Matters of Faith: Unlimited Power from Limited Resources

By Reverend J. Loren Russell

1 Kings 17:1-16 (15-16) NKJV
“So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.”

There is a game show that I happen to like called “The Chase.” It is a trivia game that pits contestants against the European trivia genius, Mark Labbett, also known as “The Beast.” At the start of the show, the contestants are introduced. But before Labbett comes on the set, host Brooke Burns will say, “Unleash the Beast!” If he answers more questions than the combined efforts of the contestants, they lose the game and get no money. However, if “The Beast” cannot answer as many questions as the combined efforts of the contestants, they win all of the cash they have accumulated in their bank. They set it up like it’s a competition between the good contestants and the bad Beast.

I use that game show as somewhat of an analogy of what happens when someone is engaged in the competition for the salvation of souls and against the forces of evil. Just as the contestants on The Chase have studied and prepared themselves for their challenge, those who are commissioned by the Lord have been supernaturally prepared for the battle. They have spent time with the Lord in prayer and meditation, studied the Bible, fasted, and have assembled themselves together that they might strengthen each other. The major difference between the competition found in the game show The Chase, and the challenge encountered by the disciples of God is The Beast is unleashed in their lives by the limited or lack of resources available to them. It might be a drought in their finances, a lack of proper medical coverage, an inadequate salary, a dysfunction in their relationship, the sudden death of a loved one who did not have the resources to pay final expenses or to take care of their children. Any of these, or a myriad of other circumstances may have them feeling like the beast has been unleashed in their lives and the chase is on.

In your power and with your limited strength, you may not have the ability to out pace The Beast. But there is a power that is available from an unlimited source that can defeat The Beast and give you victory.

Elijah shows how obedience to the call and the direction of God in your life unleashes unlimited power even from limited resources. After he declares that there would be a drought throughout the land, the Lord instructs Elijah to go to the Brook Cherith, a flowing river that would soon dry up, the vegetation around it wither and the animals scattered. Yet the Lord sent him with the understanding that he would drink from the brook and ravens would feed him there.

Afterwards, the Lord sends him to Zarephath, a city on the Mediterranean Sea, where he is told to link up with a widow who would feed and house him. Interestingly, she had nothing more than a handful of flour and a little cooking oil, just enough for her and her son to eat their last serving of unleavened bread before they died.

Elijah follows the Lord’s instruction and was given water from a dried-up Brook, food from the mouths of scavengers, a meal from a handful of flour, and unlimited oil from a cabinet jar. The widow shows her obedience to the will of God and shares her last with the man of God. She and her son were fed until the drought was over. The Lord’s unlimited power provides from limited resources.

During these days of COVID-19, the fight against systemic racism, census chaos, election pandemonium, senatorial callousness, congressional confusion, supreme court tension, and a looming economic meltdown, it may appear that The Beast has been unleashed and the resources we have are inadequate to deal with them. We might feel like we are losing in The Chase. But rest assured, there is never a lack from the source of everything. Our God has unlimited power and brings everything we need, even from limited resources. Wherever the Lord leads, He feeds. Where He guides, He provides. He has unlimited power to bring all we need from limited resources.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; and creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE.

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