“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’
All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’
But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’
But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’
But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’
So, you too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.”
Are you taking life for granted?
We are given free will, that is, we are allowed to make our choices in life to do as we wish. But with this, we are fully responsible for the results we get. In the above Scripture, Jesus is the Bridegroom and we are the bridesmaids. This parable is used to show that we are to be wise with our time now and to not take the time and freedom for granted.
In this parable, the five foolish bridesmaids are compared to those of us who go about our days living to please ourselves. We wake up and we look for what we can do to gain in enjoyable experiences for ourselves. Instead of waking up and seeking God’s Will for our lives, we get up and seek our will for our lives.
The danger here is that we don’t know the days of our life. Sure, we might feel healthy and confident that we will live long, but what happens when disaster strikes? Accidents are called accidents for a reason. These usually happen out of nowhere, as in, randomly. We can’t prepare for an accident. So, if we lose our life in that accident, our time before meeting the Lord is shortened.
God is very clear in the bible that ignorance isn’t going to get us through the gates of Heaven. It comes down to acceptance of His Son (John 14:6). This is why we share the Good News of Jesus with people. Not only so they can live a life of victory over the enemy, Satan, but also, so they will be prepared to spend eternity in Heaven when their time is up.
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Choosing to put off God until the time is right or better or more convenient is a bad strategy. The enemy is counting on this, but God is warning us to not play this game that results in a fiery death.
Are you having difficulty breaking free from a stronghold?
A stronghold is a mindset about something. Generally, in this context, this mindset is something that is connected to sinful living and Satan’s spirit. Addictions are strongholds. This is what the enemy strives to accomplish in each of us.
“So, if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”
Jesus is the Healer. He will come into your life immediately and start healing. This means, if you are trapped in the bondage of sin or addiction, He has the power to break those chains that enslave you. All you need to do is accept Him as your Lord and Savior and believe that you are in Him and He is in you.
When we make a choice to follow Jesus, we receive His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God, God the Holy Spirit, and He comes and makes His home in us. As we start this new life with Him, we can seek strength from Him to quit our addictions. I’m not just saying this from some pamphlet I read. I was heavily addicted to alcohol, and many other things that displease God.
When I surrendered fully to Jesus and asked Him to deliver me from these addictions, He did. It was easy in the sense that Jesus took away my cravings and I didn’t struggle with withdrawals. It was hard in the sense that I had to give up that way of living and some of my friends who remained in that lifestyle. But I was free.
When I tried to quit these on my own, I would only last a few days at best, then, right back to it. This is the same for all bondage. It doesn’t matter if it’s drugs, alcohol, pornography, sexual immorality, covetousness, hate, greed, or gossip; Jesus can set you free!
We can’t be right with God and live for Satan at the same time
We can’t have the best of both worlds; we must love one and hate the other.
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”
Here, it’s talking about money. However, money, and our love for it, is the same as our love for anything in life. Either we are on fire for God, and all that He offers, or we are living to please self and to fulfil our desires. Satan will entice us with the things of this world because he knows that if he can get our minds focused on these things, then we won’t be focused on God. Satan is about division.
If he can’t get our focus on material things or money, he will use things like children, relationship partners, and even friends to become our idols. I have personally known people who only live to please their children and to make their children’s life as pleasant as possible.
The danger here is that we aren’t spending our time giving glory to God for all that He has done. Yes, we should take care of our children and strive to provide a loving and safe home for them, but second to God.
The easiest way to know where our heart is, is to look at what we spend our day doing or thinking about. What’s the first thing that comes to mind in the morning? What keeps us up at night? What is on our mind all day long? If the answer to any of these isn’t Jesus, then we have something else that is taking His position in our life. This means we are guilty of idolatry, and this is exactly what the devil is longing for in us.
When we live to please ourselves, we separate ourselves from God
Now that we have examined idolatry and how Satan wants for us to put things before God, we must look at the result of this. If we do go on living in this way and feel like we can still follow God or that we will get to living for God soon, we are risking being eternally separated from God, just like the devil.
In the moment, we can be led to believe that we can do both, and God might seem silent through this as if all is good. However, we are forfeiting God’s protection in our life when we live for ourselves. It’s not until something goes horribly wrong and we cry out to God that we find out that we aren’t living under His protection and Will.
Let’s look at what He says about His children that do follow Him:
“But blessed are those who trust in the LORD
and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.”
“Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the LORD,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.”
Both of these Scriptures compare the faithful follower of Christ to a tree that is planted by a riverbank. Because the trees are rooted in such rich soil, they will continuously bear good fruit. This means that the tree’s purpose is to produce fruit, and because of the way it’s planted, it will be successful in all times and conditions.
Wouldn’t you like to be successful in all times and conditions? You can.
We have a choice to follow Jesus now or to follow Him later. However, as only God knows the exact number and hours of our days, we are risking a lot by putting this off. I shared the last two Scriptures because I want people to know that following Jesus isn’t just giving up everything and getting persecuted for our belief.
Instead, to truly follow Christ means to have victory over the enemy and his attacks. This means, his sinful bondage and addictions lose their power in our life when we accept Jesus. These two Scriptures show us that in times of adversity, we will prosper.
God is a multiplier. God will turn a life of bad into a life of good, and He will cause you to become a multiplier, too. In what way exactly will He do this depends on His Will for your life, but He absolutely has a plan for you.
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”
Don’t put God off in your life. Don’t risk everything because the enemy has convinced you that all is well and that your desires are what’s important. One final Scripture that shows that God also wants us to have our desires:
“Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.”
This means, if you put God first in your life, He will give you the things you desire. So, you have a choice; strive to acquire your desires on your own and risk being separated from God or seek Jesus first and then trust Him to provide your needs and desires and get Salvation, too. It’s up to you!
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how.