Monday, February 1, 2010


Arthur Burt is a 97 year old preacher from the UK who has been a treasured spiritual influence in my life for almost 40 years. He began preaching so long ago that he traveled in a horse drawn covered wagon throughout the north of England. On one evangelistic tour he parked his wagon near a dairy farm run by a gentleman who was also a believer in Jesus. Being a generous man, he told Arthur,
"I have plenty of milk. If you want some in the morning to go with your breakfast, come on by. I'll give you all you want".
The next morning Arthur remembered the generous offer, picked up a coffee cup, climbed out of his caravan, and found the dairy farmer in the barn with the cows. When my preacher friend walked up holding his little cup, the farmer looked at Arthur, looked at the cup, looked at his cows, and then looked back at Arthur with disgust.
"Bucket or nothing!" he said.
"What?!" Arthur said.
"Bucket or nothing! I'm not going to waste my time filling up that little cup. If you want some of my milk, bring me a bucket... bucket or nothing!"
Arthur scratched his head, then ran off to get a bucket. Every morning the farmer filled it up.
Here is the moral of the story. Arthur frequently remembered the dairy farmer over the years as he was asking God for things. He discovered over and again that God wanted to do more for him than he wanted Him to. Often we go to Him with a coffee cup when He wants us to bring a bucket. Our lack of faith reminds me of this verse: "Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel" (Psalms 78:41).

II Kings 4 records the story of the poverty struck widow woman whose sons were about to become slaves to pay off a debt. When she appealed for help to Elisha the prophet, he asked her what she had in her house. She said,
"Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil. Then he said, 'Go borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors, empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones'" (I Kings 4:2-4).
This story has a happy ending. When she ran out of the empty pots the oil stopped flowing. Then, and only then did it cease! She had more than enough to pay off her debts and live on the rest. By faith, the widow woman tapped into the fullness of God.

The Lord didn't determine the amount of oil she got, she did. He never runs out. We just need to learn how to access heaven's bounty.
It is time to stop limiting God.

1 comment: