day God's going to use me over there. He's saying no honey, I've sent you here.

Right here, I think we want God to go well you know, like God I've got the slickest scientifically, empirically verifiable method. God this is going to make you look so good on Twitter. God can you do this 'cause I can make you look so good. And God's like no thanks, gentile widow, last meal, that's what I like. That's what God specializes in. I mean like it's really embarrassing if we have to tell the truth. I get around some of my academic, intellectual, elitist friends. I'm like I know, it's like Chris like that's dumb. I know, I know. I don't know what to say to you. I don't know what to say but this like God, he burped one day, earth oops look what he did. And there it go, I don't know it's God. Like you argue with him, it's God. But the way he often provides for us is not the way that you would expect.

Some of the biggest provisions that we've had for our life and what God's called us to do have come out of places where I'm like, I would never have expected. I would never have expected that person to give that. I would never have expected for us to receive resources from that person. I would never have expected God to bring that kind of person on the team that would fill such a big hole and that would solve such a big deal. Some of you are limiting God because you've got a preconception of how you think God should be moving in your situation but if you would actually just take your preconceptions off and your blinkers off and you start saying God, I am willing to be embarrassed if need be, but I'm going to do it your way, not my way.

Then God might just have a widow waiting to provide for you. God might just have a widow waiting to provide for you. I've seen it happen like this in my life. Time, too many times to not do it this way anymore and so this woman was not the best candidate for provision. Not at all but you know she actually turns up. I want to read this to you 'cause she turns up in the New Testament, in the very first sermon that Jesus preaches. In Luke chapter four I want you to see this in verses 25 to 26. This is after Jesus, remember when he opened the scroll in the temple. He said, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me". I mean this is Jesus' first sermon in the temple and then he comes out and again, there are more words in red and we know that Jesus always spoke in red.

So this is how it came out, this is how we know it's him. And in verse 24 it says, and he said, "Truly I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But in truth I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the heavens were shut up three years and six months and a great famine came over the land and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow". It's quite wild, there were many but he was only sent to one. It's so interesting to me that there must be something so significant about this woman of Zarephath that she turns up in the first sermon that Jesus preached in the New Testament. God has always used really unlikely people to do really unlikely things in really unlikely places.

See a lot of times we think God give me favor with the influence makers. It all starts with highly unlikely people and so often we limit the plans and the purposes of God because we want what's popular. We want what will be approved of by men. We want what will be applauded by men. We want what will look really good on our Instagram feed. We want something that is going to be given high notoriety by man. We want something that seems empirically verifiable, scientifically rational. Someone that's got the right degrees and all the right letters and we think man, if all those pieces fit then something awesome is going to happen and God's going hey, I might just do it my way and the way that I've done it is that I always use really unlikely people.

People that other people overlook. People that other people discard. No, not the coolest. Not necessarily the skinniest jeans and the greatest tats. In fact I might even use a 52-year-old chick without tats. I don't know, is that cool to say in the 21st century? I don't have tattoos, I don't know. But I might just use the ones that everyone else discards, the ones that everybody else overlooks. The ones that think they're too old, the ones that think they're not talented enough, the ones that think maybe just like you, that you're sitting there going man, could God do anything with someone like me? And I'm here to say yes. God can literally do anything with anyone, he is God and we are not. He is infinite and we are finite. He is able to do the impossible. He is able to do so much more than you could ever imagine if you would just trust your flawed self into the hands of an infinitely wonderful, gracious, unflawed God.

You'd be astounded by what God could do in and through your life. You would be astounded by what God could do. And so the fact of the matter is, that God has always confounded the wise with foolish things. That's what makes him God. He reserves the right to be God, probably because he is God. You know, it's like I am God and that's what I want to do. So it might not make sense to us. So I think the more we can get out of our own heads and trust God rather than try to work out who God wants to use we'd find that God would use a whole lot more of us. I don't know what it was about me 30 years ago but there was just something, I mean I had nothing going for me. Nothing, nothing.

I was so broken, man it wasn't just what had been done to me through abuse and pain. Listen, I'd committed my own fair share of sins, don't you worry, of my own volition. I didn't need anybody helping me. My own sinful nature led me to enough. And so I had done enough that I thought I've disqualified myself. There is no way God could use someone like me after everything that I've done and everywhere that I'd be, how could God? And then something happened. I was sitting in a verse just like something like this you could be watching on the other side of the screen and I just believed it. I just went you know what, why not? If this is true, if what that preacher's saying is true that God could actually use the most broken, the most marginalized, the ones that have failed the worst, the ones that are unworthy of it all, then God, I've basically got a 4.0 in all of that. I've got a 4.0. I am that person.

See many of you, you might see me today and go well wow, Chris and Nick by God's grace have got a great marriage, she's raised two daughters and you know, she's got a flourishing ministry with A21 and propel and books and TV and you see me now but the now is only because of where I was there and then and what I chose to believe back there and then to say you know what? God could use anyway. I wasn't always here. I was there, for longer than I was here and the there is what brought me here and how I am here is going to determine how I get there. The point is wherever you are, however you are, however unlikely you feel you are the perfect candidate for God to be able to do absolutely amazing things in and through your life. Anyone is. This stuff is real.

People go Chris how are you so passionate about it? Because I live it. Because I am a product of it. It can't get anymore complicated than this. God will use you if you are willing to be used but then don't go and complain to him and say I feel used. It cracks me up. People are like God used me. Some of you, you're too young to remember, but back in the day at Hillsong we had, I think Darlene Zschech wrote a song, "The Potter's Hand". You know, take me, make me, break me, mold me, use me and then next week on the altar, I feel so used, I feel so broken and I'm like honey, you sang the song.

Okay, so the point is you sang the song. So then when we ask God to use us don't be shocked when God uses us. And so then he gave her a very, very unlikely strategy. Not only did he send Elijah to an unlikely person, he gave that unlikely person a unlikely strategy. Now Elijah made a really strange request in this text and it always cracks me up. Because he says, "I want you to bring me a morsel of bread". I want you to bring me. She goes I can't. I can't, I'm about to make my last bit and we're going to die, we're going to eat and it die and he says oh okay that's cool, you can do that but first, but first, bring me.

Now I'm just trying to wonder what the media would do with this today. Prophet comes to town and takes last piece of bread off the widow, that's all he wants is her money and her bread, that's what he came after. Could you imagine what they would do with this? This would be huge. Prophet gets widow to give him last bit of food. I'm telling you, thank God this was before the internet, thank God. So he says to her in verse 11, bring me a little piece of bread and she says which is our instant reply, I don't have any. I don't have any because all she could see is what she didn't have. She didn't have the finished product at this point, she didn't have it but she didn't realize. She goes I've only got a handful of flour, I've got a little bit of oil, just a little bit. And I've got a handful of flour here. What she didn't realize was in her hands were the ingredients for a miracle.

The ingredients for a miracle are always in our midst but so often because we don't see the end result we devalue the ingredients. She said I haven't got it and yet she's got, this is all it takes. This is all it takes to make, and God says, I've given you the ingredients. You're looking for the end result, you're looking for the manifestation of the end result, of the miracle but you're devaluing, I put the flour in your hand, I've given you a little bit of oil. You don't realize that when that comes together in my hands, that becomes more than what you need. But you're devaluing. God always puts the ingredients of a miracle in our midst. But God cannot multiply what you do not recognize and so when we start recognizing what God has given us and you know what, we've looking for the end result. Where is it all? When I get here, when I do that, when I and God says no no no, you've got it right here, there's a little bit of oil, there's a little bit of flour, they're the ingredients, put them in my hand and I'll take your little and I'll make a lot and it will not run dry, you will not run out. There will be more than enough.

That's how it works with God. But all she saw, she was minimizing the potential that was in the jar. Because she devalued this. And she didn't understand what could happen to this in the hands of God. I don't know what's in your hand right now. I don't know what it is that you're minimizing right now. I don't know what it is that you're devaluing but you're saying to God I've only got a little bit of flour. And I've only got a little bit of oil and God's like and I don't understand what the problem is. And then you go back to him, God let me explain this to you again. I've only got this, and I've only got, and God's going I know. I don't know why you're despising the I don't know why you think you need more than this. I didn't ask you for what you don't have, I'm just asking for all of what you do have. But we don't want to give all of what we do have so we keep complaining about what we don't have.

And God says the faith risk is you actually just giving me everything that you've got. But you see you recognize that this isn't even enough. You're saying I'm just going to take a bit of this. This is how irrational it is when we hang onto things rather than give them to God. I actually don't have enough, I don't have enough to pay the house off, I don't have enough to pay the car off, I don't have enough to pay my college debt off. I don't have enough to do all of this but I'm going to keep the little bit that I do have so that I can just swallow this and die. Do you realize how illogical that is? How much we hang on to stuff, I'm just hanging on. I'm going to hang onto this and die and God goes, would you trust me, the issue here is faith.

God doesn't need this much oil or that much oil, he needs, he's God. Doesn't matter how much flour you've got, it's irrelevant to God. The test isn't how much flour and how much oil, the test is how much trust. God's asking you how much do you trust me? Every time when it comes, on the edge of a miracle, every time it's a trust issue. God's saying will you trust me? Will you trust me? And you're like no. I'm going to hang on to what I've got. Will you trust me? Will you leave that group of friends because they're really taking you down the wrong path? Will you step out and trust me with this new initiative because I've got a great, great plan for you. I'm not asking you for what you don't have, I'm saying what treasure do you have? What time do you have, what talent do you have? Are you willing to give me the time and the treasure and the talent that you do have and stop complaining about what you don't have?

'Cause the issue's always a trust issue, it's not an amount issue. Your little bit of oil, whether it's a full jar or a little bit of a, you're not going to make God richer or poorer with that. You are not going to actually help God do his miracle at all with any of that, it's irrelevant. What's always being tested is your trust. In every area of our lives at every stage and every age of our life, God's asking us, do you keep trusting me? Do you keep trusting me? And it doesn't get easier with time. God proves himself more faithful over time but us trusting him is a choice continually over time. And so the issue is will you continue to do that? Because what the devil wants to do is he wants you to devalue the little bit that you have. He wants you to devalue and say you know what?

There's no point serving at all because the little bit of time that you've got, it's useless. There's no point getting into the Bible at all, what's 10 minutes, that's a waste of time. Don't even bother. There's no point you know, studying that, what's the point of doing one subject, it's going to take you 10 years to get there. And all he keeps doing is devaluing the small because the point is he's got you convinced it's got to do with the amount. But what it really is is got to do with, he doesn't want you to trust God. So it wouldn't matter if it was a full jar or a half jar, he just doesn't want you to give any of the jar to God because he doesn't want you to trust God because he knows that if you step over and you trust God with whatever little bit that you've got, whatever it is that you've got, your little in the hands of a big God makes a preparation for a huge miracle in Jesus' name.
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