“Do you have any oil lamps?” the customer asked me, looking around the store where I work.
Unfortunately, at the time, we didn’t.
I understand why he wanted one. Oil lamps are great to have around when a storm knocks out the electricity. However, they can be temperamental—flickering and smoking at times.
As Christians—when it comes to letting our light shine for Jesus—we may feel that way ourselves at times. Our light can waver or grow a bit dim in the face of the challenges and struggles of life. Perhaps a closer look at maintaining an oil lamp will help us gain insight into brightening our spiritual light, too.
If an oil lamp gets too much air it will flicker. An easy fix is to move it to a less drafty location. When we feel like we are being tossed about spiritually, could the culprit be too much “busyness”. What can we eliminate in order to have more quality time for God?
If the wick on an oil lamp is untrimmed, the lamp burns poorly. In like manner, the light of Jesus cannot shine through us if we do not allow God to shape us according to His design. (Romans 12:2)
When the oil in the lamp is dirty, the impurities will cause the flame to burn unevenly. The old adage is true: We reap what we sow. Does what we watch, read, and listen to fit the parameters laid out in Philippians 4:8? “My friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.”
Did you know that if the level of the oil is too low, the wick itself begins to burn, causing it to flicker and smoke? If we try to nourish our souls with a few lines of Scripture read occasionally with a word or two of prayer squeezed in, it won’t be long till we are spiritually starving. How can we shine God’s light on others when we are barely allowing it to illuminate our own way?
Is the flame of your faith burning brightly? Or, like me, do you need to ask God to do a little maintenance to bring back its brilliance?
©2016 Pamela D. Williams