I slept to 9am, bricked in front of Facebook, listened to more of the teaching from Hixon, TN on DVD, and washed a boatload of dishes the dishwasher failed to do.
But the most interesting part of today was a science experiment I conducted to clarify in my mind something I wanted to share here. Nothing earth shaking, nothing new. I wanted to see just how fast the drop of soap, in this case Dawn dish liquid, dispersed a slick of vegetable oil. One drop sent 3T of oil scooting 360 degrees at lightning speed. I was intending to use this as an illustration of what happens when certain people walk in a room or what happens when certain conversation topics rise in a group setting. It took a different turn.
As I played with the oil and water and watched how it reacted both on its own and with my interference, I saw other illustrations. There are many allegorical directions to go, but the one that most impressed me was a comparison to the body of Christ at the end of this church age. Scripturally, oil is almost always a picture of the Holy Spirit, but not here.
I slowly drizzled 3T vegetable oil 10-14 inches above the surface of the water in a medium sized mixing bowl, creating multiple glistening balls dancing and swimming in the purity of clean water. In seconds the oil reached the surface and merged into one 3 inch diameter circle. My fingertip could chase it, break it into many parts, and almost convince it to blend with the water, but when I removed my finger, it gradually merged its multiple orbs into a single unit within minutes.
One drop of Dawn sent it flying, stopped only by the bowl itself. The soap sank to the bottom, gradually dissolving but remaining a blue blur. Gradually the oil slid its way back to the center to close any opening, to take total control of the surface, the blue soap no longer an interference. But the quality of the water was compromised by the soap. There was a gap the oil couldn’t conquer. I gently drizzled more oil into it. Three circles floated to the edge of the mother ship, touched but couldn’t merge. Neither would they become one with each other but remained independent, apparently a film from the tiny drop of soap keeping them apart. This alone could illustrate how denominations are similar but separate, unable to become one. Wheat and tares? But that’s not the picture I ended with.
Oil and water moves pretty slow, it’s monochromatic and I’m not, so I set the project aside while I continued rewashing the dishes. Hmm, what would happen if I dropped in more soap? Nothing. You’re kidding me. The first drop broke up the whole party single-handedly but subsequent drops, single or in rapid fire merely plunged through and bolted for the bottom leaving only a cloudy ring marking their impotence. Weird.
I fixed some crackers and cheese, checked Facebook again, resumed the dish washing process, then checked the oil vs. water to see that the oil had clouded, consumed the former independents, and left an opening the size of a child’s thumb within which were several very tiny oil bubbles. I wiped the counters, but when I came to the bowl to empty it out, I saw that the oil was compromised again, mottled with what looked like dirt, and had succeeded in totally covering the surface, its original goal.
I picked up the bowl to empty it when I thought I’d interfere one last time. I did what I do best — stir things up. Although the blue liquid soap had appeared to fade to nothing, it had instead permeated the water under the oil. I wonder if I would let it sit overnight, the oil and water would have merged into a single substance, bad water or bad oil, neither of them useful. So I swished the whole thing into a frenzy of suds. The water was a cloudy blue, the suds fluffy, the oil apparently absorbed.
I swished, wiped, dumped and rinsed in scalding clear water until the sides of the bowl squeaked clean.
I saw the bowl as the bride of Christ, the clean water her pure faith, faith that remained pure through persecution. Along came Constantine who declared Christianity legal and commanded the persecution cease. The oil was the healing salve that appeared to be productive but soon covers her in complacency. The soap represents compromise that clouds her thinking and threatens to ruin her image and effectiveness.
But, God. Do you love it? But, God steps in. He stirs, He shakes, He turns and transforms her weaknesses to strength, scrubs and rinses her in hot water creating a squeaky clean, pure and spotless bride who will meet her Groom in the air and rule with Him forever.
The times are frightening. Terror, food shortages, debt, and more can and may create a perfect storm. If it’s prophecy, in Perry Stone’s words, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Whether this storm is prophecy or a temporary bump, remember that phrase — But, God….!