Oil Change — A Parable

Posted on Sun 05/08/2022 by

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God wants us to run on His oil. And with this oil, we get the extended warranty — eternal life! ~  

A long time ago (1964) in a land far away (Toledo, Ohio) lived two teenage boys who shared ownership of a car. For some unknown reason, my twin brother Roger and I went through several cars in our last two years of high school. In 1964, we bought a two-tone teal and white 1955 Dodge that needed work. At the time, we worked for a farm implement manufacturer (the owner’s son was a good friend), so we used their spray paint machine to paint the car all white — it was that or farm machinery red. It looked surprisingly good!

Going into early 1965, we did an oil change and, whether through ignorance or budget constraints, we bought the wrong motor oil. If memory serves me right, we got the non-detergent as opposed to detergent. It was not pretty! That engine locked up tighter than a drum!

Scripture talks a lot about oil. The priests were anointed with oil to consecrate them for service in the wilderness Tabernacle. Oil was symbolic of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit upon their life and ministry. Kings were anointed with oil when they ascended the throne. In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah gave a prophetic declaration of the coming Messiah:

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion — to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3, ESV, emphasis mine).

In the New Testament book of Hebrews, the author quotes Psalm 45:7, giving this reference to the Messiah: “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions” (Hebrews 1:9).

This same Spirit that was in Christ has now been given to us: “And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:19-20).

In Romans 8:11, Paul tells us that this same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is now living in us who have professed faith in Christ. In the words of that great 20th-century philosophical figure, Tim the Tool Man (“Home Improvement”), “More power!”

God’s plan for us, just like Dodge’s plan for that 1955 Dodge, is that we run on His oil. Guys, this is the manufacturer’s specification! Using anything else is going to void the warranty. We try to grease the skids of life with things that, in the end, are not going to work out well. Whether it’s fame or fortune, sex, money, drugs, alcohol — the list goes on — in the end, it’s going to make for some pretty ratty performance. For those of us who know Christ, this oil is waiting to be put to work. God’s plan for us guys is that we be muscle cars for the work of the Kingdom. Technically speaking, we have no excuse. The oil is free for the taking! Jesus has paid the price for all who will come and receive it. Not only that, but with this oil, we get the extended warranty — eternal life! Not hard to figure out what happens if the original warranty gets invalidated, is it?

So, what’s it going to be? Will you invalidate the warranty, or will you use the manufacturer’s specs? Being a child of the ‘60s, I’m thinking of the Steppenwolf song, “Born to be Wild”: “Get your motor running, get out on the highway.” I’m going pedal to the metal for the sake of the Kingdom!

What say ye, Man of Valor?

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