I believe that God gave me a fear of the dark.
Truth be told, if there is something to walk into or trip over in the dark, I’m bound to find it. With all of our traveling and middle of the night bathroom breaks, I always wake up trying to figure out what side of the room the bathroom is on. I often grope the walls trying to get to the toilet without getting a concussion from walking into a wall first.
While it might be easier for me to find these walls and bathrooms if there was some type of night-light, I deeply appreciate a deep dark room at night where I can’t see my hand in front of my face. Research has shown that this is actually the type of lighting that cues your brain to release melatonin, a hormone that controls your sleep pattern. I think it is wise to have a healthy fear, or awareness of the walls and objects in the dark so that you don’t trip. I think it’s wiser to turn a light on even if I don’t always implement this ;)
Matthew chapter 25 verses 1-12 is a parable Jesus tells about ten virgins who are going to meet the Bridegroom being like the Kingdom of Heaven. The fact that they’re virgins signifies that they’re made pure by the righteousness of Jesus Christ, so they’re believers, not those who don’t know Him. In this story, there are 5 wise virgins and 5 foolish virgins. We see that the only distinction that is mentioned between the wise and foolish is that while they all have lamps, the foolish don’t have any oils for the lamps. Unlike our modern days of electricity, these lamps would’ve needed oil in order to be lit. It would’ve been foolish to carry a lamp without oil, as there is no hope at producing light.
Throughout scriptures the symbolism of lamps represent light as in “God’s word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” Psalm 119:105. In describing John the Baptist in John 5:35, it describes his ministry or religious profession. “The light” is the truth. John 17:17 says, “We have to walk in the light “as He is in the light.” He lives in us, and we in Him. We are in union with Him.” We obtain light by being connected to His word and His heart.
The counsel from the Apostle John here is to abide in this place of light so that our lamps would be lit.
While all 10 virgins fall asleep at the Bridegroom’s delay, when the midnight cry goes forth to meet the Bridegroom, only 5 are prepared. They all had lamps, they all had the opportunity to produce light through their ministries, but only half of them were wise enough to store oil to light their lamps and meet the Bridegroom.
We can tell from the parable that there will be believers in the last days who will be foolish and carry a lamp, but they’re like empty tombs. They can’t produce light on the spot because they haven’t been storing oil from intimacy with Jesus. They’ve not been living from the inside out and acquainted with His Holy Spirit.
There will also be those who are watchful and be found wise because they are prepared with oil in their lamps. They will keep the first things first, because even though they may fall asleep, their hearts will be awake. The lamps or the mundane ways of life won’t distract them. They’ll watch and wait expectantly and be kept in the light and enter the wedding celebration.
Even if your motive is pure, if you don’t stay connected to His heart, you’ll miss out on the coming revival like the foolish virgins missed out on the wedding. There needs to be an increased connectedness to His heart in the midst of this life. Otherwise you’ll end up burning out if you do it on your own strength.
When Stephen and I got married, we took communion and then lit candles inside of lamps. We wanted to pray that our marriage would be marked as a “burning and shining lamp” to our generation in the ways that John the Baptist was. We want to be those who not only know the times in which we are living, but seek His heart in the midst of great and difficult seasons.
In order to do this, we must keep watch. Jesus repeatedly tells us to WATCH. We must keep watch over our own hearts so that we don’t grow cold or distracted. This can only come by having a healthy fear of the Lord. I often pray, “Lord grant me the spirit of the fear of the Lord”, based on Isaiah 11:2.
The fear that I want to walk in is the fear of the Lord where I respect and worship Jesus. I want to have the fear of the Lord to guide my pursuit of His plans and desires for my life.
I want to have the fear of the Lord to keep me vigilant, awake, and partnering with His heart. I want to be part of the pure and spotless Bride awaiting the Bridegroom.
I don’t want to be caught sleeping or with a mindset that I can coast through life carrying a lamp void of any oil. Isaiah 59:9-10 says ,” We hope for light, but there is darkness; for brightness, but we live in the night. We grope along a wall like the blind; we grope like those without eyes.” Much like I try to find my way around a dark hotel room, many will find themselves trying to find light in the darkness. When they’ve not kept a relationship with Jesus primary, they will be left in the darkness.
God wants you to have a fear of the darkness in a way that provokes you to cultivate relationship with Him that stems from the fear of the Lord. He desires that you be wise and be a part of His Bride that walks in the light.
My prayer for you is that you wouldn’t be afraid of the darkness that might surround you in this present life. Rather I pray that you’d be filled with the fear of the Lord to keep the bright light shining within you.