"Give me oil in my lamp, keep it burning, burning, burning; give me oil in my lamp, I pray; give me oil in my lamp, keep it burning, burning, burning; keep it burning till the break of day ..."
I had a dream.
I was awakened in a dream by a Man with jet-black hair, and He said, "Follow Me." So I got up from my bed and began to follow Him into a room filled with people. It was as if I walked right from my bedroom into another house. This Man stood in the corner of the room and gestured with His head for me to watch what was taking place in this room.
I realized, as I looked around the room, that I had stepped right into a parable. I was literally "in" Matthew 25. I was just an observer; no one seemed to know I was even there except for the Man with jet-black hair that brought me. He kept gesturing for me to keep watching.
I saw something very interesting as I began to look around the room; every person in the room had a lantern. Everyone was carrying their own lantern. Some of the lanterns were very beautiful. Some of them were very simple. Some were very old; some were shiny, almost to the point that I wanted to just look at how beautiful these lanterns were; and every person in the room had one. But what I would soon see for myself is that it is not the outside beauty that is needed but what is on the inside. For I saw very quickly that beautiful, unique and shiny lanterns are of no use when the inside is empty. For some lanterns were beautiful on the outside, and I could see they were filled to the brim of oil; and some lanterns, though beautiful and though so unique, were in much need of oil.
This was a very interesting sight that my eyes were beholding, for everyone carried lanterns—some full of oil, some almost empty of oil.
I had stepped into a parable that I had read a thousand times. I noticed the hour become late and everyone began to sleep. Now, being in the parable, I could see that falling asleep was not the main point of this—for in this life and in our natural bodies we get tired and sleep is a part of living in this life; but the key was sleeping not with just a lamp but with a reservoir full of oil.
Suddenly, when all was still and silent and everyone was sleeping, we all heard a cry: "The Bridegroom is coming!"When you hear this cry, well, it is just time.
Now everyone in the room awoke and began to get ready very quickly. Everyone heard the cry, everyone was awakened and got up, everyone grabbed their lanterns, and everyone began to trim their lamp. Everyone had a lantern, and everyone got up to trim their own lanterns, and everyone began to prepare to go out and meet the Bridegroom. The other thing I saw was, at thispoint, everyone's lanterns were shining. Everyone had lanterns that were shining. It was not like some were shining and some were not, but everyone got up and everyone began to trim their lamps, and every lantern was shining.
In the dream, I began to look at their lamps very closely. They were very simple lanterns. Some were not as beautiful or extravagant as other lanterns in the room, but my eyes fell upon not the outside of the lanterns but the oil on the inside. For some were full, and this oil had a fragrance; these lanterns was so full that there was oil running down on the outside. I saw in a clear picture that it is not the outer shine that is the most precious, but it is that which is hidden inside. This is the place I saw the necessity of the oil itself.
As I was pondering all of this, the Man with the jet black hair that was quietly watching in the corner of the room came over to me and said, "This oil is a sign of every 'yes' that they ever said when no one was looking. This oil is a sign of all that is done in secret. All of their yeses, drop by drop, have given oil overflowing. No one can take this from them and they cannot give this away; for though many people shine, no one can sustain the shine without oil, without a secret life."
He said, "Look around the room."
Then, suddenly, this Man became very clear to me as the Lord. At first He was a visitor in the room just watching everyone, and then in an instant, He stepped into a place where I knew exactly who He was. He was there watching the whole thing, very silent, but always watching.
I saw that when the shout at the midnight hour came, "Behold, the Bridegroom comes!" that they all had eyes to perceive His coming, they all got up and took notice of His coming. They all turned their attention and began to observe His coming. "Behold," was said to everyone in the room, and everyone looked up to see Him coming. Everyone looked and perceived, and everyone trimmed their lamps.
They put in order their lamps, their "shine," their "glow."
Sustain Your 'Shine'
As they all got up and put in order their lamps, they made ready their shine; they began to prepare their shine to go out and meet the Bridegroom.
I began to look around the room, and I saw everyone with their lanterns, and everyone at this point had "shine." But very quickly the "shine," the "light" coming forth from the lanterns, began to fade in those whose lanterns had little oil.
Then suddenly the great struggle began, for many people had beautiful lanterns but they did not have oil. I saw that the key is to sustain your shine, your light. For many lanterns were lit and shining, but the key is to be able to sustain your "shine." The key to sustaining the shine is by carrying a reservoir of oil with you (within you).
I saw that everyone who took their lamps and took no oil with them had just enough oil to make their lamps burn for the present, but no bottle of oil with them to sustain their shine.
I woke up from the dream, and I knew thatwe are in a season to get oil. Many of us have "shine," but the key is to have that which will sustain our "shine."
Every season is the right season to get oil, that we would be able to sustain our shine. And the oil comes from the simplest of things: it is simply having a heart that says "yes," a heart that says, "I love You, and I trust You, God." It is mostly the little things that fill our vessels with oil; it is simply a heart that is not offended and that rejoices with those who rejoice.
How to 'Buy' Sustaining Oil for Your Lamp
I began to study this parable. When studying the Jewish marriage ceremony, when the bridegroom literally came for his bride, it was a custom sometimes used among the Jews that the bridegroom came, attended with his friends, late in the night, to the house of the bride, where she was waiting for him, attended with her bridesmaids; who, upon the notice given of the bridegroom's approach, were to go out with lamps in their hands, to light him into the house with ceremony.
The office of these virgins is to meet the bridegroom; they come to wait upon the bridegroom when he appears and, in the meantime, to wait for him. Their chief concern is to have lights in their hands when they attend the bridegroom, thus to do him honor and do him service.
As the parable goes, they all went out to meet Him and they took their lamps; this word "lamps" comes from the root word meaning "to shine." They took their "shine" and went out to meet the Bridegroom. Everyone could see shine at this point.
The five foolish took their "shine" and went out to meet Him. You can "shine" for a little while, even with a little oil, but the key is the ability to sustain that "shine," and that takes "oil" in your lamp. They all trimmed their lamps, they all had a flame, but this flame needs to be sustained with oil. But the wise took oil in their "vessels." They took a reservoir of oil. They took with them that which would sustain their shine.
At this point the five foolish realize they do not have that which will sustain their shine; they do not have a reservoir of oil and only have enough "shine" for the moment. "Our lamps are going out," they said. "We want what you have. We want you to give to us that which sustains your 'shine.' For the flame which sustains our shine is going out. Our shine is beginning to 'go out,' to extinguish. Our divine influence has 'gone out.' I don't know His voice anymore. I don't know what He is saying. Tell me, what is He saying?"
The foolish virgins were told to go and buy oil. That word "buy" is agorazo. It is the same word that is in Revelation 3:18: "I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments, that you may be dressed, that the shame of your nakedness may not appear, and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see."
It is also very similar to the other word "buy" in 1 Chronicles 21:24: "Then King David said to Ornan, "No, for I will surely acquire it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the Lord nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.'"
And this word means:
to get, acquire, buy, posses, to obtain of God originating, creating, wisdom
This is our season to buy oil, to purchase from the Lord that which is tried in the fire—that which costs us everything.
To acquire of God
To obtain of God what you can never receive or get from man.
In this season, trust God is in control. Let every sting lead you straight into His heart, and buy gold and oil by trusting and being unoffended if you are overlooked, if you get thrown under the bus, when you are mistreated by your peers or when you are demoted.
In the middle of all of this, talk to Holy Spirit. Right in the middle of it all, you can redeem and acquire knowledge. You can get oil, drop by drop, filling your lamp and running over right in the middle of a hard season. You can sustain your shine. You can get oil.
Julie Meyerhas spent over 15 years in Kansas City working alongside Mike Bickle to help establish the International House of Prayer. She is part of the leadership team overseeing the Global Prayer Room. She is a worship leader, songwriter, author and has also been a part of the staff at Forerunner Music Academy teaching vocal lessons and pouring into the next generation of worship leaders, singers and musicians. Julie is a popular conference speaker and singer. She is the author of two books and many CDs, and she travels internationally, ministering at churches and conferences, leading worship and sharing on revival, God's heart for raising up the house of prayer and worship. To connect with Julie, visit juliemeyerministries.com.
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