One question that Christians often ask is, "How can I be a Christian and earn money from a business? Is it in God's will for me to be an entrepreneur?"

While no one can answer the question about whether or not it is right for you to become a business-woman or business-man, you can find many instances in the scriptures where the Lord God blessed the entreprenerial endeavors of His faithful servants. I will share one such incident with you, in which a woman looked for God's provision and was very surprised at the way He provided it. It was through an entrepreneurial miracle!

The Prophet's Widow

Remember the story in the Old Testament about the widow and her sons?

Let me refresh your memory. Her husband who was a prophet had died. Sometime later, she was without an income and lacking the necessities for providing for her family. Furthermore, was facing major debt and the creditors were demanding payment.

She had done all that she knew to do. Now, she was at her wits end. (You know, in our language today, "at her wits end" means she was going crazy!) She was feeling the pressure, and she needed answers.

No doubt about it . . . she needed a miracle. One of God's "P"s that put poverty on the run!

#1 Preparation

You gather the vessels . . .

Even though the pressure was mounting and the creditors were ready to put her sons on the auction block to sell them as slaves, this woman didn't forget God's power. She was the widow of a prophet, lived in a community of prophets, and she quickly searched for a prophet to get some answers from God!

The Prophet Elisha asked her a simple question, "What do you have that God can use to create provision for you?" Now, we know he phrased it a little differently, but that was the essence of the question. (2 Kings 4:1-7)

Once she had pondered his question, he told her the next step to take. The prophet's instructions were pretty simple. "Go and gather all the empty vessels, or containers, you can find."

What was the prophet doing? What was God doing? Setting her up, preparing her . . . to receive her provision.

#2 Provision

He'll pour in the product . . .

When you need something from God, if you belong to Him, he'll find a way to get it to you. Now, interestingly, I have found over the years, that He will get it to you even if you have to borrow the containers to put it in!

Right here is where she entered into a partnership with God. Remember Jesus saying to Martha, "Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God?" (John 11:40)

The widow gathered up all the clay pots and jars she owned. Then she borrowed others from her neighbors. God was ready to pour on the blessings and she was making sure she was prepared to receive them.

She followed the prophet's next instructions: Pour and keep on pouring!

#3 Proprietorship

You get ready to handle business . . .

In a matter of hours, this lady went from being a prophet's widow under unbearable pressure to a proprietor in partnership with God!

Okay, so God filled up the containers and she industriously poured from the big pot into the smaller pots, filling them in preparation for . . . what?

She might have the goods but who in the world knows she's got something valuable to sell? (Notice, the prophet didn't tell her to go and give them away . . . he said go and sell them!)

#4 Prospects

He'll find you some customers . . .

Did you know that God will prepare your prospects so they are ready to purchase your product from you -- even if you don't know where they are or that they even exist? Did you get that?

God will make sure there is somebody standing in the wings who can afford to sow into your situation.

Let me say it another way: He will make sure there is someone who wants what you have to sell and is willing to pay you for it. Your pictures. Your sewing. Your jewelry or ornaments. Your foodstuffs. Your perfumed oils. Your dry cleaning services. Your web design.

All you have to do is get it ready. And, of course, go sell it.

#5 Prosperity

You reap the benefits . . .

This story ends. Not at the graveside of the widow and her boys. Not at the auction block where she watches the creditors bid on her boys to make them into slaves.

It ends with her having received the prophet's reward and prosperity in her hand to dispel the poverty that was knocking at her door.

YES!

Although that was a long time ago, what God did for the widow, He is still doing for those who partner with Him. A simple checklist of the process would look like this today:

Preparation - that's your job
Provision - that's His job
Proprietorship - that's your business
Prospects - that's His business
Prosperity - that's your reward (and His glory!)

I'll leave you with these questions:

Are you facing a situation in which the 5 P's would apply?
Have you considered creating a business but wondered if it's the right thing for you?
Do you have a business where God is in partnership with you?

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References: John 1:2; 2 Kings 4:1-7; John 11:40

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Author's Bio: 

Vernessa Taylor, Internet Coach, is a seasoned small business consultant who specializes in making technology simple and easy to understand. She created Local Business Coach Online and the CoachNotes blog to help entrepreneurs and local business owners put their businesses on the internet. Come get a free copy of her personal rolodex of the best resources for your online business.

Listen in as Vernessa interviews a local Christian businessman on her TaylorThyme BlogTalkRadio show. They discuss how he created a web presence for his local business, how he uses video to educate and entertain, and the behind the scenes web applications used to power his business websites.