Redeeming the Time
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil
Time... We can all agree that is is one of live's most valuable assets. Yet every day, this precious gift slips away. Once past, you cannot regain it; there is no going back. Even the world understands this in the realm of finances, which is why it is said, "Time is money." Believe me, an attempt to amass profit is high priority. And if all should fail, it is considered a waste of time. But what does the apostle Paul mean when he wrote that we should "redeem the time?" Many may have asked the question. Often, we don't recognize such waste until life throws a curve ball and everything seems to backfire, leaving one holding a bag of emotional and other rubbish which takes even more time to sort through.
When it comes to the kingdom of God, the aspect of time is of greatest importance because the end results determine our eternal destiny. All believers must understand the consequences of their actions in the spiritual context in order to fulfill the will of God here on earth. It must become foremost in our lives.
My prayer for you: May you live a life well pleasing to God, may you fulfill your destiny
to the glory of God the Father; in the mighty name of Jesus
Let's look at apostle Paul's writings. He address the early Christians in Ephesus. Although they were in their infancy of spiritual growth, he admonishes them to redeem the time, because the days are evil. Not only so, but according to the Holy Scripture they are the "last days." One's spiritual growth level does not come into play here. I believe Paul's admonishment was a wake-up call for the early church, as it is for all believers today. That is, we need to awaken, to get focused and remain so in order that we may see clearly. What is the focus? Kingdom dynamics—biblical principles and values.
The Spirit revealed something to me that was astonishing. I had arrived home after a regular work day. I unlocked the door and walked into a dark living room. I didn't bother to turn on the lights because I knew my way around. As I sat on the sofa, I began to meditate on the Lord. The longer I sat, the more my eyes adjusted to the darkness around me and I could see what I couldn't before. It wasn't any lighter than when I'd come in, yet I could see. How amazing, I thought. Then the Spirit said, "This is the condition of the world; they have adjusted to the spiritual darkness around them."
Nothing fazes them anymore. They have become desensitized, having no sense of urgency. Even more appalling is when Christians are unfazed, comfortable in a world of ungodliness that they used to detest. Making statements such as "Yeah, but child, I've seen and heard so much ungodly conversations that I've gotten used to it." These are they who have fallen asleep. I've never heard a person talking in their sleep make any sense. Have you? It's always silly talk. So it is with the spiritual realm. Individuals who are out of touch with spiritual reality and unaware of what they are saying. The Bible reveals righteous Lot as "vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked" (2 Peter 2:7) How we see determines our sensitivity to the spirit world and our ability to gauge the times in which we live.
But we are not like the world. Paul also admonished us to "look up, because our redemption draws nigh." In other words, time is short! Those of us who are spiritually sensitive can discern God moving and shifting things quickly, not only in our lives, but also in the things around us. For example, what used to take hours or days for an answer to prayer is now quite instantaneous. Something is up, beloved and if by chance you be a sleeper, it is time to awaken and redeem the time. Awake, lift up your eyes!...for now is your salvation nearer than when you believed (Romans 13:11).
Ephesians chapter 5 starts with an exhortation on how believers ought to walk as saints. In the context, "walk" implies progression—in both conduct and faith. Paul opens up with an intimate address, calling the believers "dear children" and a command to be followers (imitators) of God. With God the Father and God the Son as our supreme examples, we are instructed how to behave in a dark world. Thus, our conduct is what sets us apart from sin and the world and unto God. This is so important that the apostle admonishes us to "Let not man deceive you with vain words" which will ultimately lead to disobedience—and disobedience to wrath. We are all called to walk as dear children, regardless of the times we live in, the church we attend, or the denomination we are associated with. There are many who think otherwise and are asleep. So how do we walk as dear children? First we must awaken to the voice of God. We must hear His voice.
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee light. -Ephesians 5:14
The word "awaken" in the Greek is Egeiro: it means to awaken, wake up. Used figuratively, it means to become attentive to one's dangerous position and to the salvation of God. Many are in a spiritual slumber today and walking on the edge of eternity. Unaware and unprepared, they are one windstorm away, a windstorm capable of blowing the sleeper straightaway off the cliff into an abyss, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. I will not tread lighting here, beloved. The Spirit is come to shake the sleeping soul out of a life of worthless living: spiritual drunkenness—time wasters—distractions—unauthorized relationships—excessive hoarding, all of these must-haves that appeal to the flesh. Get yourself spiritually clutter-free!
"He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
To be continued...