After a day and a half of travelling, I finally made it to Barcelona.
Upon landing, my first visit was to a pharmacy, and then this morning I went to the doctor…not the ideal start to a trip that looked very promising as I was flying in.
I took the ‘opportunity’ of waking up early to pray and ask God for his guidance in this trip…and one word came to mind: DISPENSATION.
That’s not a word that I come across every day so I went to look up what was the biblical use for this term; I found the following:
“Entry for ‘Dispensation'”. A King James Dictionary.
The Greek word (oikonomia) so translated signifies primarily, a stewardship, the management or disposition of affairs entrusted to one. Thus 1 Corinthians 9:17, the King James Version “A dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me,” the Revised Version (British and American) “I have stewardship entrusted to me.” The idea is similar in Ephesians 3:2 parallel Colossians 1:25 (the Revised Version, margin “stewardship”). In Ephesians 1:10 God’s own working is spoken of as “dispensation.”
The Greek word ‘oikonomia’ is pretty easy to remember because we have a similar word in English…Economy. Dispensation is God’s economy entrusted to us, hence it’s translation as management or stewardship.
As I was thinking about God’s economy the first thing that came to mind is the multiplication rules of His Kingdom, they are very counter-intuitive to what we expect from our human experience. We can see the unique nature of God’s math throughout the Bible; God multiplies resources in supernatural ways for those who serve him.
Not surprisingly, my favorite stories of resource multiplication are related to food. We can find those in Old Testament (ex. the story of Elijah and the Widow in 1st Kings 17), and New Testament accounts (ex. the feeding of the 5000 in Mark 6). What strikes me about those two stories is that God used unlikely people (a widow and a young man) who had very little to offer from the perspective of ‘human economy’ and multiplied the little they had not only to fulfill a need, but create a surplus (a.k.a called abundantly provide).
Those stories exemplify the dispensation of God in a very practical way; God works in us and through us as we trust Jesus and follow his word. Our human limitations are not an obstacle, but a tool that God uses to showcase his love, power, and presence in the lives of those around us. All we have to do is bring what we have and put it in his service.
After starting the trip at the doctor, and having to take antibiotics for the next couple of days, I was not feeling very optimistic about this trip…but then there came this word…DISPENSATION…and it changed everything in light of God’s word.