Three thousand miles. Five thousand miles. Your car can travel pretty far—often several months or more—without an oil change. Vehicles are wonderful gifts and have developed remarkably over the past century.
But I have a newsflash for you…
Alert the media!
You are not a car. Nor are you a truck or an SUV!
You’re a human being that is wired by the incalculably good sovereign King to be radically dependent on Him. Spiritually speaking, you can’t go more than a few miles without an “oil change.”
I love searching out the depths and endless complexities of God and the Christian life. He’s a vast ocean of exploration. Yet, I’ve honestly found that when I, or those close to me, are experiencing defeat, it’s usually traced back to one thing—drawing back from the secret place with Him.
One of the crucial lessons of the Christian life is not to chase after every new teaching—but to remember the simplicity of chasing Him.
He’s the Fountain of living waters. And similar to how He made you to be dependent on water in the natural, He made you to drink of Him on a very regular basis.
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor 11:3). Notice it’s through subtilty that we’re led astray. We may rarely have a big fall, but we drift far easier than we think (Heb. 2:1). I challenge you to think about what may be leading you astray from getting oil in your lamp at times as your number one priority. For those reading this, it’s probably good things.
Was it a family problem? A political issue? Sports? A ministry assignment? A business endeavor? Social media? To include all of the things that vie for our attention would be like trying to write a grocery list for the Duggar family. But think about what your tendencies are.
Many people calculate how their finances are spent each month, but what about really contemplating and charting how you spend a far more valuable resource—time?!
The “little foxes” are sly. They may seem insignificant (hence the word “little”), but they can spoil the whole vineyard (Song of Sol. 2:15). In other words, a small thing can stunt the growth of your entire relationship with God—without you even realizing it!
The “foolish virgins” never knew they were foolish until it was too late (see Matt. 25:1-13). Very few people read that parable and say, “Oh, there’s me! I’m one of the foolish virgins. Look, Mom! I’m in the Bible!”
It happens to all of us in certain seasons. Be confident that there’s never any condemnation from the Lord—just a burning desire for you to be close to Him because He’s a zealous Bridegroom. And He knows that everything else in your life is designed to flow from a living relationship with Him.
There’s no need to fear a mean scowl; just the opposite! Know that with just one upward glance towards Him you ravish His heart (Song of Sol. 4:9).
So, get back into the secret place! Trim your lamp with joy. Willingly cut out the extra. And get oil! The oil of intimacy with Him.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on EJ Ministries