“For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.” Galatians 5:5
Have you ever had to wait for something and it took forever to come? Christmas comes to mind. For many of us who celebrated Christmas as children, there is no other day as magical. You didn’t know where all the gifts were going to come from, but you were sure they were going to be under the tree come Christmas morning. That hope and faith we had as children is priceless. It is the very reason Christ tells us in one of his many lessons, to be a child for the Kingdom. “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). Faith is required to live a life of power, and it is especially required to live a life of righteousness. This is the exact reason the bible tells us, “…without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
READ MORE: For law or for relationship (part III)
In case you didn’t celebrate Christmas as children, here is another biblical analogy on waiting for something. Do you recall the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25:1-13?
At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 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. 8 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. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us! But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.Matthew 25:1-13
These virgins were waiting for the bridegroom, but they didn’t know when he was coming. It seemed they were waiting all night, so much so that they fell asleep. He didn’t come at 8pm when they were really expecting him, and he didn’t even come at 11pm – the time when they must have fallen asleep. This is when they realized they needed more oil to wait any longer. Since they waited all this time, what’s the harm in running down to the 24hr store to get the oil? Truly, they had lots of time. But, somewhere around 11pm and midnight the Bridegroom showed up. The hour he was least expected. And only the wise virgins were there. They had been eagerly waiting – in fact they came prepared in faith, knowing that even if they had to wait all night, He would come. That is true, unrelenting faith at work. These wise virgins were so eager that they were unwilling to give up their resources for fear that they would miss the hour. In the end, the wise virgins went in with Him to the wedding banquet. They received the righteousness they were hoping for.
That kind of waiting cannot be done by the flesh. Without the Spirit, those virgins would have given up a long time ago. Many of us don’t even like to wait in traffic or lines at the bank. I know I suffer from impatience and I get all worked up counting all the things I could be doing instead of standing in line. My impatience translate to being grumpy, rude, easily irritated. I don’t even like myself when I behave like that. So, I don’t think I would put myself in the feet of any of the 10 virgins. The difference with the wise and the foolish, was that the wise had extra oil. With or without the oil, I would have been cranky. I would have been asking questions, banging on the door… You get the picture. But, with the Spirit of Christ, who gives us patience, faith, and hope, I would be able to be like the wise virgins.
READ MORE: For law or for relationship (part II)
Faith is a beautiful gift. This is a gift downloaded in us by the Holy Spirit and it is this gift that gives thus the immense ability to wait. Children don’t realize that this is the gift they are using when they are waiting for Christmas to come. So eager, so full of faith, and hope. Oh, if we could become children again. What is to come, and what is to be downloaded is us, is far greater than waiting for Christmas. We cannot get weary, and we cannot loose hope. The Bridegroom is coming and He is looking for those who have been filled with righteousness. Be prepared with your oil, and stay awake, because the wedding banquet is a one time opporunity that we don’t want to miss. So, let’s wait in the spirit by faith and hope for this righteousness.