Matt. 25:8 – And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
When, exactly, did your lamp start to go out? Was it when your expectations of what your life would look like didn’t quite pan out? Maybe it was when your marriage lost its sparkle and you started feeling kind of discouraged or even trapped? Or maybe it was when your sickness lingered and you felt like your prayers weren’t answered. It could have been more of a slow fade; you know, neglecting your spiritual activities and feeling like you may be missing some of the ‘fun’ the worldly people are getting in on. Whatever started it, if you are honest with yourself, your spiritual flame is getting dimmer and is threatening to go out. Here is how Maclaren describes this verse.
“Our lamps are going out,’—a slow process that! The flame does not all die into darkness in a minute. There are stages in its death. The white portion of the flame becomes smaller and the blue part extends; then the flame flickers, and finally shudders itself, as it were, off the wick; then nothing remains but a charred red line along the top; then that line breaks up into little points, and one after another these twinkle out, and then all is black, and the lamp is gone out. And so, slowly, like the ebbing away of the tide, like the reluctant, long-protracted dying of summer days, like the dropping of the blood from some fatal wound, by degrees the process of extinction creeps, creeps, creeps on, and the lamp that was going is finally gone out.”
This is a great description of the deterioration of our spiritual lives. It rarely happens all at once, it is almost always a slow, gradual deterioration. If you think back at the early days of your spiritual journey everything was so exciting. You were excited about your Bible, you loved Sundays, and home group, and would never miss special services and guest speakers. But gradually your spiritual activities lost their joy and then missing them became a more common occurrence. What was the source of that joy and excitement in the beginning and and how did you lose it? For that answer we have to go back to Jesus’s parable, especially the part about the oil. The oil is the key. It is a picture of the Holy Spirit in our lives and is the very source of our spiritual life. How do I replenish the oil in my life? The answer is simple, look to Jesus, the oil is flowing from Him.