Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matt. 11:28–30, NAS)
In the midst of birthing and maintaining your Prayer Storm, don’t neglect your personal devotional intimacy with Jesus. If you do, you will run out of grace for your assignments. You will not be able to keep your “machine” going.
You know how it is with machinery. You have to keep it oiled or it just cranks dry and stops. It’s the same with your spiritual life; you have to keep the oil of intimacy flowing and covering all the parts of your life. First Thessalonians 5:17 reminds us to “pray without ceasing.” That means our prayer machinery needs to be in good working order all the time.
Intercession is hard work without the grace of God. In fact, without the pervasive, soaking oil of the presence of Jesus’ Spirit, prayer and intercession just plain shut down. We can’t afford to let that happen! We’re living in the end times, and we need to be like the wise virgins in Jesus’ parable:
Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
And at midnight a cry was heard: “Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!” Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise answered, saying, “No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.” And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us!” But he answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.” Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. (Matt. 25:1–13, NKJV)
This parable is supposed to be a wake-up call to the Church. All ten of the virgins represent born-again believers. Each one had a knowledge of the bridegroom and each one carried a lamp, which is the same as having a ministry. (See Matthew 5:15; Revelation 1:20; 2:5; 11:3–6; Zechariah 4:2; Isaiah 62:1, and John 5:35.) Paul points out how God views the Church as a virgin: “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him”(2 Cor. 11:2, niv). Taken separately or together, we’re each/all viewed as virgins.
So you need to understand that the foolish virgins are not being labeled wicked or sinful or lazy or fearful, or even cursed. They simply did not think ahead or make the effort to get the oil they needed. They didn’t lose their “fire insurance,” their salvation. It’s the same with us. The Church is full of the redeemed. All of us have been bought with Jesus’ blood. But, not everybody in the Church ends up fulfilling his or her personal destiny. Not everybody ends up in the center circle at the end of the age.
All the virgins together came out to meet the bridegroom. They left their ordinary occupations and joined together in a group that was going to meet him. The oil they neglected to obtain is, of course, the same as our relationship with the Holy Spirit. They failed to nurture that relationship. Somehow they got caught up in so much stuff that they just didn’t properly manage their devotional life. The rat race kept them too distracted. But at the midnight hour of history, they got left in the dust. The “forerunners,” the wise virgins, raised the cry, “The Bridegroom is coming!” and they lit their lamps and rushed off to greet Him. Before the ones whose lamps burned out could do anything to stop it, the door was shut.
Jesus’ upcoming arrival has serious consequences. We must not only expect Him and even go out to meet Him, but we must make the necessary effort to be prepared to meet Him. We will all go through “slumber,” because our life is lived in the context of natural processes. We can’t keep our eyes open every minute. But when that final wake-up call comes, how many of us will have oil already in our lamps? Will we open our eyes and see the flame in the lamp guttering down as the last of our diminished fuel is consumed? Will our opportunity and ability to minister be almost finished?
It will be too late then to obtain some oil from somebody else. You won’t have time to go to another conference or read another book or listen to another CD. Spiritual preparedness is not transferable. Intimacy with Jesus cannot be gained by impartation. Each of us must engage in the God-ordained process of acquiring oil for ourselves. Why? God is jealous for each of us.
You have to maintain a devotional life with God. You have to commune with Him by yourself, and for yourself. Rick Joyner has said many times, “You’re as close to God as you want to be.” To change the metaphor from oil for a minute, each of us needs to heed the words of Revelation:
I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. (Rev. 3:18, NAS).
The saddest thing is that many of us, like the foolish virgins, will miss out on future opportunities to be used in our fullest capacity. The Bridegroom will not recognize some of us as those who are “fully engaged” with Him. It is absolutely vital that we obtain and maintain the oil in our lamps, the oil of intimacy with our Bridegroom. We need to get it now, and keep refilling our lamps whenever we can.
Well, that is how I see it. That is the View from My Chair!
Seeking His Face for Fresh Oil!
James W. Goll