Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. – Romans 13:11-14 ESV
The Message Bible, which is more of a paraphrase, puts the same text in this way: But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about! In the Old Testament, the Bible talks about Warriors from the Tribe of Issachar. They were known to be great warriors. Some of King David’s mightiest warriors, and closest defenders were men from the Tribe of Issachar. What made the warriors from the Tribe of Issachar so outstanding? From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take. (1 Chronicles 12:32) These were men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do. This means they were Spiritually discerning. This means they were connected to God. This means they were in the Scriptures. This made them MIGHTY in the LORD, for the LORD. and enabled them to be doing what they should be doing!
Leader, are you doing what you should be doing, AT THIS TIME? Remember time has 2 different GREEK words that we translate TIME, from. Chronos and Kairos. One is about the time of day, one is about the TIME WE ARE IN! It is evident that we are in the last days. In the Old Testament Isaiah prophesied of a time when standards and behavioral attitudes would be reversed, and Jesus said in the end-times many people would be deceived. Hear the Word of the Lord: What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever. What sorrow for those who are heroes at drinking wine and boast about all the alcohol they can hold. They take bribes to let the wicked go free, and they punish the innocent. But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (Isaiah 5:20-23,2 Timothy 3:1-4) The Time is Now to get close to God, to get IN HIS WORD, and to be about HIS BUSINESS. The TIMES of the Gentiles is coming to a close, and the TIME of Jacob’s Trouble is before us. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 24:42-44)
Conduit, in today’s scripture Paul gives us a 3- Step Plan; Keep It Simple Soldier. 1 Awaken. We need to have OPEN EYES, and have your ‘cap of discernment’ on. Paul tells us to WAKE UP! The night is almost gone. The Time is Now to GET UP and ACT AS IF. 2. Abandon. We are called to LAY ASIDE the undisciplined patterns of this world, of the devil and of our flesh. Do you want what the earth-dwellers want, or do you want what God says is best for you? 3. Adorn. PUT ON CHRIST. The Time is NOW to get him to show up on the outside of you! We know He is in us, but do others know He is ABOUT US? When people look at you, do they see Christ? It is a common metaphor- that human beings are similar to sheep, we are unconscious creatures being led to the slaughter. We are habitual, pattern seeking, pattern doing creatures. And most of what we do we do without conscious awareness. We are told we use roughly 3-5% of our brain consciously. We walk around totally UNAWARE, of just how UNAWARE we are. Author Joan Chittster tells the following story of a conversation between a wise one and their disciple: “Where shall I look for enlightenment?” the disciple asked. “Here,” the wise one said. “When will it happen?” the disciple asked. “It is happening right now,” the wise one answered. “Then why don’t I experience it?” “Because you don’t look.” “What should I look for?” “Nothing. Just look.” “Look at what?” “At anything your eyes light on.” “But must I look in a special way?” “No, the ordinary way will do.” “But don’t I always look the ordinary way?” “No, you don’t.” “But why ever not?” “Because to look, you must be here. And you are mostly somewhere else.” If you are a CHILD OF GOD, then, the TIME IS NOW, to be a faithful and wise servant. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:44-51) Child of God; AWAKEN, ABANDON, and ADORN!