Walking Through the Fire, Through the Flood and Through the Rainbow Parades

When, years ago, I first heard the traditional hymn, “I need thee, Lord I need thee, Every hour I need thee…” I thought it sentimental and adoring but really wondered, do they really need the Lord every hour? After all, unbelievers make it through an hour, the whole day – many their whole lives – prospering and content without the Lord.  In fact, they shun His interference.  However, as a believer in Christ, this hymn has become a frequent personal anthem. “Every hour” speaks deeply to those of us who decidedly follow Jesus.  The closer we follow Jesus, the more we need him.  As A.W. Tozer describes, this world is ‘not our playground but our battlefield’.  And, within this battle ground, the Lord has one strategy for victory:  walk in obedience and total dependence to Him.

“Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus walked.”  1 John 2:6

It is in this great Scriptural challenge – “walk” – where we often slip, trip, and fall.

walk-dont-run

In the fire and in the flood, we want relief and deliverance – we are anxious to run and make things happen.  When the flood of sin rises higher, when “good becomes evil and evil becomes good” ” many Christians plan, strategize and gear up to protest and rally.  It is a prideful delusion that draws Christians to believe that the world can change through political, social or economic arenas.  The great danger is this:  we may miss the anointing that God would bestow upon us, the “good works which He planned in advance for us to do”.

“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  (Micah 6:8)

When the world around us or the personal world within us is crashing how can we walk like Jesus walked, humbly with our God?  It is easy to be sickened and shocked by grievous violence, pervasive immorality, and increasing apostasy.  But let us not be as those outside Noah’s ark, shocked when the rain began! Those who study the Word may be grieved but not shocked – we are witnesses to the prophecies that the Lord Himself proclaimed.

“Get into this Word and get this Word into you!” remains the cry of 90 year old Pastor Ben Crandall.  Walk into the Word of God, take time to digest, meditate and hear from the Lord. We are purposefully placed amidst this dark world and, step by step our mind and hearts will be renewed and strengthened from the Word.  Discernment and godly instruction often challenge and override the ‘good’ ideas and inclinations of our fleshly nature.  Jesus declared in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Now, more than ever, the Body of Christ needs to rise up as His Body.  Jesus may not lead us to the White House lawn but He may be preparing us to meet the woman at the well.  Legislation will never change our culture or the course of this world, it is as foolish as investing in a foreclosed bank.  The sad truth is, many Christians have befriended this world and now strongly ‘push back’ at the thickening darkness.  “Friendship with the world is hatred toward God” – we are not called to improve this world but separate ourselves from it.  

It is through separation that we gain spiritual strength.  We will not change the world but will have divine anointing as we walk through it in Christ’s shadow.  “Walking humbly with our God” is a divine call onto a path where He touches the sick, speaks life to the brokenhearted, and opens doors for those in bondage.  To ‘walk like Jesus walked’ is to walk in divine appointment – not knowing whom we might touch and the eternal difference it makes.

The Lord seems to overlook the influential, the politically endowed, and those with celebrity status to find the weakest, most insignificant, and unknown.  Those with a heart to obey are fully qualified. We can never renew or revive this world in any way but we can be vessels of honor in service of Most High God as He renews and revives the hearts of man for all eternity.

These are the last days before Christ returns as Judge.  Time is short and we must be in step.  The devil isn’t moved by campaigns or product boycotts.  We can boycott the whole world, if it were possible, and it wouldn’t add anything to the Kingdom of God.  The devil trembles, he loses ground, when we decide to really pray, to study God’s Word and walk humbly with Him through this world.  Along that lighted path, doors open and hearts change as people meet Christ their Savior.

Let us walk together in unity, close behind Jesus Christ through the fire, in the flood, and across the ‘rainbow parades’ in step with Him as He reaches out to those who would receive Him, those who would be set free.

CALLED TO STAND BY HIS SIDE

As the world spins faster and closer to Christ’s return, there is an ever increasing dividing line between Believers in Jesus Christ and the world.   Darkness seems to prevail as God’s people suffer near annihilation and the truths of God’s Word trampled upon.  As followers, not wanderers, we must stand in the only place of security and strength.  We must stand by Christ’s side.  There is no gray area, we are either yoked to this world or to Christ….free to live and move through darkness or walk toward eternity in the light of our Maker.  “Come to me” Christ calls, “all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  (Matthew 11:28-30) The world and its false religions cannot give you this rest.

“For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

Carnal Christianity builds a gospel around ‘easy’ and ‘light’.  Yet, without the Lord’s yoke and  burden, it is a useless gospel.  His yoke binds us to His side; His burden opens His heart into ours.

One's mobility, speed and direction are determined by Another.

Here, one’s mobility, speed and direction are determined by Another.

A yoke is forward focused, causing great discomfort when the bearer veers to the left, to the right, or turns to look behind. Under His yoke, through obedience and submission, we share in His burden to reflect the glory of God in this dark world. Here, at the Lord’s side, we will stand with Him and He will stand with us.  Before His arrest on the Mount of Olives, even knowing their weakness, the Lord said to His disciples,

“You are those who have stood by me in my trials.”  (Luke 22:28)

High accolades from God to mortal man!  What are the Lord’s trials – and how can we stand with Him?

The disciples stood with Jesus, God incarnate.  After the Lord’s ascension, the Holy Spirit was sent to indwell believers, giving us new birth, new life, and joining us together as the Body of Christ on earth.  If we would really stand with Christ in His trials, we must likewise stand with His Body in this world.   As Saul persecuted the brethren, Christ challenged him, “Why are you persecuting ME?” (Acts 9:4)

We must be challenged to stand with Christ as His Body is despised and rejected by men, suffers need, languishes in prison, tortured, widowed – humiliated and dishonored in every way.

Jesus proclaimed that eternal life awaited those who served His Body in this world – and damnation for those who neglected the same.  (Matthew 25:31-46)  Our world is exploding into an arena for the mocking and torture of Christ.  If we are not standing at His side, we are amongst the spectators, the condemned.  

There may be brethren in our midst who are suffering and discouraged, in grief and even despair. We must be available in Christ to minister to them. For certain though, a collective lament cries out from those who are persecuted and in the clutches of cruel and merciless hands.  We are accountable to hear those cries, to open our hearts, to “mourn with those who mourn”, and stand with them in their trials as with Christ….but how?

The devil wants to keep us as spectators, pitying the ‘foreigners’ who are suffering so much… out of reach, impossible to help.  Our unseen brethren are as foreign as the unseen Christ.  They are as unreachable as Peter in Acts 12, held captive by the most powerful world government.  No carnal plan or coup can subdue the powerful darkness consuming the world.  As with Peter, only that which is launched supernaturally through prayer can rescue, deliver and strengthen.  Esteem prayer as the Lord Himself did – reserving time and place as a supernatural encounter.  As “co-workers in God’s service”, our work in prayer yields rewards as the Lord answers. Believe that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”,  whether or not we see physical evidence.    Lacking fervency and passion?  When yoked to the Master and into His Word, His heart will rekindle our passion and zeal.

To stand by the Lord in His trials is to take His yoke and follow His lead.  It does not guarantee detour from pain, anguish, or even martyrdom but will assure this:  He will never leave or forsake us, He will stand by our side and indwell our hearts to overflowing that we may endure whatever He sets before us for the glory of His coming Kingdom.

We can only imagine hearing Him say,

“You are those who have stood by me in my trials”

“Well done, good and faithful servant.”

REMEMBER APRIL 24th AND FIGHT THROUGH THE NIGHT

a call to all night prayer on behalf of brethren and others suffering today under the same evil sword.

One hundred years ago the Ottoman Empire launched a systematic plan of genocide against the Armenians and other minorities within Turkey.  At least 1.5 million Armenians perished in horrifying ways, hundreds of thousands dying in death marches from Turkey to Syria.  Painful open wounds remain, generation after generation, as Turkey continues to deny these atrocities, employing political influence and futile media campaigns.

The demonic spirit of murder lives on however, as persecution continues to sweep across the Middle East – perhaps until every Believer in Christ and Islamic non-conformist is vanquished or ritualistically tortured and killed.

Every true believer feels anguish and anger.   The call of God is unmistakable and undeniable.  We must access the power of heaven through prayer – fighting demonic attacks with supernatural resources. 

Ordinary prayer rarely breaks through such darkness.   The enemy is disciplined and trained – inspired by and devoted as minions of hell.  To unburden my heart for the brethren, I sought an all night prayer meeting to join with believers crying out to the Lord.  I could not find one (which doesn’t mean there weren’t any).   During my own prayer, I sensed the Lord’s leading – stop looking for one and be one yourself.   

I INVITE ALL TO JOIN IN THIS NIGHT, FRIDAY, APRIL 24, AT ANY GIVEN POINT.  LET US BE INSPIRED BY HEAVEN, DEVOTED TO OUR LORD – THE DELIVERER – UPHOLD THE BRETHREN AND CAUSE DAMAGE TO THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS. 

Keep the Word of God open and review the battles of the Old Testament, the tumultuous cries and triumphs of the Psalms and the victories in Christ through the New Testament as encouragement.  The Book of Acts demonstrates the presence of God through persecution and suffering and His miraculous interventions through prayer.

I am prayerfully offering the following schedule to bring order to the night and alignment with the burden of Christ for His followers:

9pm to 10pm, (EST):  Prepare to meet with the Lord.    Find a “place of prayer” where we may quiet our spirit and separate from distraction.  Into the battle bring the Word of God and if possible, a tablet, computer or materials available as resources.  Sing the Psalms, access and sing worship to the Lord.   Pray…

  • for ourselves, the unpersecuted, whose battle is often complacency and unbelief.
  • for a heart cleansing, make confession for anything within us that may be a stumbling block
  • for the Lord’s leadership, that His burden will prevail in our heart, that we may join in His battle and share in His victory
  • that the presence of the Lord will be with us and His Word a living inspiration for us as we pray

10pm to 11:30:  Prayer for suffering Christians and others in fiery areas such as Syria, Iraq, Egypt and parts of Africa.  In lieu of visual aids, search ‘persecuted syrian christians’ and others to put faces on our brothers and sisters.  Review Christian news posts to pray for prevailing attacks and crisis.   Pray…

  • even in the very moment for their physical protection.
  • for their provisions, that our Heavenly Father provide even more than they need to share with others. Pray that we may be the means thru which provision is made.
  • for a supernatural outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them…that they may be clothed with courage from God and a peace that surpasses all understanding.
  • for supernatural strength to endure torture, that their faith may stand strong as a living testimony of our crucified Christ who overcame death and reigns for all eternity
  • for personal visitation from the Lord, that they may supernaturally know His presence and understand “the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings”.
  • for those in refugee camps. While in a ‘place of refuge’, many suffer traumatic loss of health, home and family.  Depression, PTSD, ongoing grief and deprivation may plague these survivors
  • for the families of those who have been abducted and/or martyred, that their faith may be strengthened and the presence of God overshadows their hardship and sorrow
  • for the Christian leadership amongst the brethren, for the Holy Spirit to greatly indwell them and uphold them supernaturally…”that they may shine like stars” in the midst of depravity

Continue praying for those areas that may have fallen off the daily radar.   Ask the Lord imprint our hearts with the regions within Africa and Asia.  Engine search suffering believers in these areas and advocate for them.

For many under the sword, tonight may be their last night.

11:30pm to 12:30am:   Pray for the young girls and women who have been abducted and sexually assaulted.  Many, such as the victims of Boko Haram, have been forgotten by the world.  Torn from family, Islamic terrorists make daily life a living nightmare of gang rapes, abuse, and forced marriage.   Bought and sold as spoils of war, these young girls often attempt suicide to escape immeasurable anguish.  Pray….

  • for supernatural means of escape, that Almighty God will send warring angels to their side.
  • for deep spiritual and physical healing; that whatever Scripture they know may well up in them for faith to endure
  • for an inner spiritual life, through the Holy Spirit, to rise up and strengthen them with endurance from heaven, that their eyes may focus on eternity
  • for their rapists and abusers, that God Himself would render them impotent, and utterly disable them and even, in defense of these girls, send an Angel of Death upon these hellish brutes 

1:30-2:30amPray for these enemies, our enemies, God’s enemies, including ISIS, Boko Haram, and all affiliates.  Pray…

  • that they are overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, with great heaviness and oppression.
  • for an inescapable and overwhelming shame to come upon them
  • for deep grief to envelope them, that the Holy Spirit will hold up His mirror and reveal God’s view of all their dastardly deeds
  • for God to take away their slumber, that they may be mentally and spiritually hounded, tormented, put to confusion
  • that their eyes may be opened and they fall to their knees with godly sorrow and repentance AND
  • that they may be saved, rising up as beacons and heralds for God, a powerful voice over all against the work of Satan

2:30-3:30amPray for the minorities who do not know the Lord.  Many, including the Kurds, Yazidis, and Muslim sects, suffer the loss of lives, homes, entire villages.  Pray….

  • for their strength and provision. Pray that, as they may interface with true believers and see their living faith, they may be drawn to the truth of Christ.  Pray for them to know the Lord, to receive forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life through Christ.
  • that what the devil orchestrates for death and evil would be turned into glory for God. Pray that the power of God come forth through suffering and confound the enemy, leading more to everlasting life through the Gospel

3:30-4:30am:    Governments, agencies, missionaries, aid workers…..pray for ourselves, all whom the Lord might use to intervene into this suffering.   Pray…

  • for media exposure and global outcry to stir the hearts of the complacent
  • for the leadership of these groups and workers, that they may hear from God
  • for the Body of Christ to arise and awaken, shake off worldly distractions and press on in the Lord
  • for those already serving, that they may be encouraged and strengthened by the Holy Spirit.
  • for supernatural doors to open, for God to be glorified as He moves through those who are surrendered to Him and His service.
  • that we become those vessels, useful to God, to serve Him and His Body and bring honor to His name in this world.

4:30-5:00am:     Praise and worship for what the Lord is doing, praising Him before He ‘parts the sea’, before we learn of – if we ever know – His answer to our cries. He is  worthy and faithful.

I pray that, when we meet the Lord and our Brethren, we will rejoice as one body together forever.

 

DELETING WORDS OF LIFE…

…will never change their power or purpose.

“Repent and Live!” declares the Sovereign Lord (Ezekiel 18:32), however today only “Live!” remains and resounds in our vocabulary.   There is power in words and, in God’s living Word, it is power to renew, restore, and resurrect.  “The Word became flesh and for a while lived among us”.  The Word of God defines the fall of man, what keeps him separated from God, (Isaiah 59:1-2) and that which would restore and reconcile him to his Maker (Galatians 1:4).  Separation from God aligns us with the spirit of this world – the very spirit that “sets himself up as god” and continually baits our pride with the ancient seduction of sin: “you will be like God”.   As ‘gods’ we reinvent the Lord’s  proclamations, decrees, and promises into that which circumvents acknowledgment and  submission to Sovereign God, elevating our knowledge and wisdom against His truth. 

Toward this, we tolerate and broadcast the most profane words and phrases – many that enflame our flesh with corrupt imagery while, at the same time, systematically eradicating the very words that usher our minds toward Almighty God.  Who today calls for repentance?  Words that evoke life changing decisions are erased from our culture. With near success, we have eliminated “sin” from our vocabulary, our thinking – our entire belief system.  In fact, the Oxford Junior Dictionary, grooming the next generation, has removed the word ‘sin’ because “it has fallen into disuse, is obsolete, and is not recognized by the younger generation”.

It has been aptly said,

All moral engineering is preceded by verbal engineering.”

This reality was heralded by renowned psychiatrist Karl Menninger in his acclaimed book, “What Ever Became of Sin.”  The very word ‘sin’, he expounds, “was once a strong word, an ominous and serious word…It has almost disappeared – the word along with the notion.  Why? Doesn’t anyone sin anymore?”  Dr. Menninger predicted that sin would be replaced with symptoms of illness and disorders.  He foresaw a day where practically everyone would be considered sick with little or no personal accountability for choice and willful conduct.  Biological and psychiatric terms, even environment, would define deviant behavior.

That ‘day’ is here.  Redefining and reinventing ‘sin’, we have rendered ‘repentance’ obsolete and offensive, scorning God’s sacrifice for remission of sin and the gift of reconciliation through our Savior.  Ultimately, it is a collective rejection of God as our reference point in life.

Changing our reference point, framework, and jargon however cannot change the truth, neither can it alter the damage and guaranteed consequences of sinNo matter what we call it, “The wages of sin is death…”  Yet God’s call to repentance is the deepest call of mercy to man, “…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 6:23)   At the heart of our refusal is rebellion – intuitively we know that to receive a gift from God we must acknowledge that He is God

Sin unleashed, driven by lust and corruption, bears such reprehensible fruit that we label it uncontrollable – a mental defect or disease.  While mental illness is a painful condition in all its forms, are we oftentimes diagnosing the consequences of sin – those we commit and those committed against us?   Can layers of guilt and self condemnation ever be lifted by an ‘anti-depressant’?  Will a laboratory find the balm for the deep wounds of abuse and betrayal?  The  Bible defines sin in Old Testament law and New Testament, such as the ‘obvious’ acts noted in Galatians 5:19-21 and the condition of man today, II Timothy 3:1-4.   Against this hopeless array, the Lord offers unmatchable promises, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;” the relief of forgiveness and the joy of new beginning.  

Jesus calls out,

“Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  (Matthew 11:28) 

The launching pad for every sin is the refusal to go to God.

Satan finds no threat in manmade programs that exclude God yet propose to remedy the sure damage and destruction of sin, he knows their futility.  Deleting words cannot diminish their strength – sin is a powerful stronghold which man CANNOT master, an ensnaring deceit that man CANNOT outsmart or resolve.  Pride, confidence in the ‘human spirit’, encourages us to address ‘drunkenness, debaucheries, sexual immoralities and violence, lack of self-control, rage, hatred, jealousies, and the like’ with programs, prisons, therapies and medications that ultimately yield no freedom, reform, relief, or cure….no inner peace.

Sin is a cruel taskmaster, ‘taking us farther than we planned to go…costing more than we ever thought to pay’.  Calling us ‘dead in sin and trespasses’, God Himself initiates our repentance, drawing us and quickening our hearts with truth through the Holy Spirit.  Worldly regret, remorse and tormenting guilt are a downward deadly spiral but godly sorrow, repentance, leads to life. (II Corinthians 7:10) The Lord did not die for our sins to be treated, improved, or morphed into something acceptable.  He came to save us, deliver us from our sins, cleanse us completely, and in doing so, create new life.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation:  the old has gone, the new has come!” (II Corinthians 5:17)

                       “Repent” come under the authority of God “and live!”

"Whom the Son sets free is free indeed" John 8:36

“Whom the Son sets free is free indeed” John 8:36

                                       

TAKE THE LORD OUT OF THE MANGER

manger-cross
Americans spent nearly 51 billion dollars during the Thanksgiving weekend to kick off the Christmas spending season. Is the ‘reason for the season’ really Jesus? Why does so much of this activity, clamor, entertainment, spending and planning yield so little if anything for the Kingdom of God? How could so much count for so little?

When God commissions an event or mission, He is in it and it will not fail. He will make Himself and His power known without bells, whistles or tinsel. In fact, all He seeks is a willing vessel, often choosing the weakest, the oldest, and least capable.

“The Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing”. (John 6:63)

While the Word of God is “active and living, sharper than any two edged sword” the Lord chooses to conceal some ‘vital information’ from man – obscuring specific dates, times and places such as the burial place of Moses. He knows man’s propensity to enshrine and idolize events, times and places, and, in doing so, miss the mark. Have we missed the mark here? If so, why?

Perhaps presenting God in a manger is a benign message – one the world can easily tolerate. A helpless baby, animals, shepherds and gift bearers – all pose no threat to the average man or the world at large. The whole world can celebrate without conviction or accountability. Yet, we know that when God moves, the world trembles.

It is good and right to rejoice at the truth that God became flesh. As vessels of God, Old Testament prophets stood as living beacons for this event, preaching a message of repentance and hope. However, this most important event of history had no fanfare, no crowds, no entertainment or publicity. By God’s design, those whom He called, those who would seek Him, would find Him. As the Body of Christ, we are called – commissioned – to be heralds and beacons, surrendered vessels to proclaim the coming Messiah – proclaiming not only His birth, death and resurrection but His return – as Judge!

“So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” Matthew 24:44

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out…” Acts 3:19

“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent. For He has set a day when He will judge the world by the Man He has appointed.” (Acts 17:30.31)

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His Kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season…” II Timothy 4:1-2

“He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the one whom God appointed as Judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:42)

“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God…” (I Thessalonians 4:16)

The Lord did not point to His birth as He walked in this world…He pointed to His return, commanding and beckoning us to “watch”, “wait”, “pray” and keep our lamps burning. As His Body in this dark world, we extend His call to repentance and reconciliation, hoping men might turn, receive forgiveness, new life, and life everlasting.  Are we willing to go beyond the manger, calling people to repentance, to the cross of Christ?  Can we tell of and point to His promised return?  

The full Gospel is not a popular message, even among some Christians.  But it is the message delivered by the Holy Spirit, through surrendered vessels, to hearts prepared to receive.   Heaven does not rejoice over the popular, heaven rejoices when one sinner repents.

Time is short. Christ is no longer in the manger, He’s standing at the door!

“Behold, I am coming soon!” Revelation 22:7

 

The Burning Lamp – A Vessel of Honor

cropped-oil_lamp2.jpgWhen the wedding day finally arrives, the bridegroom  emerges –  from an unknown place at an unknown time –  dressed ornately with festive garments and gold crown.  With carefully chosen attendants, he proceeds to the bride’s father’s house.  Virgins of Israel wait along the path, holding their lit oil lamps, with anticipation for the loud cry, “Behold the Bridegroom Cometh! Go Ye Out to Meet Him!”  As vessels of honor, they meet their Bridegroom with joy and proceed onward – to the bride’s father’s house.    (Bible History Online)

In Matthew 25, Jesus declares that the Kingdom of God will be like those virgins waiting along the wedding path for the bridegroomThe ten virgins in His parable reveal powerful truths for us today.  Five were deemed wise, five are called foolish.  There is no gray area in this revelation of God’s Kingdom.

While worthy of careful personal study, in brief the oil in this parable represents God’s Holy Spirit.  Through the ‘virgins’ or bridesmaids, we see two types of professing ‘believers’.  Note, all ten  prepared and anticipated this Bridegroom, the coming of Christ the King.  They all waited along the appointed path with lamps lit.  Pointed in this story however, five run out of oil before this Bridegroom arrives.   They were unprepared, even knowing that traditionally, the Bridegroom arrives from an unknown place at an unknown time. 

At the midnight cry, the foolish virgins sought the oil of the wise to light their dark lamps.  Not possible, replied the wise, who further advised them to go buy more oil.  Tragically, as the unprepared sought to buy more oil, the Bridegroom arrived. Scrambling to lay hold of more oil, the indwelling Holy Spirit, the five were excluded from the procession and from the glorious wedding feast – the Kingdom of God. 

Wise are those who ‘count the cost’ of following Christ – living with a view of His promised return.  True faith strengthens them to persevere and wait upon the Lord even as darkness falls upon them.  Oil comes from that which is pressed, crushed, and refined.  It is often in times of brokenness and darkness that the Holy Spirit pours oil into our hearts bringing hope and revelation of Christ.  However, have we, for this infilling, set ourselves where Christ may be found?  Do we seek, with anticipation, His ‘arrival’ of deliverance, truth, and light through His Word?   When we fellowship with God through His living Word, He lights the lamp within us.

Friends, in times of darkness, do we have enough of the Word to light our path?  Can we see the coming presence of Christ?  The Lord clearly depicts how the faith and devotion of others cannot light our lamp – we must have our own hearts prepared to see Christ. 

While all may say ‘yes’ to Christ, not all will see Him.  The ‘extra oil of the wise’ is that which is personally obtained through Bible study, prayer, and daily walk with the Lord.   What the Holy Spirit imparts to us is that which will light up our path.  “Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  (Psalm 119:105)

The ‘midnight hour’ is crucial – a time of awakenings, victories and defeats.  For many who merely ‘profess’ Christ, it will be a time of dread – in Matthew 25:12  Christ reveals their destiny.  Passive faith is never enough to bring light and life – it has no power at the ‘midnight hour’.   Victory and reward awaits those who set their hearts toward God, those who cherish and hold forth the “oil of joy” – which Christ Himself pours upon those who seek and wait for His Kingdom.

“You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning;  my God turns my darkness into light.”  (Psalm 18:28)