Thursday, December 16, 2010

How's your oil?

From Michael Boldea's blog:

I am not scared of what is coming upon the world, but I am apprehensive, and I fear many, even many believers, still possess a romanticized view of what is about to unfold on a global scale. God will be our only refuge, God will be our only protection, and God will be our only comfort, thus the reason it is paramount for us to have cemented our relationships with Him, to know Him fully and love Him deeply before the onset of these things that will make men’s hearts fail them for fear.

The time truly is far spent for us to prepare.  I'm reminded of the parable of the ten virgins.  If the oil of the wise virgins is likened to spiritual strength, there's one huge reason why they could not share with the five foolish.  The wise virgins carried with them the fruit of a full growing season . . . of pruning and fertilizing and weeding and caring for a vineyard.  In their cruses, they carried the sunlight, the rain, the warmth of nature's God and the labor of the harvest.  Bringing the vineyard and the oil press along to the wedding just wasn't an option.  Because of their preparation, they had a smooth ride when the bridegroom came.  We cannot transfer the hours spent in study, the thoughtful and fervent prayers, or the sweet moments when God reaches down and touches our minds and hearts.  We can bear testimony, witness of truth so the Spirit can touch hearts and others can be changed and influenced by the power lent to us because of our faithfulness and preparation . . . but they must pay for their own oil in the end.

Now, it's true that the foolish virgins were able to go and buy additional oil.  It was a costly, time-consuming trip . . . which ended in missing the bridegroom's arrival and wedding feast.  For some, who realize their shortage earlier and go for oil sooner, making the trip and paying the price could result in enough oil to see them through . . . just as experiencing dramatic hardship and trial can soften hearts as well as harden them.  The peril lies in the race condition that exists when preparation goes undone.

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