"5 percent oil life. Check oil."
AH! Why does that keep coming on? I just changed my oil!!
In the past week, I have done a lot of driving, and it was not the time for my oil light to continue to come on. After numerous times of stopping and checking the status of my oil, I figured that I was fine to keep going. Do you ever have times where the Lord of the universe is trying to get your attention and you miss it by concluding that it is a computer issue and it must not of calculted the last time you got an oil change?
Or how about random thoughts that continue to go through your head and you don't ever stop to think, "Hey, maybe that's the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me something?" Like the past three weeks, the parable in Matthew 25 about the ten virgins wanting to meet the bridegroom continued to cross my mind. I just thought it was my curiosity speaking as I realized that I had never dug deep into that parable and was interested to find out what it means.
So when Misty Edwards gets on stage at the "Passion for Jesus" conference and says she wants to speak out of Matthew 25, she got my attention.
When she opens up her message by giving a story of when she was driving and her oil light was on, the Holy Spirit got my attention.
The past month or so, I have felt tired. I have been carrying burdens that I am not suppose to carry. I have been stressed out about ministry, burden by different situations that have left me weary. I knew that something wasn't right, I had been trying to run to Him and ask for rest, but I wasn't getting any breakthrough. I saw myself slowly getting into the pattern of simply going through the motions.
I praise God for His kindness as I have seen Him pursue me even when I dismiss it.
If you haven't dug into Matthew 25:1-13, I encourage you to check it out. It talks about ten virgins who took their lams to go out and meet the bridegroom. In this parable, there are 5 wise ones and 5 foolish ones. The wise virgins had flasks of oil that they had brought with their lamps. As the time was getting closer to meeting the bridegroom, the five virgins without oil went on a desperate pursuit to find oil but they were too late. The bridegroom said of them, "I do not know you".
The 10 virgins represent 10 Christians, pure and spotless.
The lamps in the parable represent the Christians ministry.
Often oil symbolizes intimacy, passion, desire, burning love.
The five foolish virgins had lamps, they had a ministry. They had been too preoccupied with ministry, maintaining, striving, running around trying to accomplish this or that. They had a name that they were alive but they were lacking the oil to sustain them.
The five wise virgins had oil. They had intimacy, friendship with God, fellowship with His Spirit. The had cultivated a life of enjoying Him, simply being with Him. Because of their communion, they were able to hear and recognize the bridegroom.
The past month, I have lost sight of what it's about. The beginning of the bible starts with God walking with man in a garden. The end of the bible talks about a wedding day, where Jesus marries His bride. He simply longs to be with us. To search out the very depths of His heart. In that place, my heart comes alive, my life burns with passion for my King. The goal of my life is to restore the first commandment to first place. To love Him with all of my heart, all of my soul, all of my mind and all of my strength. As we give ourselves to the first commandment, we store up oil for our lives and for our ministry. As the end draws near and times get harder, the only thing that will get us through is the oil of our intimacy with Jesus. No one can touch a man or women in love. "Many waters cannot quench love."
"I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and find them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my names sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you that you have abandoned the LOVE you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your LAMPSTAND from its place, unless you repent." Revelations 2:2-5
Thank you Jesus for going to great lengths to draw me back to the secret place of simply being with you. Allow me to be a woman of oil!
Here is a quick exert from the book "Fire and Fragrance" by Sean Feucht..
"We must come back to the priority of ministry to the heart of the Lord. It may not feel like a productive task; we may not be able to check something off of our 'to do' list at the end of the day; and it may not make for flashy newsletters at first or eye-catching Facebook bulletins. But I tell you it is the key to apostolic Christianity. Filling our hearts with the priority of being "with" Him, longing to gaze at Him, shaping all of life around Him, and from that place, releasing His earth-shaking presence wherever we go! The key is to restore communion "with" Him. Not the language of intimacy or the appearance of intimacy or the concept of intimacy, but hungry humanity in love with a raw God.
It seems so easy for ministry to Him to take backseat to the commissioning of people to "do" the work. Of course, we must do the work, but oh, to do it with joy, pleasure, power, and fruitfulness even in the hardest of situations and circumstances. The key to the hardest and darkest places on the planet is not more hard foreheads and harder workers. Though this is essential to fruitfulness, it must be built on lovesick hearts fascinated with the beauty of God and placing value in actually telling Him how beautiful He is. A tender heart is the key to longevity! In all of our hard foreheads and persistent work, we must be even more stubborn in our locked gaze, fascinated hearts, and verbal praises."