Summary: Every believer has the potential to be powerful if they are willing to invest their time in an intimate relationship with Christ.

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The Cost of God’s Power

March 2002

Matthew 25:1-12

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: “Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.” “No,” they replied. “There may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.” But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. “Sir! Sir!” they said. “Open the door for us!” But he replied, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.”

This story reveals many significant truths:

· The church should be watchful for the return of Christ

· 50 % of those who say they are believers are not really ready for the return of Christ.

· The possession of oil became the central theme of the story that decided the destiny of each virgin.

· What does the oil represent? It represents the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives to help us live for God, overcome the darkness in our lives and prepare us for eternity. The Holy Spirit is our source of power, of revelation, of peace and comfort and direction for our lives.

Two things we must know today about the Holy Spirit:

1. We are now the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 27:50-51 – Jesus cried out and the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

1 Corinthians 6:19

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”

2. There is a cost to receiving the power of the Holy Spirit.

· The cost of oil (Holy Spirit) is time! The cost of the presence and power of God in our lives is the time we are willing to exchange to seek Him.

· The fullness of His power and presence cannot be conveniently borrowed or gained without a cost.

· Even though the five foolish virgins had money to buy oil, it did not do them any good because they were out of time. The wise virgins had spent their time wisely preparing for their midnight journey to meet the bridegroom.

Important Clarification: I am not saying and this story is not saying that our salvation is based on how much of the Holy Spirit we have at any given point in time. If we are saved, we have enough of the Holy Spirit to get us to heaven.

The way we spend our time reveals:

1. If we are truly saved. Not spending time seeking or pursuing a relationship with someone is an indication that you either don’t know someone or don’t want to know someone. Bridegroom to the foolish virgins: “I don’t know you.”

2. If we are walking with a dependence upon the Holy Spirit. Not spending time praying and seeking the Lord means we are trusting in our own power and not in the power of the Holy Spirit. The result will be weakness, darkness, confusion, depression, and ultimate defeat.

Zechariah 4:6

“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubabbel: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit …”

Zerubabbel means “sown in confusion” = Foolish virgins running around in the darkness without lamps = Christians trying to live their lives in an evil and dark world without the power of the Holy Spirit.

· In the Bible, the pattern of power is this: The time dedicated to seeking God equals the level of power and anointing.

Isaiah 40:29-31

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they walk and not faint.”

Burn-Out – Giving away more than you have – burning the wick and not the candle.

Luke 24:49

“Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

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