Maybe I’m the only one but the parable of the ten virgins seems so brutal at first glance to me- the groom locking five of the ten virgins outside because they ran out of oil? Harsh, right?! I mean if the groom had been there earlier I’m sure the ‘foolish’ virgins would have been good. It just so happens that they ran out of oil because he took so long, so why are they the foolish ones? Should they have known? I just had to find out.
Through some research I found that there wasn’t a set arrival time for the groom in Jewish culture, so since he could have come at any time they should have had as much oil as they could carry; ready for the moment he arrived.
So it’s pretty logical to think that this oil represents the Holy Spirit but can you run out of Holy Spirit like they did with the oil? He [Holy Spirit] isn’t like a commodity so it’s not a case of running out of Holy Spirit but more like a lack of proximity to Him. The spirit is no longer present when the oil is no longer present. Hence the ‘ I do not know you’ from the groom who represents Jesus.
If the oil and the groom are one (the Holy Spirit and Jesus being 2/3 of the Trinity) then the harshness of the groom’s last words makes sense because if you don’t have relationship with someone how can they really know you? It wasn’t shade, it was just a fact. The virgins represent believers who should have been replenishing themselves through relationship with the Jesus who is the groom. If the Holy Spirit were truly a bottle of oil on the label it should say:
‘Must Use. Must Replenish’
At first when I read the part of this parable where the wise virgins refused to share some of their oil with the foolish virgins I thought – ‘Man, these girls are so cold and so shady, not wanting to share.’ But you know what? It’s not that they didn’t want to share, it is that they didn’t want to be empty.
Being empty would have been the worst thing possible for them because ‘they had one job’ which was, to light the way for many others and they knew they could NEVER be empty and that is why they were called wise. This example is a serious warning to not distance yourself from God for a relationship, possessions, money or anything else.
Our job is to light a path for others, even on dark days.
Now, the parable of the talents, that immediately follows the story of the virgins, has a similar purpose- to expose the way things work in the Kingdom of God and point to what is necessary to get into the Kingdom. In this parable, a master puts his servants in charge of his goods while he is away.
When he returns, the master evaluates their varying levels of stewardship according to how faithful each was in making wise investments to obtain a profit. Two servants were congratulated and given even more to work with…but one played it safe and hid what the master had given him, this servant was admonished; called wicked and slothful and what little he had was taken from him.
From this we see that doing nothing is doing something because in the kingdom not acting is an action in itself. Doing nothing is action without returns; it holds negative weight because you are replacing the best version of yourself with a weaker, lesser you and presenting it to God as an offering.
It’s like saying “Hey God, check me out…I showed up. Not spirit filled, not intimate with you and I’m not reaching out to those that are hurting but click ‘Like’ on my status if ‘present’ is good enough!”
Sounds crazy and now I feel like adding something else to the Holy Spirit’s label:
“To whom much is given much is expected.”
Your real job, the reason you were created, will bring true satisfaction.
Imagine the Kingdom of God as a parallel dimension and God wants to pull you into it (think- Stranger Things on Netflix) but He can only take with Him as much of what is truly His. He says you can’t serve two masters at the same time.
So even if a part of you lives life in pursuit of something else, that part is not His and it will keep you from entering the dimension where His power is felt most strongly.
It’s that piece of us here and that chunk of us there that we haven’t given over to God that’s keeping us from truly living in the supernatural.
I so desperately want more of the supernatural, you know, moments where I see Him most clearly. So here’s what I’m asking myself – what’s your end goal Petula? Got it? Now live life like that end goal is true. Make it true and never dim your lights in order for others to shine. Compromising your path for the sake of others doesn’t work. Strengthening your walk will.
I grew up hearing these parables and I thought that I had a teachable spirit but in reality, I have a resistant heart. As I was praying one day I heard God interrupt my thoughts with one strong word “Jonah”. Of course, I ignored Him, I mean what else would I do, I knew he was calling me Jonah and that was not a compliment. He wanted me to look up the book of Jonah in the bible but I kept telling myself that the voice couldn’t have been God.
Then a week or so later it came again as clear as day “Jonah!” Okay, so I grabbed my bible and I started reading the book of Jonah, all the while thinking God, really, I don’t complain this much, I mean Jonah? …really? You see God stripped Jonah of comforts and taught him that loving people is more important. (See Jonah 4:6-11)
No one wants to do their job like Jonah did, but I have to admit, I like being comfortable, just as he did, I don’t want to give up certain comforts to live out my purpose but love – love for God and love for people makes me willing, though not zealous, to give up comfort.
What calling are you hiding from? What investment did God place in you that you are burying?
If God told you to “Sell what you have, give it to the poor and come after me,” would you? Honestly, I would have some fears, but my heart is a whole lot closer to that point than I was as recently as a month ago. When you hear God say things that sound crazy by today’s standards of comfort you might be tempted to ask “Did God really say it?”
God had to interrupt my focus, turn me around and strip me of things and people that were distracting me from fulfilling my reason for being where I am right now; that process has been as painful as it is liberating.
So what job has God given you on this earth? What’s your purpose?
As I write this post I’m really in the midst of learning a lesson here and I’m sharing with you my prayer for my own life, maybe you might identify with some of this:
God you are good and your intentions toward me are always the best. You are interrupting my attempts to control my life for my sake and the sake of others. I’m sorry that I’ve been fighting you and that I haven’t been willing to give up everything. I know that Your will is more important than mine, forgive me for not fully trusting your plan for my life. Your call on my life is disruptive and I need to trust your interruptions. I thank you for stepping in and leading me back to your will for my life because I will always be happier living a life of purpose – the purpose for which I was created, rather than for my own wants and wishes. Give me more opportunities to walk in my unique calling. I love you and I don’t want to waste the fire you’ve placed inside me. Help me be a good steward of everything you’ve invested in me.
What were some of your take away points from Petula’s thought provoking post? Comment and let us know. Then join our newsletter. Petula Miller Parent Blogger Petula is a busy mom of three, and the author of “How The Grumpy Pants Were Destroyed“. She is also incredibly concerned with encouraging healthy and happy purpose driven lifestyles.