The piercing whistle of the drum major signaled the drummers to transition from a marching cadence to the intro of the next song. Instruments were snapped up and the music began to blast forth with confidence. The sound of marching was no longer heard over the song being performed. Knees were raised to a predetermined height and feet were stepping in precision. Once again the drum major signalled, this time indicating a parade right. As each member of the marching band reached the correct spot, they spun on the correct foot, and turned sharply. This was followed by another parade formation, followed by a new drum cadence, followed by more whistles from the drum major, followed by another song. All of this…and the band was in the same half a block as when they started, waiting for the signal to move forward into the parade.
The band was ready. They were prepared, but they were waiting for the signal to move forward. Until the signal was given, they practiced and perfected their formations and routines until they were ready to step forward, into the moving parade with flawless precision. Each individual band member had invested a great deal of time, energy and focus into being prepared. They learned the music, the steps, the formations, the cues, the commands and when the signal finally came, they entered into the flow flawlessly…seamlessly.
There was another group waiting in expectation. They were waiting for the arrival of the bridegroom. The wait became long, the evening turned into night and all got comfortable and slept. At midnight, when their sleep was the deepest, a shout rang out, “Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Ten pure young ladies woke from their deep sleep with a start and jumped to their feet. Five were prepared for the promise they had long waited for and five were not. Five had not rested until they knew they would be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, but five assumed there would be yet another day to go to the market and get the oil that they could not join the groom without…but they were wrong. They believed in their promise to a certain degree, but not enough to invest in it.
Where are you today with your promise? Did God give it to you or not? Sometimes a promise can have an ethereal feel to it. It can hardly seem real at times…especially if it is big or way out there, but; I ask you again…did God give it to you or did he not? If he did, you had better be investing in your promise, for even though the wait may get long and at times it seems almost strange to believe, it will come to pass at the appointed time and you must be ready and prepared to journey with “the groom”. Keeping your wick trimmed is the watching and preparing. Keeping oil in your lamp is hopeful joy with expectation. Those who give up on their promise are those who are the foolish virgins that wait until the arrival of their promise to invest in their promise of their focus, time and energy and hope. If God has given you a promise GO FORWARD! Do not slip back! Be aggressive in your hope of what is to come for you! POSSESS your promise, for has not God spoken?? POSSESS IT! God will increase the results of your efforts as you invest in the promise. This is the same model as investing in your talents.
You must move forward! Do not regress! God cannot bless falling backward!
Go to! Invest and Possess!
Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids
1“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, 4 but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. 5 When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6“At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’
9“But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’
10“But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. 11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’
12“But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’
13“So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.