A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Parable of the Ten Virgins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Parable of the Ten Virgins. Show all posts

June 29, 2024

It's Time To Trim Our Lamps!

Today I am writing to what I will call "the professing Church" ... those who will purport that they have a faith firmly established in Jesus Christ. It is not my intent to cast doubt or judgment on the level of faith of any Christian, but to encourage you to examine your preparedness for the spiritual war in which we are about to engage. And there is no better place to start than with the Parable of Ten Virgins. But first, I want to set the stage for why this parable is of utmost importance to us today.

As I reflect on the nearly 13 years I have been obedient to the Lord in writing this blog, it is apparent to me that the theme He has consistently stressed within my spirit is "be ready; stay equipped; remain poised for action". My reflections have revealed that He took me through the stages of preparedness that He wanted me to convey to the readers who found their way to this humble website. Believe me, I had no predisposed plan on what I was to write about; I was just led by the Holy Spirit into seasons of knowledge and application that the Lord wanted me to share. 

I can now see that each stage advanced me to the next level of understanding and awareness, which in turn, grew my faith and lifted me to a new degree of maturity. I began with an awakening to the changes that were forming and coming against the foundations of our national sovereignty. I was becoming aware that our historically Biblical underpinnings were under attack [and beginning to crumble], and conscious of the fact that war was being waged from the heavenly realms against the entire earth. The Holy Spirit began instructing me to warn believers to come out of their "normalcy bias" and start prepping in the areas of food, personal defense, and spiritual warfare. So from 2012-2015, you will find my posts focusing on these goals for the Body of Christ.

Then the Lord took me into my next season: strengthening my awareness, knowledge and activity in the sphere of spiritual warfare so that I could write to equip and teach Believer's about the commission we share with our Savior. Learning that the Enemy's plan has always been to disrupt the purpose of Believer's lives to advance the Kingdom of God on earth led me to deep studies on how we are all called to continue Jesus's mission in establishing His Father's Kingdom by taking back territory from Satan's kingdom of darkness. You will see the Kingdom as the primary subject of my posts from 2016 through today.

And now I discern that I'm in a new season, yet with a recurring theme -- the Holy Spirit is now counseling me to bring my writing back to the subject of preparedness. Only this time, the message is to be more urgent. He is telling me to warn readers to get in a state of readiness, especially for war. And that means both in the sense of physical readiness as well as spiritual. And that's why it is of paramount interest for we Believers to understand what Jesus is telling us in the Parable of  Ten Virgins. It will help us to be prepared for His Return, which I think is closer than ever.

Let's suppose that we are all in agreement that Jesus came to inaugurate the Kingdom of God on earth; that we are living in it in the present day; yet it is still to come in all its fullness in the future when Jesus consummates it on His Second Coming. The Parable of Ten Virgins shows us a clear picture of how we are to get ready and stay prepared for that awesome day of His Return. This parable is also a picture of the Church's wedding to our Bridegroom, the Christ, and the subsequent wedding feast. The reference to "the kingdom of heaven shall be like" is to help us understand that this parable refers to the time of the fulfillment of the Kingdom. It begins with the ten virgins who take their lamps and go out to meet the bridegroom. 

Here is the parable in its entirety: Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish [thoughtless, silly, and careless], and five were wise [far-sighted, practical, and sensible]. For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take any [extra] oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delayed, they all began to nod off, and they fell asleep. But at midnight there was a shout, 'Look! The bridegroom [is coming]! Go out to meet him.' Then all those virgins got up and put their own lamps in order [trimmed the wicks and added oil and lit them]. But the foolish virgins said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil', because our lamps are going out'. But the wise replied, 'No, otherwise there will not be enough for us and for you, too: go instead to the dealers and buy oil for yourselves'.  But while they were going away to buy oil, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut and locked. Later the others also came, and said, 'Lord, Lord, open [the door] for us'. But He replied, 'I assure you and most solemnly say to you, I do not know you [we have no relationship]'. Therefore, be on the alert [be prepared and ready], for you do not know the day nor the hour [when the Son of Man will come'.  [Matthew 25:1-13].

When Jesus returns, we, who are born again and have entered the existing kingdom on earth, are to go out and meet Him with lighted lamps. [John 3:1-5]. We need to discern that lamps are vessels filled with oil. This description in the parable is Biblical language which points to us as vessels filled with the Holy Spirit [the oil of anointing of God's illumination, presence and guidance in our lives]. The parable then goes on to inform us that five of the virgins were wise, and five were foolish. The foolish took their lamps, but took no oil with them [they had what they came with]. The wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps [an extra supply]. We then learn that the bridegroom is delayed, and all ten slumbered and slept. Then suddenly, the announcement comes: "The bridegroom is coming! Go and meet Him"!  And they all arose and trimmed their lamps...

What does this mean for us, the faithful that are awaiting the Messiah's return? The wise virgins are interpreted to be prepared for His return; the foolish were unprepared. While both slept, waiting for the signal that He had arrived, the wise ones were ready and prepared to act immediately when the unexpected announcement was made. The foolish ones were unprepared. And this is why it is important for us to be ready to trim our lamps! A poorly trimmed wick creates a flame that is dim. A lamp is trimmed when the wick is turned either up or down to regulate the amount of the flame. Obviously, the virgins wanted a good, strong flame to light the way for the Lord. But if a lamp is empty of oil, it doesn't matter how much one trims the wick, the lamp will go out when the oil is consumed. 

But we see that the parable reveals that the foolish virgins were careless and caught without enough oil -- they didn't bring any with them. When we look at this from a spiritual perspective, we see that during the unexpected delay, while waiting on the Lord's return, they didn't endeavor to stay filled with the Holy Spirit. They then try to convince their wise counterparts to share some of their oil, but are denied. The Holy Spirit is not a commodity that can be given by one person to another. You are either a true Christian in whom the indwelling Holy Spirit resides, or you are a false believer; one who looks and acts the part, but does not possess the Holy Spirit. Remember that Paul tells us in Romans 8:9, Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. I hesitate to declare that Jesus intended to separate "Spirit-filled" and "Non-Spirit-filled Christians" in this parable as much as describing true believers versus false Christians. The clear message is that the key component to readiness in the Christian life is to be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit.

And that brings me back to why I believe the Lord has kept inspiring me to reinforce both the physical and the spiritual precept of "readiness" and "preparedness". I believe that this parable is meant to warn the Church not to assume that their future in the Kingdom of God is "a sure thing" just because you call yourself a Christian, or look like one in your appearance. Is the Holy Spirit present in your life? Do you resonate the light of Christ in your life? And, sadly, I fear the Church has not been convicted in stressing the presence of the Holy Spirit as a priority in the lives of those they welcome into the fold. Today, we see many who are expecting to be invited to the wedding feast when Christ returns. Until that much-awaited moment, I discern that those calling themselves Christians will all look the same -- but it is that critical moment when the prepared and ready will be separated from the unready and the door to the feast will be shut. Jesus will then say, Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you ... the most dreaded words I can ever imagine spoken. 

So, my friends, please take the time to measure your preparedness. Are you in a state of both physical and spiritual readiness? Do you know that there is a war being fought in the spiritual realms, even as our world is inching towards a cataclysmic war on earth? Believe me, I do not relish pointing these things out; I haven't found joy in it for the last 12 years, but I will be obedient to continue writing what the Holy Spirit and my Lord tell me to if it means even one person stops and takes stock of his spiritual condition. If one person is led to an encounter with the Son of God, then it is worth the time and effort that I take to hear and report what comes to me from Heaven. The point of this blog, this post, and this parable is simple -- get prepared and be ready! Don't be denied entry to the wedding feast with our Bridegroom!

Revelation 19:7   Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;