Oil At Midnight
By William Cawman
“Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. ...Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you...” (Matt. 25:8-9).
Oil, when used in Scripture in the spiritual sense, always means the anointing of God’s presence upon a life. In the Old Testament times, when God commissioned a person to a specific mission, oil was poured upon his head as an emblem of God’s presence with him. The priests were anointed with oil, and it was a serious sin to breach that sacred trust.
In the New Testament God says, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). Again in Revelation 1:6: “…and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” It is a weighty responsibility to become a New Testament Christian. To fail to carry with us the immediate and fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit upon our daily lives is as disastrous as was the strange fire of Nadab and Abihu.
When Jesus walked this earth, He carried a Presence with Him, and with anointed wisdom, stooped to lift, heal, and comfort, as well as to rebuke and warn. As He was leaving, He promised in no ambiguous language that He would pray the Father and that He would send that same anointing upon His believers. With clear and definite words He said: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). He also promised: “…and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:20).
What must He think of us, His professed church, when He sees false teachings and doctrines of devils aggressively going into all the world and spreading their message of damnation, while we slumber and sleep and allow our oil to run out? The words of our text are tragically pathetic. The parable of the ten virgins has nothing to do with false religions or sinners outside of the church; it is picturing the condition of “virgins” at the coming of Jesus. Shamefully, some did not see the need of the extra vessel of oil until it was too late. It is not, however, the purpose of this writer to dwell upon that depressing state; it is my desire to gloriously shout aloud that there is still a deep and abiding and overflowing source of oil. The Holy Spirit has not left this world, nor has He withdrawn access to the mercy seat.
The crying need of the hour within and without the church is for souls who will separate themselves with holy violence from the compelling slumber of this age and spend the time alone with the only Giver of this priceless oil. Jesus never gave us the example of running on yesterday’s grace. Even as pure as His heart was, as dedicated as His mission was, as impeccable as were His motives, He still wrenched from the pressing needs all around Him the time to be alone with His Heavenly Father. Sometimes sleep had to be laid aside; sometimes He deliberately walked away from the crowd; but whatever it took, He kept the anointing on His life. Those quiet times alone with God still pour oil into the waiting soul. Waiting upon God is almost an impossibility in today’s agenda. Satan has perfectly programmed the lifestyle of the midnight hour to allow little if any oil to be found or even sought after, but it is not necessary to be short on oil.
An African evangelist found himself consciously running lean and short of power. He laid aside all his plans, took a bottle of water and his Bible, and went into a cave to find “oil.” Twenty-one days later he came out with it pouring all over him, and consequently it poured onto others as well.
Lord, Give Us Oil!
Oh, Lord, give us oil, not only in our lamps, but fill our vessels as well! The world outside, as well as the church within, is subconsciously crying for oil. When the pressures of midnight darkness begin to really engulf and awaken this slumbering age, we MUST have oil for them. And we can! There is no minister, or Sunday school superintendent or teacher or missionary or layman that cannot go now “to them that sell, and buy” for themselves (Matt. 25:9). The hope offered to the Laodicean Church was, “I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire...” (Rev. 3:18).
For Jesus’ sake, and for the sake of dying souls around us, let us who know that there is oil, set aside everything necessary until filled with it from on high. How can we keep clear with the heart of Jesus if we do not? The means necessary to have a vessel full of oil will often set the soul in direct line for criticism, misunderstandings, shunning, unpopularity, and other atmospheres uncomfortable to human flesh. This soul will often sense that he makes certain crowds uneasy to the point where he feels unwelcome. But better far to face these things than to face the shame of poverty of Spirit anointing when it is needed most.
Thank God for the never-failing supply of oil from on high. Jesus left behind this statement even as He ascended up again into heaven: “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18). He longs, prays, and reaches out to us that He might impart that needed power, but so often we pass Him by. Those whose hearts are aflame with His love must not cease to cry aloud to the powerless church about them. It is not hopeless. It is not a lost cause. It is not too late to be revived, and quickened again with holy fire and passion. Let us who are of the day rise and call upon God until we are endued once more with oil for this midnight hour.
– From Emmanuel Herald.