And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
We often misunderstand the times in which we live. The darkness is passing and the coming of Christ awaits the prophetic moment determined by God. Our associations with the world, our affections for what it offers should also be passing away, “For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of the eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:16-17).
But before it passes away, the darkness will make one more play for our affections, one more display of its power and persuasiveness. So we need to be aware of the danger of its appeal to our hearts. The Apostle Paul had given two thoughts to keep us fulfilling the moral commandments of the Law of God in this passage: the love of God that changes our motivation and the future establishment of the eternity of God that changes our orientation.
“Wake up” is a comforting thought. The night is passing and the beauty of that golden morning of the peace of God is approaching. This reality is already planted in our hearts and it should be expressed in our words and actions. We can now by faith live in the promise of this new age, and “clothe” ourselves “with the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14).
In a trip of my childhood leaving after my father got off work, we drove to visit a family farm. I fell asleep in the car but woke up in the ranch house. Of course, I had to dress for the ranch, complete with boots and chaps. Our orientation of eternity with God is to bring us everyday to understand that our eternity has already begun, and we are to dress in the clothes of our future, to think the thoughts of our future, to live as though it will be completely fulfilled any moment. We are people of the future of life with God, not the past of the darkness of sin.
Lord, let us understand the time in which we live, awake from our slumber and live with You in our hearts and in our values. Let us experience the hope that You bring to every day. Amen.