Dear People Who Keep Company With God,
The Lord appeared to me in a vision in the very early morning hours as I was worshipping Him. He looked absolutely beautiful. He was full of health and life, very vibrant and I felt friendship all over Him. He is so inviting and inclusive. My response was, “Lord you look great especially since all you went through on the cross.” Biblically, the way the Lord reveals Himself is the way He wants us to know Him in that time. For instance, the Lord revealed Himself as the Captain of the Lord’s army as Joshua was about to go on a great military campaign (Jos. 5:13-15)
Since 2009, we have been in a time of great sorrow. The Lord did not cause the sorrow, but He did reveal Himself to me in the sorrowful time as one whose appearance was marred more than any man (Is. 52:14). So we have known the Lord in suffering, loss and delay, but now we are in a new season. It is time to take off our mourning garments and put on worship, humility, friendship with the Lord and brotherly love.
One of the lessons I learned in the past season is how critical it is to continue to cultivate the oil of His Presence regardless of what is happening. I love revival, renewal and such, and will continue pursuing it, butone thing that was really sad to me was to watch some who had been so touched and transformed by the Holy Spirit drift back to a business as usual believer. It was because they did not learn this one huge lesson; you always have to cultivate your own garden. Revival can never take the place of personal relationship with the Lord. It is meant to enhance and accelerate it, but not replace it. I believe the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins in Matthew 25 is very key for us in the days ahead.
They were all believers and they all slumbered and slept because the bridegroom delayed. Sleeping in this parable should not be considered bad since the wise and foolish both slept. I believe this speaks of cultivating oil in the natural everyday demands, routines and distractions of life. As this parable illustrates a time will come when it will be too late to get oil and it appears that half of the church will not have sufficient oil in that time. It is not too late now, though.
We can get by with living in someone else’s light for a little while when things are going well (John 5:35), but as this parable illustrates, you can’t borrow oil from others when things get stressful. We need our own personal supply. Why would any of us want a spiritual life with the majority of our light coming from others when we can get it from the Lord Himself? The moon gives light at night, but can you imagine if all we had for light was the moon?
We also cannot borrow oil from ourselves. The foolish virgins couldn’t go back to a time when they had enough oil. As much as I love what the Holy Spirit has done in my life and the times when I was burning for Him it will do me little good if I have not continued to replenish and enlarge my capacity for the oil in my life. I believe this parable clearly illustrates that the wise can become foolish through neglect of their spiritual life.
Getting oil is really simple; it is making Jesus Christ the first love and passion of your life. It is what Paul called “single hearted devotion” to Christ (2 Cor. 11:3). It is so easy to let everything else take the place of Him but for those who cultivate the oil of His Presence, they are the wisest people on the earth.
Many Blessings, BW