©2012 Stan Hallett
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”
I have been a house painting contractor for a good part of my self-employed career. I consider myself to be a pretty good painter, capable of doing some pretty nice work.
The other day I came home from work after stoping at Home Depot to pick up a gallon of redwood stain and sealer to use on my grandson’s playset.
As soon as I got home I went down into the backyard and began to stain the playset. I worked well into the evening and did not finish until well after dark. I was forced to put on the yard light that helped me to see somewhat, but a lot of the surfaces were still in the dark.
Never-the-less I did my best to stain every surface before stopping for the evening. I figured that I may have missed a few places, thinking that I’d just touch up any misses the next morning.
The next morning I headed out, paint brush and stain in hand. I was very surprised to see how much I had missed. As good as I thought that I was, I still missed a lot. In fact where the playset was completely in the dark I had missed about a third of the surfaces. I really needed light to see what I was doing.
Our walk with the Lord is much the same way. We need to walk in the light (1 John 1:7). We need his illumination to light our way everyday, lest we go off the path and fall into a ditch in darkness.
Our lamps need to burn brightly, but if we are out of oil our lamps will flicker and eventually go out. Generally the oil mentioned in the Old Testament, as in this parable, is a type of the Holy Ghost. We keep our lamps full by being continually being renewed in the Holy Ghost (Titus 3:5).
This doesn’t happen by being a Sunday morning Christian, or just going though the motions. Our walk with Him is not about a religious activity, it’s about a day-to-day relationship. If you are married, what kind of a relationship would you have with your spouse if you only talked to them once or twice a week?
We are foolish if we do not find a place in prayer DAILY. A time and place where you can be alone with just you and God. A time of worship, of supplication. A time of praying in the Spirit and with understanding also. If this is not a regular part of your life, make it so today!
This is not just a five minute prayer. If possible do not limit it. It may be different for some, but generally the best time is early in the morning when you are rested. Get up a little earlier and find a quite place. A place where you do not need to be self conscious about disturbing others. your bedroom, a bathroom, the kitchen, the basement, the attic, the back yard, the woods, your car, the shed, the garage, the barn, the middle of the pond, but find a place and meet the Lord there daily.
Jesus said that “the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matther 26:41). Most of us know that we need more time with God, in prayer, in worship, in His Word. But the flesh is weak and gets caught up with the cares of this world. We need to bring our flesh into subjection (1 Corinthians 9:27).
You cannot help anyone else to show the way if you cannot see it for yourself. You’ve heard the phrase the “blind leading the blind”. First be full of the Spirit so that you can see clearly and have direction, and then you can better see to guide someone else.
This is of the utmost importance for a leader, whether it be of a family or the Church. It is not just your soul at stake, but those that you love and are responsible for. How can you lead anyone to a close relationship with God if you do not have it for yourself? How can you lead if you yourself cannot see? How important is it to you for your family to be saved?
Let us not be foolish unto an everlasting death. The Word of God is clear, we are to continue to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). If we are to be full of the Holy Ghost, then we can also be depleted. If our lamps can be full, then they can also be empty. It is not “once saved, always saved”. The infilling of the Holy Ghost was never meant to be just a one-time experience. There needs to be a continual refreshing and renewing.
Don’t be one of the foolish virgins caught with no oil when the bridegroom comes. Keep your lamp full and burning brightly and therefore light your way. We will be raised up on that last day only if the Holy Spirit dwells in us, For it is the Spirit that dwells in us that will quicken our mortal bodies and raise us. (Romans 8:11).
If we are not Spirit filled (lamps full of oil) we are like the five foolish virgins. God will not know us when it comes time to enter in (Matthew 25:11,12).
Is you lamp full should the bridegroom come today?
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