“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Midnight Oil, by Dale Bastian
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While I was worshiping, the Lord gave me the following vision. I saw a man sitting at a wooden table reading the Bible by the light of an oil lamp. As I looked at this picture, the Lord spoke and said, “Those who burn the midnight oil to seek the Lord will have oil at the midnight hour when the Bridegroom returns.” As the worship service continued, we began to sing about seeking the Lord night and day. Truly the Spirit of God is trying to get our attention.

Burning the Midnight Oil
The phrase “burning the midnight oil” means to work late into the night. Originally this was by the light of an oil lamp. More recently, the phrase is used figuratively, alluding back to its use before electric lighting.

But notice that the Lord wants us to
seek Him, not just work late. The Word of God has numerous passages that speak of seeking Him, such as Isaiah 55:6: “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.” Luke 11:10 says, “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.” We need to be diligently working at seeking the Lord. The man in the vision was doing this by studying and meditating on the Word of God.

Burning the midnight oil can mean staying up late to seek Him … but it involves more than this. It is having a heart attitude of being willing to make sacrifices in order to seek after God. In the vision, the table the man was sitting at was uncluttered — consisting of only the Bible and the oil lamp. Many Christians today have lives that are so cluttered and filled with different things that the light of the lamp of the Spirit cannot shine through all the clutter to illumine the Word of God. When we crowd the Spirit of God into a small corner of our lives, the light that He gives us is unable to bring illumination to us as we read His Word. Once this happens, our spiritual eyes become tired and blurry, and our desire and appetite for the Word of God languishes.

Spiritual House Cleaning
So what is the solution? We must simplify and clean our spiritual houses. Yes, this is easier said than done, but this is where sacrifice is involved. Remember, a sacrifice involves a cost! As King David said to Araunah, “… I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24).

What is the end result and outcome of our sacrifice? We will have oil at the midnight hour when the Bridegroom returns. In other words, we will be ready and prepared for the return of Jesus, our Bridegroom.

The second part of what the Lord spoke,
“… will have oil at the midnight hour when the bridegroom returns,” was a reference to Matthew 25:1–13 which says: “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”

What true believer does not have a longing to be ready for Jesus’ return? What a thrill and joy it will be to be a part of that wedding feast and to be forever united with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The question remains, however, will we prepare and make the painful sacrifices
today in order that we may enjoy the eternal company and pleasures of our Lord tomorrow?

May this prayer be the true cry of our hearts.
“Jesus, as You have lavished your love upon us, may we in return lavish our love and affections upon You, sparing nothing in our sacrifice to prepare ourselves for Your returning. May we wholeheartedly abandon ourselves to seeking You. Lord, thank you for Your promise that if we will burn the midnight oil to seek You, we can have complete confidence, assurance, and total lack of fear that we will be ready to meet You, our Bridegroom, at Your coming.” Amen.

Dale Bastian is a part of Living Water Publications and attends Freeport Mennonite Church in Freeport, Illinois. With a solid biblical background, keen prophetic insight, and a compassionate heart, he brings clarity of vision and a call to become more Christ-like to the Church. Dale and his wife, Dana, live in Dakota, Illinois.

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