Be Ready Part 2

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.’
— Matthew 25:7-9 NKJV

    Ok, so now the church just woke up from their spiritual slumber and everyone is taking out their Bibles. All is well right? Now I’m ready. “Well, hold on a minute,” Jesus says. “There’s still something of critical importance that is needed and no one else can do this for you.” If you’re going to be ready, then you’re going to need to personally…

Seek the Daily Infilling of the Holy Spirit.

    Yesterdays fill will not do. Last weeks experience with His infilling will not automatically spill over into today. You’ve got to seek a fresh baptism of His presence and power daily.

    My wife and I’ve been in the Fairfax, VA area for the past 5 months. This was because the transition to our new church was originally scheduled to be a lot sooner and our lease was up in Laurel so we ended up moving and commuting an hour each way to and from Restoration Praise Center in Bowie and to Laurel, since I was still leading my Grow Group. And with the long drive, I’d come home so tired that I’d forget to put gas in the car. And every now and then, Deedre would get in the car to go somewhere and discover that the car was on Empty. Now since I’m the one typically driving the car, there was no way for Deedre to know that the car was on Empty. She couldn’t do it for me, because she didn’t know how much gas was in the tank. She wouldn’t have known if I was riding on E or not. You see the gas that I put in the tank last week was not going to get me to my destination this week. It was my responsibility to insure that I kept the tank filled with gas. This is what Jesus is saying about your spiritual life. It’s good that you have your Bible and your carving out personal time in the word, but unless you seek a daily infilling of the Holy Spirit, you will be found wanting.

    The foolish virgins tried to get some of the oil of the wise virgins. But the wise virgins, said in essence, you got to get your own experience. It wasn’t that they were trying to be rude. It’s just the reality. Jesus is telling us that you have to have a personal experience with the Holy Spirit. You can’t live off the pastor’s oil or your deeply spiritual friend or spouse’s oil. You may have devotion together, but you need to have your own infilling of the Holy Spirit. There is an expression we say in Jamaica, “Every tub must sit pun its own bottom.” In other words you have to be accountable for your own experience.

    The candle sticks in the sanctuary service has been teaching us the continuos need for the infilling of the Holy Spirit all along. When you moved into the Holy Place experience, by connecting with Christ daily through His word, symbolized by the table of showbread, and in prayer, symbolized by the alter of incense. Then there is the 7 branch candle sticks. They were to be kept continually burning, day and night. It was symbolic of the continual burning of the Holy Spirit within you. The wick of the candle stick was made of the old underwear of the priests. It was consumed by the fire and oil on the candles. This was to symbolize how the daily infilling of the Holy Spirit was to consume the filthy rags of your sinful nature and transform you into the character of Christ. This Holy Place experience was designed to show you how you are sanctified. This daily indwelling of the Holy Spirit transforms your character and empowers your witness to the world.

 I love how Dr. Ron Clouzet puts it in his book Adventism’s Greatest Need...

“The baptism of the Spirit can only be real, as long as it is a recurring infilling of the Spirit—time and time again. The reason for that is because we tend to be “leaky” vessels… Our sinful nature always pulls us away from God. And leaky vessels, in order to remain full, must be filled time and again.”
— Adventism's Greatest Need P.124

    Just getting a good sermon from the pastor from week to week isn’t enough. Going to your Grow Group and surrounding yourself with deeply spiritual people are all good things, but they cannot replace your personal need for a daily infilling. So set aside that daily devotional time in the word and ask God for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus says in Luke 11:13, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” So make this apart of your daily devotional practice.

    However the most critical point to being ready is what Jesus is about to share next…

“CJ” Claypole S. Cousins Jr. is simply a man who is in love with Jesus. His passion is to live, preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In addition to preaching and teaching, CJ also loves to sing and write about Jesus. He also serves as the pastor for Youth, Young Adults and Children at Vienna SDA Church in Vienna, VA.