“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.” (Matthew 25:1-5, NKJV).
Do you remember what it felt like when you were first saved? Do you remember the strong sense of freedom and joy when Jesus’ presence was first revealed to you? I do. It radically changed my life. I was essentially an introvert. I preferred not to be in the spotlight in any way, and was frankly mortified at the prospect. A short time later I experienced God’s calling to full time ministry and I began to realize the presence of personal giftings I was not previously aware of.
Most importantly, there was a zeal for the Lord. I couldn’t wait to tell other people about; how He had saved me and shown me His mercy, and how He had begun to straighten my life out and remove the condemnation, and shame I’d had, and the ways He’d miraculously delivered me from bondage and addiction. The same power through which He worked in my life is available to everyone for the asking!
However, what usually happens is that we get comfortable. We become distracted by life’s challenges and we often forget to depend on the Lord for His sustaining presence and power along the way to move the mountains we need moved and to provide for us in miraculous ways. Where we were once on fire for Jesus, we tend to cool off, or grow cold altogether.
This is the case in the passage above. The ten virgins, or, pure ones, is referring to believers in Christ. Five were wise and five were foolish. Five spent time filling their lamps with oil and five were simply too lazy to do it. This speaks of our need to come before the Lord daily and bring our lives; our lamp to Him, and ask Him to fill us with the oil of His presence. When we do this, we will experience ongoing revival in our lives. When we choose not to, we’re unwittingly making the decision to allow life’s distractions to have first place.
When we come into the presence of the Lord, we find the direction we need for the day, the peace we’re so desperately seeking, perhaps the provision or the healing we’re praying for. When we come into the presence of the Lord, we are saying to Him, “Lord, by faith I am placing you above my troubles and I value what your Word has to say about the situations of my life.”
It’s not only what we should do, it’s what He wants – time to sit with His people and fellowship with us, just as He did in the Gospels. It’s what revival is all about. I encourage you to be like one of the wise virgins, and keep your life full of the oil of His presence!
Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.