3 Keys to Personal Revival

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The parable of 10 virgins offers keen insights for the hour in which we live. (iStockPhoto.com)

I have found that there is a real cost to revival. I believe the parable of 10 virgins in Matthew 25 shows such an important picture of this.

"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be like ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were wise and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps, but took no oil with them. But the wise took jars of oil with their lamps. While the bridegroom delayed, they all rested and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, 'Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out to meet him!'

"Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. But the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps have gone out.'

"The wise answered, 'No, lest there not be enough for us and you. Go rather to those who sell it, and buy some for yourselves.'

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"But while they went to buy some, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Afterward, the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open the door for us.'

1"But he answered, 'Truly 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" (Matt. 25:1-13).

This parable is an such an interesting picture of revival and how we can so easily miss it. If you read this passage of Scripture and don't view it as a parable you can easily miss what Jesus is trying to communicate to his disciples. Many read this and think that it is a parable about the end times and the return of the Lord. However, I want to show you why I think its speaking about living in personal revival.

Notice, the parable starts off talking about the kingdom of heaven is like ten virgins. The description of virgins here is actually referring to Christians. Virgins are pure and not given to a lover and here the virgin represents a pure and saved follower of Christ. The passage also says each of these virgin (Christians) all had lamps which represents ministry. We know this from the Scripture in Matthew 5:14 that we are the light of the world. This reference of the lamp represents ministry.

So we see that they were all Christians and all had ministries but there were only half that were wise and the other half were foolish and what differentiated the two was the fact the wise had oil and the foolish did not. The oil in this parable represents the Holy Spirit and intimacy. See, when the bridegroom was coming only those that were prepared in their hearts through intimacy with the Holy Spirit had access to the dining table with the Lord.

Those that didn't have oil tried to buy oil from those that had it and their reply was "go and buy for yourselves." In essence what they were saying was: "We cant give you freely what we paid the price for. You have to go pay your own price through prayer, fasting and seeking God yourself to obtain this oil of intimacy."

Receiving the anointing of God is costly. It can't be bought with money; that's not what I am referring to when I say it's costly. It's costly meaning you have to pay a price by sowing your life into the things of God.

The price you pay is crucifying your desires and surrendering your will to the Lord. It also requires a lifestyle of prayer and fasting. Those are both things that speak of paying a price. Many people in the body want the anointing and power of God but aren't willing to lay down their life and pay this kind of price. With anything of value there is a price for it, and the anointing is of great value.

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