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Our Need for Spiritual Oil

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Our Need for Spiritual Oil

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Sometimes we receive unexpected gifts. I received an oil lamp after a women’s weekend and I was excited about it because it had multiple functions. It looked nice and made for a nice decorative item in my home. It reminded me of the event and the people I shared that time with. It also reminded me of the theme and the décor of the event. It was also a useful item I could fill with oil and easily light it if the power ever went out. 

God’s Holy Spirit is quite the same. When a Christian is called by God and baptized, he or she is excited to receive it as a gift from God. It is His helper working within us, and the Spirit does multiple things for us. It is a helper to us. It can help us learn, help us in decision making, focusing on what is good. It brings us joy, peace and so much more! It can also be easily “ignited” if we use it properly. We read about this kind of ignition in a big way. When the apostles were given the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost they suddenly began speaking in many different languages or tongues. It says tongues like flames of fire appeared over their heads (Acts 2:3). A very great visual of how the Spirit worked with them.

After filling my gifted lamp with oil, I set it on a shelf, ready to be used whenever needed. I sometimes looked at it and was reminded of how people once lit their homes and how having such things in today’s world can still be useful to us. We must sometimes fall back to what was once done when troublesome times come upon us, or when we choose to use them for some other reason, such as a lamp while camping.

The Holy Spirit is also something we can overlook. We enjoy knowing it is there in case we need it in times of trouble but do not always use it in our day-to-day lives. We save it, we admire it, we love knowing it is there to be used, but we ignore its usefulness in our daily lives. Occasionally we may “pull it out” and use it because we find it helpful or something is happening in our lives that reminds us we have it at all.

One day I thought about lighting my lamp to be sure it would work. Maybe I should make sure the wick was in good enough shape to light. Maybe the oil had not saturated the wick and I would need to do something else in an emergency. I had to be sure it would work in a pinch. But when I walked over to the lamp and lifted it from its place I noticed the oil had all evaporated. Not being an expert with oil lamps I was unaware this could happen. I assumed the oil would always be there when I needed it, but it was gone.

God gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us. We grow in our Christianity by using it as God intended. We are lights to the world through its use, and we are strengthened by it as it helps light the narrow path we are to follow. It—like the lamp—is only useful when we use it, engage with it. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, King James Version.)

The biblical parable of the 10 virgins is a good example. They all had lamps of oil. They all awaited the bridegroom. They all thought they were ready. Then at the last moment, five found themselves unprepared. They had not taken care to fill their lamps. Their oil was low and they panicked (Matthew 25:1-13). We do not want to find ourselves in such a state when Christ returns. We need to keep the Spirit strong so we can overcome all the evil that faces us. The Holy Spirit helps us to stay positive, wise, and on the lighted path when everything around us is dark. In a letter to the Roman church, Paul wrote, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”  (Romans 15:13, emphasis added).