The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! – Matthew 6:22-23
In biblical times, the lamp used was an oil lamp. Now, if an oil lamp is to give light, it must be filled with oil. The quantity and quality of oil the lamp contains determines the quality of the light the lamp gives. Moreover, it is the oil lamp that leads the way since it gives the light shows the way and illuminates a path.
So when Matthew 6:22 says ‘the lamp of the body is the eye’, it is telling us that the lamp of the body is the mind. In other words, the mind is the oil lamp that leads our body.
For the oil lamp of the mind to be judged as good, it has to fill our entire way of life with light (Matthew 6:22). Since Jesus is the light of the world (see John 8:12), the only way for our entire being to be full of light is for us to be filled with Jesus.
Since the only way Jesus can lead us (fill our body) is through the Holy Spirit, then it becomes clear that the only way our light is good is if the oil lamp of our mind contains the pure oil of the Holy Spirit. Simply put, just as Jesus completely surrendered his mind to the leading of the Holy Spirit, we must surrender the oil lamp of our mind to the influence and control of the Holy Spirit.
The problem is that we tend to allow impure and junky bad oil to enter our oil lamps. Note that this ‘bad oil’ is like water to the pure oil of the Holy Spirit – it cannot mix with the Holy Spirit but can only displace the oil. Once bad oil is introduced, we can no longer say that the oil lamp contains pure oil.
When the oil lamp of our mind is contaminated, sometimes our mind operates on bad oil (flesh) and at other times it operates on good oil (Holy Spirit). In those times our oil lamp is running on bad oil, the light it produces is dim to the point of darkness. But when the oil is good, the light it produces is as bright as day. In other words, yo-yo like behavior is a result of good oil mixed with bad
So how do we change our oil? First, we must dump the bad oil through confession – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness – 1 John 1:9. Then, we must flush the residual junk out by renewing our mind with the word of God. Once flushed, the purified oil lamp is now ready to be filled with the pure oil of the Holy Spirit.
Light-bulb moment: The word of God is the valve that activates the inflow of the Holy Spirit into our minds. Moreover, without confession and the renewing of our minds, we find that our lights will begin to grow dark.
After this infilling of the Holy Spirit, we must then apply the right filter. Indeed, the oil lamps of our mind run smoother and shine a brighter light when we apply the filter of spiritual disciplines – reading the bible, prayer, fasting, fellowship, serving, giving, and worship.Without this filter, all we do is go through a cycle of confession without shining much in life.
So I ask you once again, when was the last time you had an oil change? If it was not today, then your light is already becoming dark.
Food for Thought: No spiritual oil change is complete without the application of spiritual disciplines