Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Redeeming the Time

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, REDEEMING THE TIME, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16 NKJV).

Our business savvy and western mindset claims that time is money, the very currency of our lifeblood, and of course, there is much truth in that assertion, but the way of the pilgrim through this wasteland of earth goes deeper and says “he that believeth shall not make haste” (Isaiah 28:16 KJV).

Our Savior told us He must be about His Father’s business, and that business is our redemption!  It is both a settled thing: “It is finished!”; and a work in progress: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.”  Our flesh must sweat out all its impurities while our spirits are calmly and serenely sitting at our Savior’s feet.

Diligence and persistence and patience seems too much like old-school to us today.  Redeeming the time is not about getting a faster computer and/or being ultra-efficient in the workplace, nor can you micro-manage quality time (the very essence of “quality time” negates impatience; trying to place more activity into less time is counterproductive along relationship lines).  Old school works!  Redeeming the time is about obtaining wisdom from above.  It is about this admonition: “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).

“For this is the will of God, that you should be consecrated (separated and set apart for pure and holy living): that you should abstain and shrink from all sexual vice, that each one of you should know how to possess (control, manage) his own body in consecration (purity, separated from things profane) and honor, not [to be used] in the passion of lust like the heathen, who are ignorant of the true God and have no knowledge of His will, that no man transgress and overreach his brother and defraud him in this matter or defraud his brother in business. For the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we have already warned you solemnly and told you plainly.  For God has not called us to impurity but to consecration [to dedicate ourselves to the most thorough purity]” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 Amp.).

Redeeming the time is not about getting on with the Great Commission (as important as that is, and will be the automatic result of our separation and purification), but about us MAKING OURSELVES vessels of honor (working out what God has worked in).  “Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor.  Therefore, if anyone CLEANSES HIMSELF from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, USEFUL TO THE MASTER, prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:20-21 NASB).

The days are evil!  Not just the night anymore (when most crimes are committed); evil is now blatantly expressed in the broad daylight without conscience and fear of reprisal.  Our only defense is an offence, a supernatural offensive effulgence of light brighter than natural daylight.  If the light in them is darkness, how great is the darkness?  The night when no man can work is here!  Purity of heart cleanses away the filth of the flesh from off the lens of the prism eye of God through our spirits and causes us to see more clearly than through a glass dimly.  Exploits are needed; the end of the age is upon us.  Only a pure heart sees God, and only a pure heart reflects Him.

“The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.  Those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many; yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder for many days.  Now when they fall they will be granted a little help, and many will join with them in hypocrisy.  SOME OF THOSE WHO HAVE INSIGHT WILL FALL, IN ORDER TO REFINE, PURGE AND MAKE THEM PURE UNTIL THE END TIME” (Daniel 11:32-35).

Redeeming the time on our part is be refined or purified; on God’s part, it is to infuse us with His power to do exploits.  Only after we do our part, will God do His (because He already gave us the first graces to do our part).  It’s not so much that we wait on God, as that he waits on us!  Just in front of the phrase “he that believeth on him shall not make haste [not be in a hurry]” is the phrase “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation” (Isaiah 28:16).  “Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness’” (2 Timothy 2: 19).

Redeeming the time is understanding that your days are numbered, not so that you can make a bucket list of all the things you need to spend your lusts and pleasures on before you die, but that you purify your heart to the degree that redeem yourself from the pit of hell.  To lose your life now to gain it back forever is about redeeming the time (the fourth dimension of this realm) and solidifying your eternal destiny in the heavenly realms (beyond the first four dimensions of our earthly experience).  What God accomplishes in us (with our cooperation) is forever determined in this narrow sliver of experience; who we are, and what we become (in character) is what is behind redeeming time.  Be ye therefore holy as He is holy is more than fiat; it is necessary for our wellbeing!  For our wellbeing is only REALLY realized in His Presence.  We are designed that way, and redeeming time is about redeeming ourselves, about placing ourselves back into a relationship with God in Edenic-paradise.

“Follow peace with all men, AND HOLINESS, WITHOUT WHICH NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.  For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears” (Hebrews 12:14-17 KJV).

Our God is holy; our God is a consuming fire.  We either purge ourselves or He will consume us in the brightness of His coming (and yes, He’s coming back!).  God hides Himself now for our protection, but the Day of the Lord will reveal everything.  Can we survive it!  Can we survive the revelation of Jesus Christ?  Death to self and purging uncleanness precedes revelation.  If God is far away from you, who moved?  Redeem the time, indeed, because tomorrow is not promised; it’s PAST TIME to get right with God.  We’re practically in hell!  Draw us up O’ God!  The hour of our redemption draws nigh.