Earlier today I was using a chainsaw when it began to malfunction. It stopped cutting the fallen tree I was working on and began to smoke to an alarming degree. I checked to see if it had gas. Check! Oil? Check! Motor running? Check! Chain sharp and on the right direction? Check! What was the problem? Somehow the channel from the oil tank to the chain got blocked which kept the oil from lubricating the chain.
Throughout the Bible, oil is a sign of blessing. It was used to anoint kings and priests as a sign of God’s choosing, often with presence of the Holy Spirit. (See 1 Sam 16:13) It’s not a stretch to see oil as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:38 “…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power….”
In John 15:26 through 16:15 Jesus himself encouraged His disciples with the promise of the Holy Spirit. And Jesus knew they were going to need the “oil” of the Spirit even before they did! He let them know that things were going to get tough as they suffered because of their connection with him.
I think many Christians today are running dry, without the oil of the Spirit. There’s a blockage (but no shortage) of God’s power and blessing in their lives and they don’t know why. This Sunday we’re going to see four ways the Holy Spirit is working that many people are missing out on but are available to all!
P.S. Big thanks to Femi, Oscar, Sajiv, and Jen for helping us all to celebrate Pentecost last Sunday in multilingual, multicultural style!