1 THEN THE kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish (thoughtless, without forethought) and five were wise (sensible, intelligent, and prudent). 3For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take any [extra] oil with them; 4But the wise took flasks of oil along with them [also] with their lamps. 5While the bridegroom lingered and was slow in coming, they all began nodding their heads, and they fell asleep. 6But at midnight there was a shout, Behold, the bridegroom! Go out to meet him! 7Then all those virgins got up and put their own lamps in order. 8And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. 9But the wise replied, There will not be enough for us and for you; go instead to the dealers and buy for yourselves. 10But while they were going away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were prepared went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut. 11Later the other virgins also came and said, Lord, Lord, open [the door] to us! 12But He replied, I solemnly declare to you, I do not know you [I am not acquainted with you]. 13Watch therefore [give strict attention and be cautious and active], for you know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of Man will come. Matthew 25 (Amplified Bible)
Several years ago I was on my way home from a friend’s home REALLY late at night. I was getting into the worship music I had playing, so I didn’t really pay attention to my gas needle; I didn’t notice that it was way past empty.
I was a few miles from home when my car began those unfortunate lurches. Then, a sick feeling began to develop in the pit of my stomach. There wasn’t a gas station for miles. So, I knew what I had to do. I would have to walk the rest of the way home and get someone to take me to get my car the next day. (That is if anyone would speak to me after acting so foolishly.)
Thankfully God took care of me even when I didn’t use common sense. A police officer “just happened” to drive by and he picked me up and took me the rest of the way home. Of course, I got a good tongue lashing from him, but it was well deserved and I was able to internalize the seriousness of the event.
As I sat with Jesus and asked Him about the whole situation, He spoke to me and said that it was a reflection of how I lived my life. I was completely sucked into my job and gave little attention to the fact that I lived my life running on empty. Actually, I ran most of my life on fumes. Even though I knew I was a three part person (spirit, soul, and body) I did not take care of my spiritual man because I was such a workaholic. Everyone else got the best of me and I had little, if anything, to give to Jesus – or even back to myself.
And as much as I would love to tell you that my life changed immediately; it didn’t. It has taken years to realize that it is okay to take care of myself. It is okay to allow seasons of rest, reflection, and resurrection to come into my life. I have learned that these seasons of rest are not seasons of selfishness. I firmly believe that it is only when we take care of ourselves that we have anything of value to give to Jesus and to others. When we are “rested up,” we truly want to give. It comes as naturally as breathing.
As we know, the word of God is the ONLY thing that separates between soul and spirit. It is the only thing that can discern our thoughts and the intentions of our hearts. So, as I read the word, I saw this parable in a new light. Reread it and bring your attention to the wise virgins and how they responded to the “need” the foolish virgins had – vs. 9. The wise virgins did not rush out to save the foolish virgins. They did not give away what they had. They did not run dry so that the others could live. They told them to go buy more oil for their own selves.
Hear me now, my friends. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO RUN DRY FOR OTHERS TO PROSPER!! That is NOT the heart of your heavenly Father!! He wants you to thrive in every area of your life. So, if you are exhausted and weary, like I was, something is wrong. And, it is my prayer for you today that you will sit at His feet and BeLoved Completely! As you sit in silence, ask the Holy Spirit to show you any way that you are running on fumes. Then, as you sit still, let Him saturate your heart with His great love. And after time, and you don’t have to be in a hurry, you will begin to have an overflow to give back to Him and you will even have something to share with others.