Keep Your Lamp Filled With Oil

           There is a constant theme in the teachings of our Lord Jesus. He is forever telling us to stay alert, stay awake, and fight against deception. He tells us to stay prayed up, fasted up, filled up, read up, and lit up. Not only must we stay in His written Word, we must always stay close to Him, the Living Word. Living for God is impossible otherwise.

         Any real believer can be deceived at any time. Our enemy is no slouch. He is a very powerful deceiver, and Christians who downplay this or do not take the Lord seriously will have no chance. The more one turns his or her Christianity into a kindergarten Sunday school class, the more likely he or she will never grow up.

         “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.

         Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’

         And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” [Matthew 25:1-13]

         There are false doctrines within overall Christianity that make a mockery of such teachings. The idea that one can never be lost once being saved plays right into the devil’s hands. Why in the world is the Lord ever telling us to stay alert? Sleepy time Christianity has institutionalized spiritual laziness and the rejection of sound teaching regarding one’s fight against deception. One of the worst things a believer can do is act as if the enemy has no chance against us or that one’s sin is somehow always being removed as if by magic though there be no real repentance or aggressive attention to spiritual details.

         Most Christians trust their guy in the pulpit, and though there are many solid ministers, there are also many solid quacks and spiritual pansies who side with the devil more times than otherwise. Letting some hand-picked man or woman or whoever might come your way be the central arbiter of your spiritual life is not Biblical. Remaining a dunderhead while trusting a Christian guru without staying close to God is very foolish, but this is often the norm in Christian circles. Good shepherds are relatively rare and should be respected, but appeals to authority other than the Lord will not be allowed at the judgment: “But look at all I did, Lord! My pastor/priest/reverend told me to do it that way! All my friends said I was right!”

         When believers let their lamp go out it is because they are living today on yesterday’s oil. The Lord alluded to new wine skins being necessary on given occasions of new growth and new spiritual output. Doing things the way we did it yesterday does not necessarily work in the here and now. It never works in the future. God changes course a lot and does new and different things all the time. Without following Him and paying attention one can never keep up. It is always sad to see so many Christians living in the past and refusing to allow themselves the refreshing renewing and change for the better that comes with truly following God.

         Do the journeys of the Israelites mean anything at all? God was always doing different things. He wanted no one to come up with a formula or plan or doctrine or belief system that would somehow give all the answers and make Him predictable. As another example, when the Lord Jesus healed the blind He always did it differently.

         From these simple truths we should know we can NEVER figure out God, but the reason why is not what you may think. A real living relationship with the Lord demands an ongoing newness and freshness, and such cannot be achieved or lived out by doing the same thing we did last year or last decade. Some Christians are so stuck in the mud they are still living in the wineskin of fifty years ago. As a result, they have little life. Their oil has long since run out. Their lamps serve no purpose. They give off no light. They missed the bridegroom long ago but act as if they are still waiting for Him.

         It will be a long wait.

         That’s why the answer is the non-answer. Living for God successfully means staying close to Him so one can hear His voice and thereby obey Him and do His will, whatever it may be. Therefore the answer is remaining in a state of real repentance, living by faith, praying always, fasting enough to get the job done, giving, and studying the Word. These are not answers so much as they are the means to the answer. These things help us to keep our lamps and oil flasks filled. We were made to be filled with the Spirit of God. We must always keep our oil supply fresh and our tanks topped off.

         And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. [Acts 13:52][1] 

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Posted on February 15, 2012, in Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Great post Bob. may we be filled to overflowing with the Spirit of God, awake and alert, looking for His coming.
    Blessings, Tom

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  2. Thanks, Tom. And ditto. It is because you strive to keep your lamp filled and shine your light that those in spiritual need are continually attracted to the ministry the Lord works through you. For all who may be interested, you may visit Tom’s site here:

    http://tomgravesbookbites.wordpress.com/about/

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  3. The associate Pastor at our church preached on this and it burns in my spirit. I went online today looking for an answer to “how to keep your lamp full spiritually”, this writing was perfect, you hit it all on the head. Thank you.

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  4. This is very true. We should not try to ready ourselves with someone else’s lamp, but our own. Those that depend on others to inspire them, and do all the work, rather than getting close to God themselves, are going to be very disappointed. Whether it is a rapture we hope for, or a death that might happen upon us at some unknown moment, we should always be ready.

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    • Thank you, Marianne. This teaching is a strong part of the Lord’s curriculum. Due to the nature of the spiritual world, temptation, spiritual warfare, and working out our own salvation [Phil. 2:12], there is always the very real possibility that our lamps will run out of oil. It is incumbent upon each believer to make sure this never happens. It has nothing at all to do with the completed work of the Lord in payment for our sins but our own willingness and desire to stay strong and press on. I appreciate the visit, and blessings to you.

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  5. It’s refreshing to see no nonsense Christianity. Thanks for being God’s instrument in this time of Christian assimilation into society.

    Thanks also for your visit to our site and liking our most recent post.

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    • Thank you for stopping by as well. I appreciate the visit. It is encouraging during these days to see so many doing the work of God and standing by Him. The witness of the Lord through His people grows brighter as the days grow darker. Keep up the good work!

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  6. Out-Standing post RJ! Loved it! I can’t imagine how anyone would want to miss out on “And they LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER”. My heart so desires to carry His oil. And, when I sit at His feet and hang on His every word, this earthen vessel is FULL!

    My personal favorites from this post… “When believers let their lamp go out it is because they are living today on yesterday’s oil.” & “As a result, they have little life. Their oil has long since run out. Their lamps serve no purpose. They give off no light. They missed the bridegroom long ago but act as if they are still waiting for Him.”

    THANK YOU for making this grand announcement & sounding the charge… ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet Him.’

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  7. My walk with my beloved reveals new aspects of Him almost every day. Some are very beautiful, some are challenging. That is some of the aspects of enjoying a wonderful renewing and expanding relationship with Him.

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  8. Mich-in-French

    Reblogged this on Lessons in French and commented:
    Food for thought as we enter into rest this weekend

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  9. I believe The Lord is coming very soon

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  10. While I do not agree that we can lose our salvation once we have been in-filled by the Holy Spirit, you make many valid points. Those who feel free to sin at will b/c they have been saved or sin without genuine repentance may find that they were never saved at all. The Catholic Church priests who repeatedly molested children come to mind.

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    • Thanks Anna. There is certainly a great divide over this issue. The divide did not exist in the early years of the Lord’s original community, but began much later. The simple fact is that both sides of the argument cannot be true. It is either one or the other. Hence, the divide.

      This happens very often in Christianity in general. It is why, if one is to discover the actual truth of any Biblical issue, he or she must refer back to the original teachings of the Lord Jesus and stop at nothing along the way. I stated in this article what I believe the Lord Jesus actually taught on the matter.

      It is certainly okay to disagree. I believe it is far better regarding spiritual fellowship for us all to remain together though in disagreement than to separate because of disagreement. We all know how the latter has turned out, in that we have approximately four billion different Christian denominations and offshoots.

      Sin in a person’s life requires repentance. Unless a person repents the sin remains. Repentance requires action on the part of the individual. It demands a choice be made. If a person does not make this choice there is no way for the sin to be removed.

      In that real Christians continue to sin from time to time, though their sin becomes much, much less after a real born again experience, it still happens and must be dealt with. Such requires strong discipleship. If a person believes he is saved no matter what he does, the odds are that he will not be as conscious of his sin and as concerned about dealing with it, and might not even be convicted. Christians can certainly grow cold in their walk and many do.

      Some people believe everyone will go to heaven because the perfect sacrifice the Lord Jesus made cannot be added to in any way. They believe that everyone regardless of anything they do will be saved because He paid the price.

      But the Lord taught that His sacrifice must be applied to each individual believer through his or her own free will choice. Whoever will be saved must choose the Lord, repent of sin, believe in and follow His full curriculum, and obey Him. This narrows the pool down quite a bit, especially in terms of modern day “easy believe-ism.” This is why He said only few would discover the narrow gate and fully walk the narrow Way. It means ultimate salvation must come through not only initial repentance but ongoing repentance.

      The argument can be made that all real Christians WILL always repent as necessary but that argument can only be proven by making the right choices when the time comes.

      Be blessed.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Anna. If RJ will permit me, I’ll point you to some Scriptures that dispelled the myth of once saved, always saved for me. May the Lord grant us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation as we read His liberating word!

      Matt. 7:19-24
      Matt. 25:1-12
      John 10:27-30 (note His sheep are those who hear His voice; He KNOWS them, and they FOLLOW Him)
      John 15:5-6
      Rev. 3:16
      All these are Jesus’ words on the matter.

      There are many others in the NT, such as 2 Peter 1:10-11, 2:20-22; Col. 1:22-24; Heb. 6:4-6, 11-12; Heb. 10:26-31; James 1:12, and 1 Tim. 5:8…

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  11. Thanks for stopping by and liking my blog. Staying close to the beloved One is a common goal of ours.

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  12. Spot on. Preach it! How I love the privilege of praying that the Bride of Christ awaken, awaken, awaken; that God give us ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to understand, so that we may turn [REPENT] and BE HEALED! (See Matt. 13:11-15 in which Jesus quotes Is. 6:9,10)

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    • Thank you Deanna, for the blessing of your support this morning. I began a paper in late August of 2010. That is when the Lord revealed to me that America is in the early stages of a national Great Awakening. Many Christians have prayed for this very thing, like you, for decades, and the Lord is bringing it to pass.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just this week He graciously led me to repent of believing we Americans were doomed to NWO-led Hillary Clinton as president with breakdown of our borders, FEMA camps etc., and to walk by FAITH in Christ – the Word of God – truly KNOWING (yet again!) that the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effectual…

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        • It is kind of cool, isn’t it? That ALL things are possible with God? I think the Lord would rather us believe for “impossible” good stuff rather than remain stuck in the conventional. I prefer dreams coming true. He can do anything, and turn anything around at any given time. Hope in the Lord is always worth it. Thanks Deanna.

          Liked by 1 person

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