The Lord wants to bring a word of comfort and restoration today. He is restoring the flow of the oil of the Spirit.
Psalms 34:18 (NIV) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
It seems almost daily that I am hearing about more people going through challenges in every possible area. Whether or not difficulties are increasing, I’m not sure – but the past few years have certainly been extremely tough for many.
Let’s get real. There are times as believers when we feel on fire, full of passion and life, and energised about God’s kingdom and His purposes. Then there are other seasons when we feel dry, discouraged or hurting. That abundant life can seem unattainable, and our joy can get squashed.
The wonderful news is that the same mighty God who rules with great power and justice also tenderly gathers up His family when they need care. I was recently drawn to this scripture in Isaiah:
Isaiah 42:3a (NIV) A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out.
This scripture gives us an image of a smouldering wick – an oil lamp in which only an ember or slight glow remains. The verse speaks of one whose zeal might be waning, yet it highlights the tenderness of Jesus, the Good Shepherd caring for His flock. Jesus does not cast aside those who are bruised or struggling. Our Father speaks to us as His loved children, those he cares for deeply.
The Lord gives us insight into His intention in the spiritual realm through what we can understand in the natural or physical realm. If we look at a candle, we tend to see the wick as the part that is burning. But in fact, it is the candle wax that provides the fuel. This is the same principle as an oil lamp. The wick is soaked in the oil, and as the oil draws up the wick, the oil burns at the end of the wick.
In an oil lamp, the wick can burn out too fast – because the wick itself is being used as fuel, rather than the oil. And if a wick is too long or too short, the flame will smoulder or go out. A poorly trimmed wick will result in a flame which is dim or smoky. A wick must be close to the oil and well soaked in order to burn. And of course, an oil lamp needs to regularly have the oil topped up.
The Lord is gently leading you today to lighten the load and to remain close to the source. God doesn’t need us trying to add more fuel in the natural. We don’t need to strive or do things by natural efforts – we need the Spirit of God to pour out fresh oil. Father wants to lead us to rivers of living water, that we would receive life for ourselves, and that we would overflow with that living water to others. He is restoring the flow.
Revelation 7:17 (NIV) For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”
John 7:38 (NIV) Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
If you are feeling bruised or broken, the Lord’s desire is to refresh you and strengthen you. For those of you who feel like your spiritual passion has been waning or your flame is smouldering, the Lord’s desire is to breathe new life into you. He has the power to restore the flow of oil and to rekindle your flame.
The Spirit of God is hovering over you, and His desire is to comfort you. The Lord is present to restore hope for your disappointments and hurts. The Father is here to remove guilt – for those who have been far away, as well as those who have been soaking in the oil yet wondering why you don’t feel connected to the Lord. The Spirit is present to breathe life and fresh oil into your reservoir.
When that wick is smouldering, there are two ways that ember can come back to flame. Firstly, some gentle blowing can bring that ember back to life. Take time to allow the wind of the Holy Spirit to refresh you and minister to you today. His breath gives life. Secondly, another source of flame can also help spark and nurture the fire. God created us for relationship, and there is a beautiful strengthening that occurs when another believer comes alongside us to encourage us, pray with us, and comfort us.
If you are feeling thirsty or dry, then the Lord has fresh rivers of living water for you. If you are feeling like you have been trying to constantly add more fuel, then Father invites you to soak in His presence and receive some fresh oil. And if you need someone to stand with you, then reach out for prayer and encouragement. The Holy Spirit is ready and waiting to restore the flow.
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