It’s been a few months since I last posted a devotional. I’ve been in an unfruitful season so to speak. I hope this devotional stirs you to action and alerts you to hidden dangers in this age.
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5 Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep.
6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’
10 And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11 Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’
12 But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour. (Matthew 25)
In my prayer time today, I started thinking about this parable. I know if you have been in church circles for very long you have heard at least one sermon on the ten virgins. I sat down and wrote three different devotionals after hearing one of those sermons. Yet, my eyes fell on something that I had not seen this time as I read it again because of my prayer time reminder of it.
I have been reading a lot about revival in the Church. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that our world is spinning out of control and the Church seems to be going down the funnel of destruction as well. Hideous sins like homosexuality and same sex marriages are being embraced in many Christian churches – oh Lord, how far we have fallen! However, this is not the focus of this devotional.
I truly believe that we will see a great awakening of spiritual power and purity in the Church before the coming of our Lord. I believe there is an end time’s harvest of souls waiting for the Church to get her act together and get back into the fields and gather in those precious souls. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. There are many devoted men and women of God working diligently toward this harvest. The problem lies in the sleeping five.
What God showed we today is that in our good fortune and lavish blessings, many have been lulled to sleep. Others are battle worn and have given up. In the fires of revival, people are reaching out to God and expecting Jesus to come. In the compliancy of playing church, the foolish virgins have gone to sleep.
Notice they are still virgins – washed in the blood which makes them righteous; however, they have left their first love and the excitement of His coming has been replaced by the deceitfulness of all the pleasures this world has to offer.
Many idols have sprung up in the hearts of the Church and there is no fire or passion for the coming Bridegroom. We have grown fat and lazy and contend; so we sleep. The anointing oil in our lamps is very low and our light is dim. Looks pretty bleak, doesn’t it.
Well, I’m here to tell you it’s not too late to go buy your oil. Yes, it costs something. It will cost you everything, just as the prudent virgins have already seen. How can I speak this way. Dear Ones, I was a sleepy virgin for several months. The circumstances of my life had left me battle worn and exhausted.
I had a vision in which I saw a solider standing on the battlefield. He was so tattered looking. As he looked out over the battlefield, he saw that it was clear, so he walked over to the sidelines and took off his armor one piece at a time and laid it down on the ground. Then, he laid down and went to sleep. Oh, how good it felt to sleep. The battle wasn’t raging. He wanted to stay there. The solider was me.
I found myself pulling away from the things of the Kingdom. I had no desire to read or study the Word. I couldn’t pray. I became irritable, critical and negative. My thoughts were filled with things of fear or accusation. I knew I needed to get away from them, but the sleep was good. The battle was gone. So, I slept and slipped deeper and deeper into compliancy and dullness.
Every now and then, especially at church during worship, I would feel the pull of the Holy Spirit to move towards Him. I felt new resolve, but alas, the sleepy soul won out. I found myself in front of the television set watching the worldly programs. I knew much of the content was ungodly, but rationalized it was okay to watch the good and complain about the bad in it.
God puts up with things for a while, but then He sends deliverance. It then becomes our choice whether we will reach out and take it or not. My heart ached because I knew things weren’t right. I held on and began waking up a little when a ladies bible study was held in my home. I ended up teaching it (by God’s design) which made me start opening the Word and digging again.
After the study was over, I found myself lost again. God directed me to a book called The Next Great Move of God by Jennifer LeClaire. I was led to purchase it. It started shaking my soul almost immediately. By the end of the book I was on fire again. My eyes were opened as I stood up and looked again at the battlefield. It wasn’t calm at all. The battle was raging even more than before. How could I have been so deceived?
Remember, that our battle is not with flesh, but spirits. I will probably write about this in another devotional, but it is part of the enemy’s plan to keep us asleep through deceiving, seductive spirits. They are so cunning that if we get too weary fighting the physical battles and neglect the Lord, they come in and set up shop.
My focus today is on the foolish five virgins who are still a part of the Church – the Body of Christ. He is the Bridegroom coming for His virtuous Bride. Why would He tell us about her condition before He arrives? I believe it is so that we can fervently intercede in prayer that the foolish five will awaken and fill their lamps and become alert and awake like the other five.
Five is the number of grace. Jesus chose this number to remind us that grace covers us even when we slumber. I know that it did me. Prayer Warriors have been surrounding me with prayers for my strength in the midst of my circumstances. Their faithfulness to pray brought me out of bondage.
If you are a prudent virgin don’t look over at the foolish ones and become prideful that you are ready for Jesus to come. Pray for the whole Church to awaken and revival to sweep our land and beyond. Pray that the glory of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the seas. Pray that no one will be left behind outside the door and miss the marriage feast.
If the Church humbles itself and prays – first for the Church to awaken and revival fires to burn once again in the hearts of Believers – and seeks His face on our knees, and turns from our wicked ways of sleeping and neglecting our lamps – then, then God will hear our cries and heal our land before the Bridegroom comes and the harvest will be great!