It never fails to amaze me the speed at which the storms of life can blow up. Out of nowhere, bedlam descends. No matter how quietly, prudently, or circumspectly you try to live life, you simply can’t cover all the bases. The unexpected, incalculable vicissitudes of life are waiting to pounce like a feisty Hobbes on the unsuspecting Calvin, sending you tumbling.
I’ve known for awhile that something was up with my body, but I couldn’t quite identify the problem. As I lamented previously, menopause changes everything, including your body’s normal responses. It wasn’t until my skin broke out in a full-on, violent itchy fungal infection that I clued in. What had simmered below the surface for many months suddenly manifest like a plague in the humid sweat of summer. A prescription for cortical steroid skin cream was quickly exhausted as I tried to keep up with the rampant spread across the approximately 20 square feet of my skin surface. You can only use that stuff for seven days (world’s stupidest prescription), so the quandary faces you; what are you going to do then?
My solution was to look to homeopathic therapy and the use of essential oils. I’m a firm believer in these powerful, volatile oils at the core of nature itself. It took some research and experimentation, but after a few desperate and uncomfortable days, I managed to concoct a tincture of antifungal oils; coconut, eucalyptus, tea tree, oregano, peppermint and even lemongrass, that really did the trick. I slathered it on myself three times a day, slowly, slowly seeing results beginning to overtake the flare-up. I was so grateful I had all those oils on hand.
But enough of these grim details. The whole scenario really got me thinking about the nature of oils and more especially, the oil of the Spirit. Scripture talks extensively about spiritual oils that cannot actually be seen, but do indeed exist. If you can get such dramatic results after a week of use in the natural realm of essential oils, what would happen if you really took the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit seriously? How rapidly could you see significant transformation?
We read in the Word of the lavish presence of oil; a figure of the Holy Spirit in His various functions as advocate, helper, healer, guide. To the ancient Hebrews, oil from the olive symbolized the blessing of God over their lives. It was a critical component of their diets and a practical requirement for cooking, food, heating and medicine, so there was never too much of it. Oil was a symbol of fatness and feasting; the ability to receive and enjoy the good things of life. Firstly, there’s oil to be had in the story of the widow and the prophet (1 Kings17:9-24), an example of supernatural provision. Oil, in the form of a balm or liniment is an agent of healing; the Old Testament presence of Jesus already manifest (Jeremiah 8:22). Oil was a cooling agent in hot desert climates, bringing refreshment and moisture (Psalm 23:5). There are oils of joy granted for the passionate to sustain them in their work (Psalm 45:7). Oil kept the lamp of God burning in the temple; a sign of God’s continuous presence with His people (Exodus 25:6).
In the Old Testament, there’s an actual recipe for a sacred mixture, a compound protected by the Law of Moses and not to be used in common life. (That ought to confirm right there that essential oils and the compounds used in aromatherapy are highly significant). This was the anointing oil reserved exclusively for anointing kings, priests and prophets (Exodus 30). When Jesus begins His ministry, He quotes a passage from Isaiah which identifies Him immediately as the Anointed One prophesied several hundred years earlier. All who heard Him knew that He was referencing this word about the Messiah. Notice how the images of anointing, oil, and the work of Jesus are intertwined together.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness... Isaiah 61:1-4
We’re told that after Jesus read this passage, He closed the book, sat down and declared with a simply “This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:18-20). Needless to say, the authority behind that announcement took their breath away.
If we truly grasped this authority, which has now been conferred on us, it would take our breath away too. As Jesus was about to ascend into heaven, this anointing was given to His disciples and to all believers. We now have the power to call down Heaven and see the Kingdom of God invade circumstances and transform situations. It’s the essential oil of the Gospel, and it heals everything it touches. Try testing its efficacy, and you will come away awed. We're carrying the energy the world is longing for. In the same way the aroma of essential oils invokes major physiological changes within the body without our even being aware of it, so the work of the Gospel pervades our existence; revolutionizing our environment and transforming us right down to the DNA. We haven’t even begin to grasp the full power of it.
Dip liberally in the oil of the Holy Spirit for whatever it is you need. It's all yours for the taking.
"My horn you shall exalt like the horn of a unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil" Psalm 92:10