He is coming, Jesus is coming back and we do not know the hour. Are you ready, have you been preparing? We see throughout the bible that we are to pray, praise, and worship without ceasing. There are pockets in the world who are doing just that, however where is the church? Are we as a body preparing the way for the coming of Christ? Yes these pockets are blooming and people flock to them as the new thing to go to and come back to their home church and tell the things they have experienced. The issue is we are not then growing into what we were created to do. We are to be in an intimate loving relationship with Daddy and be preparing not just ourselves but spreading the good news of Jesus to prepare the way of His coming. We are to spread the good news, pray, praise and worship! So what do we do, we do a little on a Sunday morning or a Wednesday night with a splattering here and there with a special event. We are not continuously as is what our spirit is crying out to do yet we do not.
In Matthew 25:1-13 we find the story of the ten virgins. You had 5 virgins who brought just their lamps in wait for the bridegroom. They did not prepare they just went about their daily business believing that the little here and little there that they gave in preparation would be more than enough to be ready for the bridegroom. If it were a disaster on the way would they not collect and store up as much provision and oil for their lamps as they could? Of course they would as they were thinking of themselves, to save themselves. Yet this is all temporary for as the storm passes they then go about cleaning up the damage and then go about their daily business again. Investing in this world which is only but a fleeting moment in time. Their preparation for a life of glorious eternity with their bridegroom is almost as an afterthought. The minor amount of preparation they did would only fade away. As they went to meet the bridegroom and He didn't come when they expected it became apparent they really were not ready. As they slept someone awoke and shouted here He comes. At that moment they realized they would not have enough oil in their lamps to keep them lit for the bridegroom to arrive and go into the wedding feast. They had to go and buy more and missed the feast of eternity.
On the other hand the other 5 virgins had spent their time preparing for the bridegroom’s arrival. They invested and stored up jars of oil for their lamps so they would not run dry and their lamps would not go out before He arrived or before the wedding feast. They were preparing for a life of eternity and did not put stock into the things of this world that are only temporary. So when the bridegroom did not arrive at the time they expected and then awoke they were prepared with plenty of oil for their lamps.
This very much like our preparation for Jesus’ return. We spend most of our time doing things of the world. Do not get me wrong we go out and feed the poor, minister to the lost and sick. We also have our worship corporately here and there with an occasional event we get all wound up about. Some even spend sometime in prayer in private and small groups, but are we as a body praying, praising, and worshiping continuously as in the Tabernacle of David? Do not misunderstand I am not trivializing small groups, events, or regular services as they are important overall, however I say no we are not, but why not? It seems we are like the 5 virgins who were un prepared by not investing and storing up jars of oil. Where are our prayer rooms, our worship and praise, where is our continuous intersession? As a body why do we not invest into the things in preparation of the bridegroom? I do know that everyone of us cannot not just stop what we are doing as we are to support our families, help those in need, and minister to the world. However shouldn’t we be set up to enter into continuous prayer, praise and worship? King David set up a schedule and ordered it so to have teams of intercessors, worship and praise 24/7 and this was pleasing to God. Since we have been saved by the grace of God by His Son Jesus becoming our sin to free us and make us Holy in Daddy’s sight and who is coming back to claim his bride the church should we not do the same? What a gift we have been given to not have to face the punishment of our sin, to be forgiven, saved, and be able to have an amazing revelation of Daddy’s heart and love. To know without a shadow of a doubt that our identity is Him and no one else. We have direct communication with Daddy yet all we do is pray for the nations or someone here and there, worship and praise as a body here and there. Yes many of us pray and worship throughout the day but a as the body the Bride of Christ we in reality do very little. We settle for the big conference here and there or go to a place where they have a prayer room all the time just to say wow how amazing and say I wish we had that here. Our wishing is just like the unprepared virgins and their lack of oil. We need to be filled and over flowing with oil as we prepare for Jesus to come for his bride. We should be praising, worshiping and be in intersession for the world, people, leaders and so on, but alas we do not. Should not these pockets grow and overtake our city, state, region, country and the world so we all as a body become the bride Jesus is coming for? If we can plan and prepare for this thing or that thing we should be able to set up and prepare for Jesus. What an honor and pleasure to be able to pray honor, worship, and praise Daddy, Jesus and be laid wide open for the leading of the Holy Spirit. There is a paradigm shift that needs to take place in the church. We are so accustomed to the standard structure of Sunday morning/evening church in a certain order of worship, tithes, and the word, then fellowship. We are so used to the standard of small group meeting here and another night that we are blinded by the outline to the truth that over and above we were created to pray, intercede, praise and worship, our hearts cry out to worship.
This leads into the area of is our worship and prayer pleasing to God or is it just an activity as a body? In Matthew 25: 14-30 in the story of the talents it is a wonderful parallel to where our worship is in the church. In our worship, praise, and our worship life the amount of the talents (gifts) are not so much the size as it is the different levels we may be at. If the servant in the story who was given the 5000 and he did the same as one given 1000 would he not have received the same response from the master as did the one with 1000 who hid it. I have seen so many times someone who is at the beginning of their gift, growing, and being refined have the anointing come upon them and so many people ministered to by the Holy Spirit I have lost count. In the same vein those whose gifts are considered amazing be just flat because it was being used in the flesh for self and not led by the Holy Spirit. Please understand that I am not saying that all those who may be considered amazing in their gifting using them out of the flesh. In the instances where the gifts are flesh driven it usually comes up empty and dry. I am not saying Daddy cannot not use this but as with King Saul the anointing went away. Do you give your family, favorite pastime, your job just second best? Of course not because you know the results of doing just that, as a result you give your best. Why then do some of us feel it is ok to give God our 2nd best? Is it because it is only an occasional Sunday service, or a small group, Wednesday night, special event? Even if it is only a little time, isn’t Jesus and the price He paid for our sins worth giving Him our absolute best? To give Him our best do we not have to prepare?
What is this preparation? Well it does begin with reading our bible and spending time in our secret place with Daddy. It does include our corporate services, events, and small groups. It should also include 24/7 intersession, worship, and praise as in the Tabernacle of David. I do realize this is a new way of thinking for some, a lifestyle change for others and a sacrifice for all. I am also not naive to not know that this requires coordination, commitment, building of teams, practice for unity, staffing, space requirements, and so much more. This is also something that doesn’t happen overnight but does take tame to ensure we are giving our absolute best to Jesus. This requires mentoring, training, raising up, and releasing other in their gifts of all areas. What do we sacrifice now for things in this world for those are only temporary? Are we all willing to sacrifice to do what we were created to do and prepare the way for our Bridegroom to come and claim us the church His Bride? Oh the miracles, signs, and wonders that come from this that will make Jesus famous, give honor and glory to God, and the unleashing of the awesome power of the Holy Spirit in our surrounding area, to the state, the region, and beyond. Oh to do what we were created to do and be so pleasing to Daddy makes my spirit leap with joy. This is not a temporary thing to do and drop but a commitment to a lifestyle the prosperous, wondrous, and victorious life that is ours to claim as promised by God. With all this said it leads me to one final question as it relates to the rest of Matthew 25. Will we be sheep or will we be goats when Jesus comes to claim his bride and take his place on his glorious throne? This I will write about with my next entry.