“Arise, you princes, and oil the shields.” These words from Isaiah 21:5 struck my heart in a strong way Thursday morning.
“Arise, you princes, and oil the shields.”
Isaiah uttered these words in response to a “grievous vision” that sent him into travail, perplexed and dismayed him, and caused his heart to beat fast in overwhelming fear. The Bible says he trembled all night long (Is. 21:1-5). Imagine receiving such a prophetic vision from the Lord!
“Arise, you princes, and oil the shields.”
When Scripture leaps off the page, we need to pay attention to what the Lord is trying to show us. In this encounter with the written Word of God, verse 6 also spoke to my heart. It reads: “Go, station a watchman; let him declare what he sees.”
Prepare for Spiritual Warfare
We must prepare for the spiritual battle in this season. We must give heed to the watchman’s ministry in this hour so they can warn us of the impending attacks that will surely come. We must oil the shields, or as another translation puts it, “anoint our shields.”
Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. We need fresh oil in this season with which to oil our shields. Speaking prophetically, some Christians have run out of oil in their lamps much like the five virgins in Matthew 25. The Bible calls these virgins “foolish” because they carried their lamps but didn’t take oil with them. When the Bridegroom let out a cry at midnight, the foolish virgins awoke and sought to borrow oil from the wise virgins. The wise virgins refused and the Bridegroom ultimately rejected the foolish virgins.
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In this parable, Jesus concluded: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” I don’t know when Christ is returning, but I do discern the signs of the times, and He is coming as a “thief in the night” (1 Thess. 5:2).
Beloved, now is not the time to run out of fresh oil. Now is not the time to depend on someone else’s relationship with Jesus or someone else’s anointing to carry you through the battles that will emerge in the days ahead. Now is the time to cultivate the oil of intimacy in your life—to invest in a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit—so that you can stand and withstand in the evil day. Just as Moses used oil to anoint the priests and consecrate them for service, we need to set ourselves apart to receive His anointing so we can faithfully execute His call on our lives.
In Ephesians 6, Paul lists the whole armor of God but concludes by writing, “And above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the fiery arrows of the evil one.” The warfare will grow more intense in this next season. The Holy Spirit is calling us to “oil the shields.” The strategy here is not only to meditate on the Word of God to build our faith but also to pray in tongues to oil our shield. Jude 20 tells us, “But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith. Pray in the Holy Spirit.”
The benefits of praying in the Spirit are too vast to list here. However, let me give you a few and encourage you to study this out yourself and discover the benefits through practical experience.
Praying in tongues: is direct communication to God that the devil cannot comprehend (1 Cor. 14:2); activates the fruit of the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18); releases a prayer perfectly in line with God’s will; releases understanding into the mysteries of God (1 Cor. 14:2); opens up realms of revelation (1 Cor. 12:8); and positions you to engage in spiritual warfare from a position of victory (Eph. 6:18).
The Coming Prophetic Season
We are coming into a season where we will see “people fainting from fear and expectation of the [dreadful] things coming on the world” (Luke 21:26, AMP). We’re seeing a foretaste of this even now. We must invest time to cultivate the oil of intimacy so we can oil our shields as we enter escalating end-times warfare amid a Great Falling Away that will see many deceived.
Yesterday’s manna is not going to cut it. We must live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4). We must determine to press into fresh revelation, fresh understanding, fresh anointing—fresh manna. The key word is fresh. Stale manna is not going to sustain your faith in the coming season. Some in the body have been taught wrong doctrines and others are believing heresies. We must guard our hearts from these deceptions.
Watchman ministry will receive newfound respect in the coming hour as Christians find themselves blindsided by world events. Watchman and spiritual warriors will connect in new ways, working together in unity to push back the darkness trying to stop the manifestation of the glorious church. Prophets who have been hidden in the wilderness will emerge with fresh oil on their shields and fresh revelation in their hearts to declare the uncompromising word of the Lord by faith.