Serving In Your Struggle

Rikhard Hartikainen Blog Leave a Comment

1 Kings 17:8, “Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me also more morsel of bread in your hand.” So she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I might go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat and then die.” And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterwards make some for yourself and your son.””

I want to share a little secret. Many of us have been seeing people receiving freedom, people you know or their family members receiving an incredible miracle. Some of us are coming to church but still have a certain problem in our lives.

The widow of Zarephath find found herself in a very severe struggle. There were three choices that she made. It wasn’t that things just happened by chance; she made a conscious decision to do three different things. Three things made a way for the widow to receive breakthrough in her life.

I have seen and experienced that God actually makes a way out of bondage when you find yourself in a struggle and you submit to serve in the middle of it. By serving in struggle, I mean pouring out of yourself.

Choose Obedience Over Offence

The Widow of Zarephath could have been offended but she chose to be obedient. This was the first choice she made in the midst of her struggle that eventually led her out of it.

When you are in church and you experience a struggle, many times a pastor will come to you and ask you to give a little more. I am not talking financially but about serving, ministering and pouring out of yourself. As a Christian that is what you are called to do. Many of us have found ourselves in that situation just like the Widow of Zarephath, where we could have easily have chosen offence instead of obedience. She didn’t know that at that point, the way out she was looking for would come in the form of a minister of God asking her for a little more.

Do Not Give Up

She could have given up but she chose to go on. She was gathering sticks, at the end of the line and then a situation arose. The man of God came to her and said can you give something small. The widow could have chosen to go back home to her house of starvation, isolation and poverty.

Many of us choose to go back to the house of spiritual starvation, infirmity, rejection, isolation and bondage.

What is your situation today maybe you find yourself in a similar situation like her you have heard many testimonies people have experienced deliverance, healing, breakthrough, and salvation in their family and here you have the opportunity to go back home to the home of bondage or choose to go on.

Make An Effort – Don’t Miss The Opportunity

The Widow of Zarephath could have missed the opportunity but she chose to make an effort when the opportunity came to her through the man of God.

She had been praying for God to make a way for her son and herself to survive. The Bible says that God told Elijah I have commanded a widow to serve you. She heard from God but could have still missed the opportunity if she chose not to show up. She could have stayed at home waiting for the man of God to come to her house but she chose to make an effort in the midst of her struggle.

We always think that we know how God should answer our prayers. How many have prayed for something and God didn’t answer that prayer the way we expected?

We often ask God for things but He doesn’t always provide them the way we expect. We pray for deliverance, healing or breakthrough or salvation of our family. That is good but the way in which God does it may differ. The woman prayed God provide for me and my son then there came this insensitive man of God from the wilderness. She could have pushed it aside but she realized that this was the opportunity. On came the answer to her prayers as she served in her struggle, as she ministered in her misery and she poured out of herself in the middle of her poverty. God made a way out of her house of starvation.

Maybe you feel similar. The opportunity may be right under your nose. People of God, don’t miss the opportunity. Even when it doesn’t feel like you want to do it, still obey. His ways are not our ways. When you pray, don’t limit God by expecting the way in which that answer will come.

Deliverance Is Our Inheritance

What God has in store for you it’s not something you win by luck. Change your mindset and understand that this is the inheritance of the Saints. You don’t come to church hoping to win some kind of lottery; you come to church to reclaim what is rightfully yours.

Philippians 2:12, “Therefore my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work our your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
I believe that at the point of salvation when you accept Jesus Christ in your life, you are adopted into the royal family of God. Our spirit is saved from the grip of the devil through salvation but we must fight with fear and trembling… Click To Tweet

Your enemies do not want you to walk in your freedom. In other words, it is your inheritance but you still have to fight for it. Deliverance is the inheritance of the saints; it is rightfully yours. Sometimes we have to fight for what is rightfully ours.

God is not so concerned with how you receive deliverance as your freedom. God is not so much concerned about your healing but continued good health. How we receive or experience things differs.

The problem is that many of us choose to identify with our circumstances, instead of fighting for what is ours. The Widow of Zarephath could have identified with her house of suffering and let her situation define her but chose to serve her way out of her struggle.

Don’t Let Your Struggle Define You

Luke 22:32, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Jesus said this prior to Peter’s denial of Jesus Christ. Jesus said I pray that your faith will not fail yet Peter failed drastically. Have you ever thought about this? When Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary, from the point that Peter denied Him, he never saw Him again before the resurrection. Peter never had the chance to come to Jesus and repent. Can you imagine the guilt and condemnation that he was battling with? Peter’s situation could have defined him just like the Widow of Zarephath. He could have accepted the definition of ‘Simon – the hot-tempered man, the failure, the ear cutter, the rebel, the one who betrayed Jesus Christ’ – but Jesus Christ told him I have prayed Peter that even if you fail, your faith shall not fail.

Jesus defined Peter. He said you are Peter and, on this rock, I will build my church. Peter chose to take how Jesus Christ defined him and though he might have failed in some way, his faith didn’t fail. Peter chose to be the Rock Christ called him to be, even though he had a moment of weakness.

Maybe you are in a situation where your failure, poverty or infirmity defines you. Jesus Christ defines you that you are more than a conqueror, no matter what situation you may go through. Jesus promised He will be with you until the end of days. The definition of Jesus Christ is different from how the world defines you.

The Widow of Zarephath could have chosen to be defined by her lack. She chose to be defined by the promise of God. As she took the opportunity, as she obeyed, God made a way out of her struggle. She served her way out of her struggle and never again was there lack in her house. There are some situations where you have to outgrow, out give, out pray, out fast and outlast that struggle. Do not allow your failure, circumstances or challenges to define you. You may experience rejection or isolation that doesn’t mean that your faith has failed.

Sermon By Rikhard Hartikainen; Blog By Edward Gardiner

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