No, I'm going to talk about a different essential oil....
On Sunday, our speaker at church was talking about church life. And how when you have a lot of believers together, there's bound to be friction. Because there is movement. He then launched into a very short something about oils and engines. Engines create movement, which creates friction and heat. Oil is essential to keep this process working correctly.
Which I understand-in very layman, non-mechanical terms. Seriously, last winter, when our van needed an oil change, it wouldn't even pick up speed. It was practically dying. It eventually wouldn't start. (in my defense, the oil indicator said it was still at 40%. Yeah, I don't trust that anymore.)
Oil is essential to a car.
It is also essential to baking. Sure, you can bake bread without oiling the bread pans. But, the end result is not too kosher. The lack of oil causes the bread to stick to the pan, and often chunks of bread are left in the pan when the loaf is finally wiggled loose.
Permanent damage is done to the loaf, when the oiling is neglected. Now, I know it's just a loaf of bread, but the idea holds true nonetheless.
I do find it interesting that a lot of cookies don't require greasing of the pan before baking. Why? The grease/oil oozes it's way out of the dough, thus providing it's own layer of oil. Which is a really good point for this post too.
So, the moral of the story is-oil is necessary. For vehicles. For baking. For Christian relationships. It provides lubricant so things run smoothly and don't grind to a halt. So that things don't stick together and rip apart and cause permanent damage.
Obviously, our relationships aren't needing a good squirt of Pam, or a quart of 15W-40. (No, I didn't know that. I looked it up...Google is awesome.) What is our spiritual oil?
It's the Holy Spirit.
Traditionally, oil in the Bible has been considered to be a picture of the Holy Spirit. Whether in it's use in the lamps of the temple, or as an anointing fluid for the prophets, priests, and kings. Oil, and it's usesm are a good illustration of the work of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, there is friction and tension in the body of Christ, but the Holy Spirit is the necessary ingredient for keeping believers unified and at peace. He is the essential oil that keeps all the parts working together properly.
...Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3)
The oil of the Holy Spirit is dispensed as gifts given to each believer to benefit the body of Christ. To encourage each other and to build each other up and to work in ministry.
The oil of the Holy Spirit is evidenced as fruit in the believers' lives. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
The only fruit in that list that doesn't have a very obvious relational application would be joy. Though, a joyful person is not one that we generally have a hard time getting along with either.
Loving our neighbor as ourselves. The world knowing we are Christ's disciples by our love for one another.
Peace. Reconciled to God, reconciled to each other. Inner peace, peace in the one body. No enemies. On earth peace, goodwill towards men.
Long-suffering. Putting up with foibles. Putting up with offenses. Not getting our underwear in a bunch over little things.
Gentleness. Being sympathetic, understanding, compassionate. Really feeling what the other is going through.
Goodness. Treating others the way we really would like them to treat us.
Faith. Bearing all things. Believing all things. Hoping all things. Enduring all things. Giving the benefit of the doubt. Leaving grace and room for change.
Meekness. Not standing on our own rights. What we deserve or don't deserve.
Self-control. Keeping anger, bitterness, hurts all under the reign of Christ. Not provoking others. Not envying others.
As we yield to the Holy Spirit, as we allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, the oil of the Holy Spirit will ooze out of us. It will grease our relationships. It will defuse tension. It will produce unity. The heat and friction will be used productively, for the glory of God and the furtherance of His kingdom.
Conversely, when we don't allow the Holy Spirit to fill us, control our actions, and do His lubricating work, we can do permanent damage to our relationships, and even to the kingdom of God.
How is your essential oil supply holding up? It is rather low? Or is it full and oozing out in blessing and peace with other believers?