Oil Level Check
Throughout the Bible, oil plays an important role, especially in anointing. It was used to not only anoint people to ruling or holy positions, but to anoint objects that were to be given a holy purpose (Exodus 30:25-30). Aaron and his sons were anointed as priests, Saul and David would be anointed as kings, but as we move into the New Testament, we find something else being used to anoint people.
“And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.” (Acts 10:38)
“And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22 ESV)
“But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.” (1 John 2:27 ESV)
It is no longer oil that anoints us, but the Holy Spirit. Oil was also used as fuel for the lamps of the day; in fact, oil provided the fuel for lamps until 1850 when kerosene replaced oil as the fuel. The wick would be inserted in the oil, soak it up, and if the lamp ran out of oil, the light would not shine. Jesus told a parable in Matthew 25 called the Parable of the Ten Virgins or Bridesmaids. In this parable, the ten bridesmaids are waiting to meet their bridegroom. Five of the bridesmaids are described as foolish because they did not bring enough oil for their lamps; the other five bridesmaids are called wise because they brought extra oil along with them. When the groom is delayed, the foolish bridesmaids were not able to light their lamps so they left to buy more oil.
“But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’
“But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’
“So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.” (Matthew 25:10-13)
The foolish bridesmaids were not willing to prepare for the groom’s return. They wanted to coast on as little as possible but when they found the groom was delayed, as little as possible was not enough. Too many people today are coasting on as little as possible. Church attendance is rare or sporadic, they never have time to read the Bible or pray, or they want God’s forgiveness but are not willing to confess and give up their sin. “If my wife knew about my pornography addiction she’d never forgive me so I can’t tell her.” “God forgives me every time and I’m trying to stop.” “What’s wrong with gossiping or spreading one more rumor?” “I don’t have an anger problem, I just get frustrated sometimes.” If you are living with unconfessed sin and haven’t repented of your sin, then you are coasting—you are foolish.
“Stop getting drunk with wine, which leads to wild living, but keep on being filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18 ISV)
The Holy Spirit is our fuel, it is the fuel for the Light within us. We must be continually filled with the Spirit. Here at The Constant Battle we’ve talked about this, well, constantly. We must always be growing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives because we are in the midst of a constant battle between our sinful nature (which is our default) and the nature of the Holy Spirit. We can’t do this on our own, and because we have this sinful nature inside of us, if we are not being continually filled with the Spirit, if we are not constantly refilling our lamp, our Light will go dark as we bend to the will of our sinful nature.
So when was the last time you checked your oil level? Are you constantly being filled with the Spirit? Are you growing His fruit in your life? Live like the wise bridesmaids and continually be filled with the Spirit, so you won’t be left in the darkness on the day our Lord returns.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.