On Experiencing God — Matthew 25 [a practical, biblical study of scripture]

Excerpt from Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality

…at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ (Matthew 25:1-13, prompted from Devotional Sessions – Phil Rice).

Take a moment, steal away to a quiet spot. Now, whether behind closed doors or safely tucked away into the music of your earbuds, take a few deep breaths. Notice how you feel. Am I tired/awake? Is this room too warm/cold? Does my heart feel settled or am I anxious? Be present with yourself and invite God into your space.

Read though our passage several times. Readiness. The passage says that the virgins who were ready went into the wedding with the bridegroom. Take some time and ask Holy Spirit, Am I ready? Spirit, what does readiness look like?

The wise virgins in the story were the ones who had enough oil to last the night. Holy Spirit, what does the oil symbolize in Jesus’ story? How do I acquire it? How do I hold on to it? Thank you Holy Spirit for helping keep my heart ready for Jesus.

My personal engagement with this session

I so love this passage! When I ask Holy Spirit to deepen my understanding of the oil that Jesus is talking about in this story I can just feel my heart opening up to know Jesus more deeply. For me the oil is the substance that carries my longing for God both now and in the life to come. It’s the catalyst of connection between me and God — manifest in joy, desire for him, expectancy for his relational presence [experiential presence].

I use this story as an anchor when I’m tired or distracted. When I need to refocus my heart. I want to be one who continually knows him more. Not in large hyped moments or events, but in slow and steady ways over the course of a lifetime.

An added note from Phil Rice

I hope you’ve benefited from this excerpt from Devotional Sessions | Practical Spirituality. Share this session with anyone you think would be impacted and don’t hesitate to leave questions or comments for our mutual benefit of continued conversation.

Thanks for journeying alongside,
Phil Rice


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