It was on campus. We were having choir rehearsals for an upcoming combined-campus fellowship program. Finally, and thankfully, we were done. It was time to round off. The choir director called on a member of the exco – and a friend of his – to give the closing prayers so we could share the grace.
The bespectacled brother went to the front of the group, stood silent for sometime – then began to sing.
I was irritated. Others were too. It had been a very long rehearsal. Just pray and let us go.
However, we obediently opened our mouths and joined in the song.
The next thing we knew, the atmosphere had changed. People were crying. Chairs were falling. Students were kneeling or prostrate. It turned into a mini-revival.
We were there for a long while. No one was in a hurry to leave again.
What had happened?
He followed the Oil.
Thanks to my late dad, I had cultivated the habit of reading my Bible from Genesis to Revelation, chapter by chapter. (I still do.) When I was done, I would start again.
This particular year, I got to Ezekiel – and somewhere in the middle of the book, I suddenly lost interest. Anytime I opened the Bible, it was like ploughing through knee-length mud. It was difficult, wearying, and a struggle. The pleasure I had in reading the Word was gone.
It dropped into my mind to jump to the New Testament, but I pushed it away.
I had a pattern. A structure. And I wasn’t going to mess it up.
I was going to finish the Old, then go on to the New. Like I had always done.
The situation worsened. I started dreading to read the Bible.
One day, I just told God, “Father, I am dreading to read the Bible – and that is a major problem. Please, help me.”
It dropped into my mind again. Skip to the New Testament.
So I closed Ezekiel and opened to Matthew – and, immediately, light broke forth and the pleasure gushed back in full force.
The Oil flowed.
I was writing a series – and it was going smoothly. In the middle of it, a topic I had slated for later dropped into my mind to write. When I thought about it, I felt the anticipation, the itching to write, the ‘oil’ – but I resisted it because
(1) I wanted to finish my series. I didn’t want to break it up.
(2) It was a topic I was a bit hesitant to write on.
So, I put it on the back burner of my mind – and continued on my series.
And I struggled. And struggled. And struggled.
Usually, when I pray, get a topic and put pen to paper, it flows. I might do an initial draft, corrections and editing – but there’s a certain ‘ease’.
This time was horrible. I wrote the whole article post five times – and still scrapped it.
However, I noticed that when I began to prepare a tentative draft for the ‘later’ subject, it just flowed seamlessly – but, still, I didn’t go with it because I wanted to finish my series.
So I forced out my post – and I felt it. Hard. Dry. Listless. No Oil.
It was one of the worst feelings in the world.
But that was not all:
The day I put out my post instead of the ‘future’ post, I came online – and the first thing I saw was a series post written by a well known minister. Same topic. Same examples, almost verbatim.
That was when it fully dawned on me that the manifestation of God’s Kingdom on earth through His children is interwoven – whether subtly or obviously. If I had ‘followed the oil’ and put out that post, I would have been riding on a wave of the Spirit – and, from my own corner, I would have reemphasized for certain individuals what God wanted to say at that particular time.
I put out the post later – but the oil was gone.
Not every struggle we experience in our Christian walk, ministry or relationships is as a result of the enemy’s attack. It might simply be that we are not yielding to the leading of the Spirit.
Or we are trying to enforce our own will.
Yes, one of the very first things God gives His children is a Pattern or a structure – whether it is for spiritual growth, financial increase, or in carrying out your assignment. This is because He understands that maximum results are gotten through consistency.
However, more important than these structures is The Spirit behind the Pattern.
That leading you are experiencing could be for one person, two people or a million souls – or it could be for just you – but following the Oil simply means yielding to what God wants to do or say. Per time.
The Oil lubricates your way, making it easy for you and God to bring about His results: The Bible calls it the Unforced Rhythms Of Grace.
When you follow this beat, there is a special dance of grace between two people: You and God.
He leads. You follow.
Much work is still being done – but there is no friction. No struggling. No ‘trying to’.
It just flows.
Whether in fellowship, service or relationships, you simply yield – and whatever you are doing becomes Seamless.