Nobody knows the day or hour of the Lord’s triumphant return. The desire of satan is to see believers go around with no oil in their lamps. The wicked one loves it when he can trick believers into thinking they are serving the Lord, engaging them in endless activities. The plan is for these activities to leave little or no time for a personal relationship with the Lord. Matthew has made it pretty clear in his gospel: this is what the Lord’s response will be:
“I do not know you.” – Matthew 25:12
These are words that no believer wants to hear; words that no one particularly wants to meditate on, but we must. How can these words be ignored?
Lamps with no oil? What does this really represent?
If a lamp has no oil in it, it is simply an empty shell. It bears all the hallmarks of a lamp, but produces no light. A lamp can be made up of costly material. If polished and kept well, it can become a beautiful ornament, a show piece to be kept on a shelf, but not used for its purpose. A bridegroom will expect his bride to be well prepared and wearing her wedding dress on the wedding day. Imagine him showing up only to find her fast asleep? He would be absolutely horrified, as well as all the invited guests!
In ancient Jewish tradition, the bridesmaids of the bride would run out with lamps at the appearance of the bridegroom. They were to guide the bridegroom to the ready and waiting bride. The concept of the ten waiting virgins in Matthew 25 comes from this tradition. Every believer should be ready and expectant for the return of Christ. The bride that is not ready represents the hypocritical Christian. He or she carries out all the external motions with no expectancy in his or her heart. This person wears external badges for people to see, but does not believe that Christ will return. They are not expectant, they are not prepared. Their hearts are not ready and they end up compromising because of the long wait.
Lamps with oil.
A lamp filled with oil will shine brightly. The believer filled with the Word of God will shine like a diamond. The Word of God is what gives the child of God light. The Word of God is light that beams into the dark crevices of this world (Philippians 2:15). Light represents power. The power of the Holy Ghost produces zeal and unction in the life of the believer. The light of God produces a healthy spiritual life in the believer. It will sustain them during the darkest times; times of discouragement, despair and uncertainty. The Word of God is the ROCK that the believer will stand upon when everything else seems to be shaking and sinking. This child of God will stand firm in FAITH.
The Church is a city that sits on a hill. No matter the distance a person stands from a hill, the lights upon it will always be seen. The Church is the bride and Christ is the bridegroom that will come for a bride that is ready and alive (Rev. 19:7,9). Christ is not coming for a dead Church.
Do you wait upon Him, love, adore and worship Him? Are you at His feet daily, praising Him, bringing your weaknesses, supplications and prayers? Let us remember that all of the ten virgins in Matthew 25 were tired. It was not just the five virgins, but all ten who fell asleep. It’s natural for the believer to grow weary and tired. There will be dark and down days… days where the believer will feel they can no longer go on. The question is do you give up and go into the flesh… keeping up the external motions for the eyes of the brethren? Or do you continue to hold on to God, leaning into the the Spirit, praying, trusting and believing, by Grace, that He will see you through?
I pray that you will be that expectant bride, with your lamp filled with oil, expectant and waiting for the bridegroom to arrive. Even if He tarries, you will remain strong, pouring in your reserved oil, keeping your lamp ablaze and burning until Christ returns. AMEN.
© Ruth Dickson 23.11.15
Rejoice and again I say, REJOICE!
#GihonPublishingandtranslating #RuthDicksonAuthorUK #RuthDicksonOnlineEvangelism #ChristReturns #Delay #Tired #TenVirgins #Matthew25 #BrideofChrist #ChurchAliveandWaiting