Always Filled, Always Ready

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, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’  And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Matthew 25:1-13

“And do not get drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18

Dangerous is the attitude that says, ‘I’ll settle this later.’ ‘I won’t be called to account, I’ll have time to clean up.’ ‘I’m tired. I’m working. I’m busy. Just a minute. Tomorrow. Not now. This is more important.’ There are many ideas and occupations that would detract our focus from Jesus, and deter us from looking for Him in every endeavor. Yet the Scriptures teach us to watch, to be vigilant, to be ready.

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What the foolish virgins did was get excited, but make no preparations. They liked the idea of a wedding celebration here and now, but lacked foresight and wisdom to be appropriate guests. They were impulsive, enthused about their terms, their timing, their way, but got tired and lost interest when the party didn’t happen. And they lost out. They missed the Bridegroom altogether.

Isn’t it human nature to want what God wants, as long as He wants it my way? To write my terms for our relationship? In my flesh, I plot my choice of schedule and manner of how things should happen, and I grow restless and impatient when my plans do not come about as I’d determined. I grow weary of waiting for the fulfilling of my desires, answers and changes and guidance for which I’ve prayed, and can begin to doubt God’s interest or goodness.

I can allow my spiritual tank to run dry, assuming I’ll find a convenient time and place to refill when it suits. I think I know the remedy for our distance, and will apply it when I deem it important. My lack of ongoing watchful prayer and filling of the Spirit prevent me from seeing the danger of depleted oil.

What makes me spiritually drowsy? On what plans, or dreams, have I become ‘drunk,’ allowing them to have more sway over me than God’s Spirit?

Lord, keep me alert and wise, filled with Your Spirit, trimming the wick of a keen and undivided heart. May I daily be expectant and prepared for Your every invitation. (Psalm 86:10-11)

 

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