If time is the currency of life, our profession controls our perception of its flow. From a student that looks forward to a change of lesson, to a businessman that sees a year of opportunity to invest; from the Surgeon’s eyes that see the precise hands of the clock to the fisherman that rides the seasonal tides on the sea; perception of time is as varied as our profession.
Every profession can however agree that to lose the sense or perception of time is “dropping the ball”. Like the Pharisees, they professed to be experts in God’s laws and matters, but Jesus accused them of “dropping the ball” for failing to observe the times and believe the Messiah (Matt 16:1-4). They claimed they could not see signs of the Messiah but as evidence of their hypocrisy, they consulted with Herod when he hunted for His life as a child and spilled infants’ blood in the process (Matt 2:4-5). They had knowledge of His birth, yet denied His works and missed their time of salvation – they dropped the ball.
As Christians, the completeness of our faith, is in Christ’s second return. Paul actually said if there were no such hope, we would be the most miserable of all men (1Cor 15:19). Selah. To live forgetful or oblivious of His second coming will akin to dropping the ball. It will mean “missing out” on ultimate salvation, in the coming of Christ- just like the Pharisees. It will mean to experience the fate of the 5 foolish virgins.
The story of the virgins has never been more relevant in our history (Matt 25:1-12). It should be our staple word diet. Jesus will soon return, therefore, it’s time to trim our lamps like the 5 wise virgins. The signs of His return abound in the world today: the Corona pandemic, the wild fires, volcanoes, earthquakes, saber-rattling of war between nations. If you need more signs to believe His imminent return, you will get it. That, I assure you. I only worry that if what is now is not enough to jolt us out of slumber, then nothing will.
What time is it? It is time for us Christians to trim our lamps. What does it mean to trim our lamps? In the context of the parable of the virgins, it means the following:
- It means darkness is about to or has enveloped the surrounding – Trim your lamp or you get lost in the darkness unfolding. The worst and the best of times are about to roll into one. Isaiah 60:2 says For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. As the world eases from the corona lockdown, I believe it is a glimpse of the darkness to come. The fear, frustration and helplessness was unprecedented global darkness. We are seeing the darkness in Isaiah 60:2 unfold before our eyes. To expect the children of light to arise is a corollary that rings true
- It means to let your good works shine – As Christians, we are quick to rattle off the grace sermon. Nothing wrong with that except when we have nothing to show for what grace has worked in and through us. Surely, there must be a certain John before and after salvation, distinct by the new birth. To have the faith of new birth without the works indicates a dead faith (Jam 2:20). Check that faith and reconnect to the Source of life. I know people are hung up on good works, but we have to know that while it’s not a relevant yard of righteousness before God, it is relevant before men. We cannot annul the bible. Good works also include performing miracles. You may not be a Pastor, evangelist or prophet, but qualification to performing miracles is if you believe. So, lay those hands anyhow. They are gifted and blessed. Good works means taking a stand, not for culture of racism or sycophants, but for righteousness.
- It is time to win souls into the kingdom – The bible makes clear about the light that gentiles will come to our light (Isaiah 60:3). If it is the last days, there will be last harvest. If there was a former rain, there will be a latter rain. We must be thus minded
- It means to enter into the full benefits of Christ’s redemptive works on the cross – Healing, Prosperity, Blessings, Righteousness are all the benefits every Christian should enjoy. Jesus did not suffer to bequeath us a pitiable, sick and poor life. Sorry if this sounds hard, but you should be angry in your spirit against the works of darkness. Everything you permit or tolerate has the right to stay. Trim your lamp because a blessed life serves God’s purpose more than a wretched one.
- It means to shine brighter and grow hotter – The bible says to lay aside every weight and besetting sin. Whatever we are today in Christ, we can be better. People see more of Christ in us when we get brighter daily. On the other hand, a brighter light produces a hotter lamp and heat generates pressure. Higher expectations from others and ourselves can bring about pressure. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit can and will help us bear this burden if we let Him. This brings us to next point.
- It means to get more anointing – oil is symbolic of the anointing in the scriptures. An “un-oiled” wick burns exponentially faster than an oiled one. If we must shine brighter, as stated earlier, we must set higher expectations of ourselves and do more “good works”. This can quickly burn out a natural mind no matter how good of a nature. In fact, the goal of faith is to set out the impossible so that we can depend on the infinite might of God that manifests through His anointing. It can only be by the Spirit. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
- It means to have a better relationship with the Holy Spirit – Ultimately, the Holy Spirit is the Source of the anointing. Therefore, being more acquainted with Him in these last days will ensure we finish strong and ready for the return of our Master. After all, we are in His dispensation. Every divine transaction happens through Him; think about it. Will your result not be far greater with a better acquaintance with Him? Growing up in Christianity, I remember how much we thirsted for Holy Ghost baptism. We looked and longed for such experience so much that we prayed and fasted. I don’t think of myself as old school but that attitude seems to belong to old school now in the kingdom. However, we must thirst again, as the dear longs after water. We must set our hearts on Him in these last days so we can shine as light of the world.
In conclusion, if all that was needed to make heaven was new birth at confession, then, all ten virgins would meet the Groom. I asked myself why the foolish virgins couldn’t see that they were out of time and just stay with their dead lamp to meet the Groom. The answer is that a lukewarm Christian is God’s pet peeve. A Christian failing to shine is somehow untenable to Him (Rev 3:16).
Please note that the glory of God will break out with or without our cooperation. As surely as darkness will make great advances on earth according to Isaiah 60:2, God will move mightily for those that trust Him. Let’s make a decision because there will be no sitting on the fence. Lukewarmness, unfortunately will suffer great loss in these last days. IT’S TIME TO TRIM OUR LAMPS!!