We all know the story of the ten virgins. As I was reading this passage of scripture again the Lord spoke that this is a picture of the church today. He began to point out some things as I read and waited on His Spirit to reveal what He was saying to me. Weigh carefully what He is saying; it has great impact for all of us today.
The more I read and thought about what the Holy Spirit was saying, the more amazed I became. I had never looked at this story quite this way before. First of all the point became very clear that in the beginning, all ten were virgins. Not five wise and five foolish until later. I also understood that because all ten were virgins, all ten were pure, at least they all thought they were ready. We can all relate to this part of Christ's Bride, can't we? Next, He let me know that each one had a lamp, not just five of them. Well, so far there is no difference between any of them on the surface. They also each had the lamp they carried full of oil. They were going to a wedding and all ten had received their own invitations. All ten apparently accepted the invitation because they all showed up at the door to wait for the Bridegroom. Isn't that where we should be, at the door waiting?
I then realized that all ten grew weary in the waiting and fell asleep. Suddenly the "cry" was heard that the Bridegroom was coming. The door was about to be opened. The waiting was over. The scripture says they all arose and trimmed their lamps. That means they put the lamps in order, made them look good, got the flame to burn just right to produce the most efficient and brightest light possible. They didn't just do enough to make sure that the wick was flickering with some light. Guess what? Five of the virgins now found that they had lamps that were running out of oil. There was not enough in the lamp to produce a bright glowing flame. They tried in vain to get oil from the other virgins but were refused. The other five had made extra provisions but only for themselves. They so earnestly wanted to get into the wedding that they thought ahead and prepared for the wait, no matter how long. There was anticipation and no matter when the Bridegroom came; they were going to be ready.
The five foolish found that they had to have their own oil. They could not get into the wedding by using anyone else's oil. By the time they could run and get extra oil, it was to late. Not only was the door shut, but also the Lord said, "I do not know you." They were known when they got an invitation but not remembered at the important moment of entry. Do we need to be extra expectant in our preparations? We sure do. Remember that all were the same except for the urgency of the getting ready. We must make sure we not only answer the invitation, but also are prepared to wait at the door.
As we contemplate what was really happening here some interesting things come to mind that we need to consider. The Lord expanded some thoughts for me about what might be going on as these virgins were waiting for the wedding. He brought to my spirit and mind that the five wise virgins were really overcomers. They overcame the same obstacles that the other virgins did not overcome. It even goes beyond patience, the patience to wait it out for the Lord. I don't think that the Lord wants us to just wait it out. We must be active in our waiting, not passive. Living a passive life for Christ will eventually open up the door for doubt to enter in.
The enemy likes passive Christians because they soon find it hard to gather the spiritual energy they need to ward off his attacks. It is the fighting to overcome that builds your stamina and character. It is the process that God uses to strengthen your life. There are great rewards for being an overcomer. Being let in to attend the wedding rewarded the wise virgins. All ten of the virgins represent you and I, the church, the body of Christ. I would say that just being one of the virgins did not automatically make them overcomers. They had to go beyond and make extra preparations. We need to give some serious thought here.
The dictionary says that to overcome is to rise above, to master, to get the better of or to win. I would say that to overcome with Christ is really to win. Peter overcame a great obstacle when he walked on the water to go to Jesus. Gravity is a great thing to overcome. How did he do that? The only way he could overcome it and walk on the water was to keep his eyes focused on Jesus. There is no other way. He also had to take that extra first step out of the boat. He could have watched, talked to and loved on Jesus all night, but until he stepped out of the boat he could not overcome the lack of solid ground and walk to Jesus.
There is something else that comes from being an overcomer. I find it very interesting to read in both Revelations and Philippians that the overcomer shall reign and rule with Him. Revelations chapter two says that to the overcomer He will give power over the nations. It also follows up in chapter twenty and twenty one. He is talking to the church here, not those of the world. He said the overcomers in the church would receive royalty. Do you want your royal place that God wants to give you?
We live in the closing days of time. God is constantly calling us to a greater place of intimacy in Him. He is calling us there because that intimacy will soon become our place of refuge in a time of trouble. We can't stand alone in an open and barren place without an extremely intimate relationship with Him. Don't be just a virgin! Don't just be "born again!" Go beyond just hanging on until He comes. Understand the fruits of being an overcomer. Overcomers don't just sit on what they have done in the past. It requires a continual forward movement. Allow God to totally rule in your life and make you an overcomer so that you may reap the rewards that await you. Remember the lamps? Five flickered, oh sure; there was some light, but a lack of sufficient oil. The other five burned bright and were full of the oil of preparation. Be like Peter and step out of the boat. Keep your eyes on Jesus and your feet won't get wet.