The title of our teaching today is actually a verse found in Mark 14:8. This is the story of the woman who took the alabaster box and broke it and used the ointment to anoint the Lord for His burial. And you’ll remember that He said that this would always be spoken of in her behalf as a memorial. Have you ever wondered why this is the only memorial spoken of in the New Testament besides the Lord’s Supper? Could it be that this woman saw something very deep and spiritual? I think this is the case. She had great faith because she anointed the Lord for His burial.
The Lord would not have said this if this were not the intent of her heart. She saw ahead of time in her heart that He was going to die and “she did what she could.” She didn’t have much, but what she did have she freely gave; because she saw something much greater than herself and her personal need and circumstances. And if you’ll study the gospels carefully on a regular basis you will note that this event is the “straw that broke the camel’s back” so-to-speak for Judas. For it was because of this incident that he went out and made the deal with the priests to betray the Lord. Now that can’t be a coincidence. I think her faith spoke so loud, that it put a demand on every man’s conscience in that moment, and Judas’ conscience was already seared and this sealed the deal for him. One act of faith moved the Lord to love and to set a memorial up for her; and at the same time it sealed the doom of another.
This reminds me of another story that R. W. Schambach told many years ago. He used to travel with A.A. Allen during the healing/revival movement. One day a lady came up to him and asked him (R.W.) if A.A. Allen could pray for her son. But A.A. had already gone back to his trailer and he didn’t like to be disturbed in the afternoons because he was resting and getting ready for the evening service. So R.W. told her this and she was a bit disappointed because she needed to leave and go back to the hospital where she had taken her son out of to come to the meeting. R.W. asked her to stay for the evening meeting and if A.A. didn’t pray for her son then he would take her and her son back to the trailer after the service so that he could pray for her.
She then told R.W. that she only had $20.00 to her name and was going to use this for gas and a bite to eat for her and her son and she wasn’t sure if she could stay. That night R.W. saw her in the audience. A.A. Allen came out and the first thing he said was, “The Lord told me that His people need to learn how to give out of their need.” Then he said that if you had a need this night, then do your part first and show the Lord your faith. This lady ran full speed to the front, and being the first one there she slammed some money in the offering bucket. R.W. walked over and looked in and saw she had put in a $20.00 bill and he went out back behind the tent and wept like a baby.
After the offering, A.A. said that he saw a little boy in a hospital…but wait, then he saw the boy in the state where he was…but wait again, then he saw the boy in the city where he was…but wait once more, because then he saw the boy in the tent. Now what A.A. didn’t know is that the boy had 26 major deformities, illnesses, and diseases. Then he said, “Woman, are you ready?!!! And all of a sudden the power of God hit that boy, and bones started cracking, limbs started moving, and I’ll let you guess the rest of the story. Suffice it to say that a boy got healed of 26 major ailments. R.W. saw it all happen in front of his own eyes.
This reminds me of another story taken from 1st Kings 17 in which Elijah is told to go to Zarephath and find a certain widow woman. He goes and finds this woman and asks her to get him something to drink. As she’s leaving, he tells her to bring him something to eat also. She tells him she has nothing but a little meal and a bit of oil and she was going to make a cake of meal and share it with her son and then die. You’ll remember that there was a famine in the land because of Elijah praying for no rain for three years!! Guess what Elijah told her? Go and make that cake and bring it back here and give it to me first.
Now some would say that is downright cruel and selfish. But if you really think it through, it must have been humiliating on Elijah’s part to have to ask this of her. But you see, so many people can only see and live in the natural. They have no real acuity for spiritual truth or life in the Spirit. They only judge by what they hear or see in the natural. These people will live and die never having entered in to life in the Spirit, because they will not allow their hearts to be enlarged and therefore they just cannot see a little bit deeper…a little bit further. You see, Elijah was drawing her into faith, he was bringing her into a whole new realm of thinking and believing, he was giving her the opportunity to sow into God’s work and God’s kingdom by planting her seed (her little bit of oil and meal) first. And she was able to see the truth of it. She gave to God first; not considering her own needs or even the needs of her son. This woman gave out of her need and she and Elijah and her household ate for many days.
But it’s not so much that God blessed her in the natural as much as what she walked away with spiritually. She gleaned a truth that she would be able to use the rest of her life. The truth concerning sowing and reaping. It says in Genesis 8:22 that as long as the earth remains there will be seedtime and harvest. This widow ran headlong into a truth that forever changed the way she prayed, the way she believed, and the way she lived. She became a partaker of the first spiritual law to be instituted on the earth…the law of sowing and reaping.
I can’t speak for anyone else (nor would I attempt to) but as for me and my house, we are going to give and sow out of our need. Because faith will not and cannot be denied!! Faith, hope, and love abide. God is faithful. Can you believe Him today…can you really? A lot of folks can acknowledge this with their lips…but when the rubber meets the road, the natural usually wins out at the end of the day. It’s so hard for people to let go of the old wineskin and believe in the new. I remember Kenneth Hagin saying one time that most people will never enter into God’s best because they believe in the natural and are just so used to living in that realm. This is a sad state of affairs indeed.
God has so much more for us if we could just believe Him. He said, “When the Son of man returns, will he really find faith on the earth?” Wow!! What a question…because we know “that without faith (believing in something that you cannot see) it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God.” But I’m afraid that most do the same thing the children of Israel did in Psalm 78:41…they “limited the Holy One of Israel.” They put Him in a box and said that He could only do so much and no more. My friends, God is so much greater and so much bigger than your box. Can you let God really break through all the barriers and all the walls in your heart and in you life? Can you really? Can you really believe again? If you want God to move in your life, then learn a basic biblical principle: He wants you to do something first. You step out and then He’ll do all the rest. The prodigal son started walking His way and then the Father saw Him and ran the rest of the way (the only time in scripture that God ran). Why did God run? Because He saw faith in action!! And faith will not be denied!!
Is God “running” your way?