Give Me Oil in my Lamp
"Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning. Give me oil in my lamp to stay."
How do we make sure we are ready for the second coming of Jesus? How do we check our characters to make sure we will be like the 5 wise virgins in Matthew 25:1-13 instead of the 5 foolish virgins?
In Matthew 25 there were 10 virgins who went out to meet Jesus. The fact that they were virgins demonstrated that they were living pure lives, trying to follow Jesus' teaching and law, and that they were seeking to find Jesus. They also took their lamps with them which meant they all were reading and studying the Word of God. In Psalms 119:105 it says "Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." These were Bible reading virgins or "churches", possibly like a Seventh day adventist church or member today.
The problem comes when 5 of these 10 virgins- waiting for Jesus to show up and welcome them- through a door- and into a wedding- run out of oil. Now the word oil in the Bible can often reference the Holy Spirit. We can see that comparison in many references to the word "anointing with oil" or "anointing with the Holy Spirit". In Mark 6:13 it talks about the disciples casting out demons and anointing the sick with oil that resulted in healing. And it was the power of the Holy Spirit that gave them power to anoint with oil and heal. In Luke 4:18 it says "The spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor,"... And so here the verse is saying that the Holy Spirit gives us the power to anoint with oil. Oil is also commonly used as part of the sacrificial process in Leviticus as part of offering a sacrifice pleasing to God.
So these people, God followers- God- seekers, have ran out of oil. They are not ready when Jesus comes to the door at a specific time. And the reason they are not ready is because they do not have the Holy Spirit actively living and working in their life, and because they don't have the Holy spirit's presence when they get to the door for the wedding feast, God says to them "I don't know you."
In 1 Samuel 16:13 Samuel anointed David so that the spirit of the Lord could come upon him. The anointing with oil is a ritual that represents anointing someone to do a honorable role for God, to become set apart, and filled with the holy spirit. It says after David was anointed, the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.
Without the transformation process by God, which only comes through divine power and the holy spirit, we will remain sinful human beings that live in the dark, bound to a slavery to self. We have to accept the anointing of oil and the Holy Spirit, and die to self, in order for our characters to change to be like Christ's.
Ellen White writes: "Foolish virgins represents the character of those who have not had the genuine heart-work wrought by the Spirit of God. The coming of Christ does not change the foolish virgins into wise ones. When Christ comes, the balances of Heaven will weigh the character, and decide whether it is pure, sanctified, and holy, or whether it is unclean, and unfit for the kingdom of heaven. Those who have despised the divine grace that is at their command, that would have qualified them to be the inhabitants of heaven, will be the foolish virgins. They had all the light, all the knowledge, but they failed to obtain the oil of grace; they did not receive the truth in its sanctifying power. "
So how do we become like the wise virgins in Matthew 25? We become wise when we choose to surrender our hearts to God, and we ask God to give us the Holy Spirit to change our hearts and minds, so that we can die to ourselves daily, and become someone that represents His character. Acts 1:8 says "That you will receive power when the holy spirit has come upon you and you will be my witnesses..." When we have received the Holy Spirit we will have power to overcome evil and power to live as representatives of Jesus' character and be witnesses of His love. Ezekiel 36:26 says "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will keep my judgements and do them."... "And then you shall be my people, and I shall be your God." (36:28).
We are wise virgins when we surrender our lives to Jesus daily. Knowing that on our own we have no power to overcome sin or represent his character, Jesus offers us forgiveness daily and the anointing with oil from the Holy Spirit. He gives us power to overcome our shame and sinful ways so that we can daily know him better and so that we can be ready when Jesus comes again soon to take us to heaven with him.