Day 20: Return Ready - Part 2

Day 20: Return Ready - Part 2
Jon Mitchell

Yesterday I mentioned that being kingdom ready is being return ready. The parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25:1-13 shows us 5 wise virgins and 5 foolish virgins, and ultimately they are foolish because they aren’t prepared to meet the bridegroom, Christ. The only major difference between the virgins was oil…the amount of oil they had. The 5 wise had extra oil.

The oil is the personal, empowering, manifest presence of God in our lives. We serve a God who isn’t content with never being seen, heard, felt—never being in relationship with His creation. He isn’t content with a lack of nitty-gritty engagement with us. In fact, this is why Jesus came! As it says in John 1:14 in the Message paraphrase, “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” From the very beginning in the Garden of Eden God desired relationship, He desired to be present with His creation. 

The problem is, as a culture, we’re getting worse at presence; we don’t do presence well because we live distracted, and we will never be kingdom ready and return ready as long as we live this way. It’s the presence of God that energizes, sustains, and empowers us, but most of us are so assaulted by weapons of mass distraction that we’re fried. You can have God [or perhaps better said, the idea of God] but He may not have you, and because of that we run out of oil. The reality is that we can know a lot about someone yet never know them personally (this is the whole premise of social media). There are a growing number of people who profess Christ but they don’t possess Christ, they aren’t believers, they are make-believers, and there is no oil in the lamp, and this should unnerve us!

The oil and the extra flasks of oil point to an ongoing moment-by-moment life in God. What’s missing in your life might actually be…God, and friends, this hour we now live in necessitates a growing, intimate relationship with our life-giving, oil-producing Father who wants us to be return ready!

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