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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Still keeping the light on

She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
18 She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.  Proverbs 31:17,18





We've established that we need to be strong in order to keep our lights shining, to not burn out, to have a life message for the world and the next generation. We've seen that such strength is not merely physical, but also from our soul.Even if we become limited in physical strength, we can always increase in soul and spirit strength - those are the most important!
 And in the last post we learned how to strengthen our soul.

Now - how to strengthen our spirit...



The image given in this passage of Scripture gives us is of a lamp.  Lamps in Bible times were not like what we use today. No battery or electrical cord to supply the power. No handy little switch to turn it on. No incandescent bulb to burn out and need changing. Picture something more like this
 The lamp the writer of Proverbs had in mind used oil and a wick. Bible scholars tells us it looked something like this

A clay pot filled with oil and a strip of cloth or bundle of rope that would draw up the liquid and burn. Each part was vital or the lamp didn't provide light.

What does this show us? What  does it tells us about strengthening our spirit?

First, the oil - In Scripture, oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. This is the source of power, the supply of energy, that which enables the light to burn. Without the oil, there is no light.

We can easily understand the clay pot to be our own selves, our life. And the wick, perhaps, is our willingness to draw upon the Holy Spirit as our source of power, to connect with Him, to live in a state of dependence upon Him.  
So, how do we do this in real life, not just symbolism?

We first of all must be aware of our need for Him. We must realize that we are powerless without Him.  Acts 1: 8 tells us "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth"

We know from Ephesians 5:18 that God commands us to be filled with His Holy Spirit (And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit).

We also know from the Greek construction of the sentence and the tense of the verb "be filled", that this indicates continual filling, an action that is to be repeated over and over. So it is not a "one time filling" but rather a daily (hourly!) one, as we realize our need to be emptied of ourselves and filled (controlled) by Him.

How to do that? 

We already established that the first step is to be aware of our need.
Then we need to ask Him. 
All through the day, calling on Him for wisdom and power and strength. Knowing we cannot rely on our own but instead casting ourselves on Him.
Praying continuously.
Saturating ourselves in His Word. 

Just a final practical application - one way to immerse ourselves in His Spirit and His Word is through music. Begin your day with good, solid, Truth-filled music that will encourage your spirit in Him.  And listen to the same in your car, in your home, at your work (if possible). All day, soaking up His Spirit, even singing with the tunes!

I got this idea from Scripture :)  Read verse 19 of Ephesians 5!!