Imagine a bride during the days of Jesus, adorned in her wedding attire and awaiting her groom. From her appearance it would seem that she has done everything expected in preparation for this moment. Her dress is without blemish, her purity is untainted, her wick is trimmed and her lamp is lit. As she hears the anticipated cry that the bridegroom is coming, she notices her flame is burning out. It suddenly occurs to her that she is not as prepared as she once assumed.
It seems harmless, but she has neglected the oil supply and because of this she has compromised her flame, forfeiting her place next to her bridegroom by seeking oil elsewhere. Thinking she has rectified the situation, she goes back to her groom, only to be denied entrance because she is recognized not as His beloved but as a stranger. This bride lacked something money could not buy and appearances could not compensate and that is intimacy.
No intimacy, no oil
We know this story well, only there were ten virgin brides with their lamps and only five of them were fully prepared to meet the Bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13). We see evidence of the anointing (oil) and the fire on all of their lives. Many times we think that is all that is needed to move with God, more anointing and more fire. We take them both for granted. These elements are important in the body of Christ and we need both because we cannot sustain the fire of God without His anointing. However, the fire and the oil are ultimately sustained by intimacy with God.
If you were to light a dry wick of an empty oil lamp, you would soon find a much shorter wick because the flame would devour it and pretty soon, the flame would go out. Without closeness to Christ, the anointing goes and the fire follows suit. Intimacy is what separates and consecrates us from the world and from mere religion while drawing us ever closer to our First Love.
The fate of the dry wick is what happens to those who want to burn, but don’t make time with the Holy Spirit a priority. Many rely on trimming their wicks with works and Sunday rendezvous with God to sustain and fuel the flame. Complacency sets in and a little oil in the lamp becomes acceptable. Without intimate time spent in His presence, the oil will be depleted and the flame will extinguish very quickly.
Some are tempted to seek oil elsewhere out of convenience rather than obedience, attempting to buy the anointing through mere works in ministry or paying for a prophecy, forsaking absolute devotion to the Bridegroom. Intimacy with Christ cannot be monetarily purchased and notoriety comes with relationship. Ephesians 5:18 makes mention to “be filled with the Spirit”. This is not a one time event, but it is a continuous filling of a vessel that is meant to blaze for Christ.
Yielding to wick trimming
The other end of the spectrum is to have a seemingly full lamp and a wick untrimmed with the deception that a dirty flame is better than no flame at all. Trimming a wick is the process of removing the charred portion and cutting the wick so that when lit, the flame is even and without smoke. If smoke contaminates the flame of an oil lamp, the vessel becomes dirty and the light becomes dim to those looking upon it.
I was thinking about the body of Christ and their position to the fire of God and the Lord began to speak to me saying,
“They will have spent time in My Presence so that they can burn brighter and hotter. They will keep their wicks trimmed and their lamps full of oil. The closer the wick is to the oil, the longer they will burn. You will burn longer and cleaner with a trimmed wick”.
Jesus told His disciples to abide in Him and He would abide in them (John 15:4). The key is abiding in His love. (John 15:9). As we choose to abide and to remain close to Christ, He will remove the portions that would contaminate His lamp. He is the best wick trimmer and He knows what needs to go in order for His fire to burn with purity.
Intimacy births His nature
We should not be content living a compromised life where our vessels are partially full of something resembling the anointing and a tainted flame burning on greasy grace. The Word tells us that we are holy because He is holy (1 Peter 1:16, Leviticus 20:26). We as the bride represent the Bridegroom and we are called to a higher standard. I do believe that God is releasing an urgency in those who will listen that holiness, repentance and righteousness are needed in this hour. We cannot afford to compromise intimacy and relationship with Christ if we truly desire transformation in our communities, cities, regions, nation and nations of the earth.
Let me leave you with this. A few weeks ago during worship, I saw an internal vision of the oil once again in the sanctuary only this time it was a pool of oil and we were standing in it. As I stood in this pool of oil, I noticed the oil began to wick up my legs. I was being filled with His anointing as I unashamedly worshiped God and connected with heaven.
I saw the wicking taking place in others who chose to worship and when it did, the fire of God burned with intensity. This can only happen when we get our eyes onto Jesus and off of every other lover that would steal our affection and offer a counterfeit anointing with a compromised flame. The bride of Christ desperately needs to stay postured before God in a state of intimacy and obedience so that our lamps are primed and ready for Jesus.