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And the Bride Has Made Herself Ready – Pt. 1

Having Oil in our Lamps and Trimmed Lamps – Pt. 1

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” (Rev 19:7)

Having Oil

Jesus will be coming back again to meet His bride. This bride is described in a number of ways but the most important is that she is “ready.” In this little series we will discover what it means for the bride (us) to be ready for His return.

The parable of the 10 virgins is a wonderful example, with a number of key insights for us. In the parable there are 5 wise and 5 foolish virgins, who were waiting for the Bridegroom to arrive. The bridegroom was delayed in His coming and all the virgins slept. The foolish virgins brought no extra oil with them. The foolish demanded of the wise: “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” (Matthew 25:8)

Oil represents the person of the Holy Spirit. (see Luke 4:18) So the 5 foolish can represent those in the body of Christ who do not store their own oil. They happily listen to sermons and receive from a minister but do not obtain their own oil. As believers, we must get our own oil. This happens by spending quality time in His presence, worshiping Him, reading His Word, waiting on Him. We do not want to only get, as Wade Taylor puts it, “moon revelation,” the reflected light of another. We each need our own special walk with the Lord. As we do so our lamps will be filled.

The end of the parable gives us Jesus’ main message. Hear it.

Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ ‘Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.'”

Jesus said “I do not know you.” This may baffle some. Doesn’t Jesus know everything? Doesn’t he even know the numbers of hairs on our head? Yes and yes. But this knowing Jesus talked about was an intimate knowing, one that only people in love can share. You see, the five foolish were content with the light and reflection of the glory, but not the direct light of intimate fellowship. Thus, they had no oil in their lamps.

Trimming Lamps

When the call rang out at midnight to meet the Bridegroom it is said that the 5 wise virgins “arose and trimmed their lamps.” (25:7) The Greek word for trimmed is kosmeō. We get our word “cosmetic” from it. The word is often translated as adorn, prepare, arrange. But here it means to trim our cut back. Oil lamps must be trimmed in order for the wick to burn properly. If the wick is not trimmed often the light will be dull. David Crank gives 6 benefits (needs!) for lamp trimming.

  1. Trim at regular intervals to get the most consistent light
  2. Commit to being good at it, so you don’t waste fuel (on drama) or end up with a dim flame (running on fumes)
  3. Keep the reservoir filled at regular intervals so that the light doesn’t go out (time reading your Bible)
  4. Keep the lamp trimmed because you never know when you’ll need that light (it’s a dark world)
  5. Many small lamps provided the light for very large vessels (strength in numbers)
  6. You are responsible for your lamp, don’t wait on someone else to do it for you

There is a trimming happening now to many in the body of Christ. Jesus is stripping away the unfruitful and even dangerous things in our lives. This trimming is not always pleasant but very necessary.

This “trimming” reminds me of what Jesus said in John 15:2,4.

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit…Abide in Me, and I in you.”

Notice the Vinedresser does the trimming and not us. It is not our job to be constantly evaluating ourselves and self-pruning. Our job is to keep our lamps full. Yes, in that process, He will prune in His beautiful way. Our job is to not run from the pruning but to abide. Abiding is the best thing we can do. Like Mary, it will not be taken from us.

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