A few months ago the Lord spoke something very sobering into my spirit. In His still small voice He whispered, “Winter is coming.” I pondered this saying for some days and while in prayer the Holy Spirit asked me a question, “How do you prepare for winter? Being aware of the seriousness of the times we live in, I knew exactly what the Lord was saying. The time of the end is at hand, so what can we do to be prepared for it? Being struck with this question I began to think back to what does the bible say about the time of the end and what it will be like.
If you read in the book of Matthew chapter 24, it says that right before the return of Jesus to the earth, there will be a time of great darkness and tribulation that has never been before. Jesus also likens it unto Noah’s day in the book of Luke Chapter 17. In the same manner that people were going on with life eating and drinking, marrying and given in marriage right up until the day that Noah entered the ark, so it will be with the people at the return of Jesus. The scary thing is that a lot of these people that Jesus is referring to will be professing Christians. As they go on with life not giving a thought to the fact that Jesus said He will return, He indeed will return and will appoint their portion with the hypocrites (Matthew 24:51).
When we look at what happened in Noah’s day, we will also see that God forewarned Noah of what was to come with the flood, giving him instructions for the ark. While the rest of the people were getting drunk off of worldly pleasures, Noah stayed obedient to the Lord, building the ark as He had instructed him. Noah was not caught off guard when the rain began to fall. He and his family entered the ark and were safe because Noah took heed and made the necessary preparations as the Lord had commanded him.
Let’s look at Joseph in Genesis 41. Joseph was promoted to governor of the land of Egypt due to interpreting a very significant dream that Pharaoh had. The Lord God showed Pharaoh of a coming time of seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of drought that would affect the food supply of all the world. The Lord gave Joseph the wisdom of what to do in the good years. Joseph stored up plenty of food for the upcoming bad years and he was prepared when the bad years came upon the land.
Our last example is the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25. You see, there were ten virgins who were going to meet the Bridegroom. While five wise virgins took oil in their vessels along with their lamps, the five foolish virgins only took their lamps with no extra oil for the journey. While the bridegroom delayed, they all fell asleep. At midnight, when the cry was heard, they all arose and trimmed their lamps to go out to meet Him. It was then that the foolish recognized their folly and begged the wise for some of their oil.
The wise virgins turned them away, instructing them to go and buy for themselves, and that the foolish did but it was too late. While they went to buy the oil, they missed the Bridegroom and were shut out of the wedding feast. Upon knocking on the door to join the wedding feast, they were turned away by the Bridegroom Himself when he stated, “I do not know you.”
So what does this mean for us? How should we prepare for winter that is coming? Should we build an ark? Should we store up food? Should we go and buy oil for our lamps? Yes, yes, and yes. We should labor to enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 4:11) or the “Ark” of His Presence. Let us “store” His word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). Pay the price now, forsaking all to follow Jesus.
Don’t make the same mistake that the foolish virgins did by trying to have intimacy with the Bridegroom after it was too late. The oil is the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:9 says, “But now you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
The wise virgins made sure they were prepared and ready when the Bridegroom came. They got the oil for themselves and did not depend on others to supply what they would need. Isaiah 55:6 instructs us to “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.” We must work while it is still day for the night is coming when no one can work (John 9:4)
This teaching is by Beth Holiman. If you would like to invite Beth or any other Daughters of Zion minister to speak at your church or home group - click on the “Invite Us" button above. If you need prayer, just click on the contact us button at the bottom of this website.