One unique and remarkable character of our Heavenly Father is continuity. The nature He had created confirmed this character. That is why the sun rises in the East every day and set in the West. The course of His ordinance for the day and that of the night that brings out the Moon and stars had never been altered since creation. “It is the LORD who provides the sun to light the day and the moon and stars to light the night, and who stirs the sea into roaring waves.” (Jeremiah 31:35 NLT) The Scripture revealed that the mercy of God endures forever and His compassion they faileth not. “The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT) The breath of life that we all know as oxygen is never in short supply from generation unto generation for all living creatures that subsist on it. This oxygen fills our lungs almost every second for onward distribution to our blood streams for consistent refreshing the billions of cells of our bodies in the sustaining divine energy of God from the first day on earth and the last moment our souls return to our Maker.
It is very common in the western culture, because of our sense of economizing our resources to switch off all lights in our rooms and sitting rooms when we are going out of our dwelling places. But in the abundant of the wisdom of Almighty God, He taught the principle of continuity, which is the beauty of His nature, to the priest in the temple. He commanded that the lamps in His temple be burning continuously, whether there are activities in the temple or not. “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually. Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the LORD continually: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations. He shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the LORD continually.” (Leviticus 24:1-4) There is an important lesson that the Lord is teaching us here. We know that God never waste His resources. We learn about this principle when Jesus Christ commanded that the remaining fragments of excess food should be gathered together, and twelve baskets were gathered. “When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” (John 6:12)
The most useless thing that one can think of is the dung of animal. Immediately after the animals had excreted the dung, some insects like dung-beetles will come and feast on it. These insects will roll the dung into their holes and lay their eggs in it. The assumed useless dung is food resources for the offspring of this insect. The remnants of the dung will become fertilizer upon the farmland of farmers. In the same manner, the leaves that fall from trees around our homes become a huge garbage in the cities, but give it some few days, these leaves will become decayed and become fertilizer resources for our flowerpots and in our home garden. From this we can understand that nature does not waste its precious resources. If God commanded continuing burning of oil in the temple when there is no activities in the temple, it means there is an important lesson that we need to learn from the commandment.
In the proverbs of the Ten Virgins, Jesus Christ iterated the same principle of continuity in our relationship with God. “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, ‘Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.’ … Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 25:1-13)
Consistent watching and waiting before God demand that in our mindfulness and in our relationship with Him, we should ensure that the candlelight of God in our hearts does not go off. The candlelight of righteousness must continue to burn for the glory of God. The candlelight of holiness must continue to shine brightly in our hearts. “… let the one who is righteous continue to live righteously; let the one who is holy continue to be holy …” (Revelation 22:11) We cannot afford to allow the oil of the candlelight of forgiveness to go off in our heart. “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22) “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15) We must not run out of the oil of love of God towards humanity. The scripture reminded that we should “Let brotherly love continue.” (Hebrews 13:1) We should apply spiritual fragrance of enlightenment to the oil in our lamp by daily seeking and meditating upon the word of God. This was the recommendation of our Heavenly Father to Joshua. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein.” (Joshua 1:8) This was also the declaration of David in the Psalm. “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or set foot on the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, yielding its fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither, and who prospers in all he does.” (Psalm 1:1-3) The candle stick of powerful intercessors must continue to be burning brightly before God for His continuous merciful intervention in the affairs of mankind. “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30) Our continuous forward march in the Lord must not be stalled. Our hands are already on the plough, we cannot afford to look back, because our Lord Jesus Christ said, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62) The Lord had assured us and said, “… he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” (Revelations 2:11)
In order to ensure that we possess sufficient oil in the lamp of our hearts, we must not frustrate the presence of Holy Spirit in us. We need the indwelling of Holy Spirit to be able to consistently continue faithfully in the Lord. Holy Spirit does not dwell in a corrupt minded people. That was why the scripture warn us, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:30-32)
Prayer: O Lord, I lift up my spiritual lamp before you, Oh Father, fill the tank of my lamp with the oil of your righteousness and holiness, in Jesus name, Amen. Fill my spirit with the oil of your inspiration and enlightenment Oh Father. Let the oil of forgiveness continue to be burning brightly in me Oh Lord. Trim the lamp of my faith before you and do not let the oil tank of my prayer lamp before your throne of Grace run dry in Jesus name, Amen.