How many times have you had someone come to you who are going through a difficult time and said, “I am running out of strength”? Whether it is relational, financial or spiritual, we have all probably given out so much we have found ourselves running on empty.
Over many years lighthouses have given light and help to those going through the darkness and storms. There’s one story of a lighthouse manager that through his kindness to others in need, had given out much of the lighthouses oil. One night in the midst of a horrific storm the oil ran out and therefore the light of protection went out also. Two ships that were struggling in the midst of the storm ended up crashing into the rocks and many lives were lost. When questioned why the Lighthouse light had gone out, the manager responded, “I didn’t replenishing the oil that I had given out”.
One of Jesus’ last sermons before he was crucified was in the context of leadership in the last days. In Matt 24 – 25, Jesus shares to His disciples about the end of the age and the signs that will confirm it. It will be difficult times even with the grace and power of God working amongst His people.
Jesus connected the preparation for the end times to intimacy with God. In these two chapters, Jesus gives one point in each of three parables pertaining to God’s
We can become disconnected from Jesus through the lack of intimacy with Him (tweet)
delay in coming back for His bride. First, that the delay will be shorter than many will think. Second, that the delay is longer than many will think and thirdly, that it will be harder than many will think.
We are introduced in Matt 25:1-13, to the characters in the parable of the ten virgins. The “virgins” who were ones that were waiting for the bridegrooms coming and each had a “lantern”, signifying their light or ministry to others. Then we see what seems to be the main focus, the “oil” that keeps the lanterns burning.
In this parable, Jesus’ warns us that the wise can become foolish in the midst of the end of the age, if they neglect their need for oil. The oil seems to represent intimacy with Jesus the bridegroom. In verse 1, all ten went out to meet the bridegroom and at one time all had oil. But in the course of ordinary life and the delay
Intimacy with Jesus will get us through any hard times. (tweet)
of the coming bridegroom, five of the virgin’s ran out of oil. When the bridegroom did come those with oil are called “wise virgins” and were able to go into the door of opportunity with the bridegroom. But those that ran out of oil are referred to as “foolish virgins” and the bridegroom tells them that He didn’t know them in verse 12. It doesn’t say that He “never” knew them, but at that point, He didn’t know them.
The message seems to be that during the hardships at the end of the age, along with the delay of Jesus coming, that leaders that know Him and are watching for Him can become disconnected from Him through the lack of the oil of intimacy. The five wise virgin’s reply to the request of those who ran out of oil in Matt 25:9, is “go and buy” oil. There is a cost of intimacy with the Lord. It can’t be transferred by others but will cost each of us personally. We must each be prepared and invest in our relationship with the Lord. Intimacy with Jesus will get us through any hard times.