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            Knowing the time, is being ready to leave when the Lord returns—and it could mean making changes in our life; adjustments in our attitudes; and alterations of our conduct or conversation in general. Romans 13:11 “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”

            The apostle says much time has gone by—Romans 13:12 “The day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day”—not desiring worldly activities, and not keeping unscriptural attitudes—14 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

            The apostle wrote Revelation 14:6 “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Knowing the time, it is high time to make needed changes. 

            Satan is always trying to discourage—wanting us to see the worst of everything and suggesting that we give up trying. But Galatians 6:9 “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap [a harvest of eternal life], if we faint not.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13 “As for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good”—by keeping our trust on God and our faith in Christ. 

            Satan makes it easy to fall asleep spiritually, so we have to be aware of his discouraging thoughts. We have to keep our guard in place at all times. Knowing the time is short, we know that the devil will ramp up his attacks to weaken our faith, and to lower our resolve to live by faith in the Atonement sacrifice of Christ.

            Many have been the Truth for years, only to allow the devil to discourage them later, so that they no longer trust God as they once did. They allowed the devil to make them weary, spiritually. We must Hebrews 3:13 “Encourage one another, day after day, so long as To-day lasts, so that not one of you may be hardened through the deceitful character of sin. 14 For we have, all alike, become sharers with Christ, if we really hold our first confidence firm to the End.”

            There are things to get rid of and things to keep—there is something to put off and something to put on. Romans 13:12 “Cast off the works of darkness;” and “Put on the armour of light.” Each morning, we make a conscious decision not to desire the ways and attitudes of the world, but the ways and attitudes of the Light—the Lord Jesus.

            The works of darkness are specified—Romans 13:13 “not in chambering and wantonness”—[“not in lewdness and lust;” not attending worldly parties with unbelievers, consuming alcoholic drinks, or being involved in any type of immorality]; “not in strife and envying”—[not quarrelling, fighting, or being jealous of someone, as it leads to envy and coveting].

            Some think they can control the amount of alcohol they drink, but consuming any is to come under the influence of alcohol, and it will make them behave in ways, and say things they would not normally do or say. As a believer in Christ, we are to be under the influence of God—that is how we are to live our lives as the return of Christ approaches. We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

            The apostle says Ephesians 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” then following that with doing the right things—such as 19 “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

            The apostle warns us to not live Romans 13:13 “In lewdness and lust”—which is living an immoral lifestyle. It speaks not only of sinful and shameless excess, but the absence of any restraint. It is not only living immorally, but to brag about it. Today’s film industry promotes sinful and shameless living. They want to make bad things look good; and good things look bad. The prophet speaks clearly Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness.”

            We may have seen a sign along a highway saying: Deer Crossing. In such situations, we need to be alert and to use our peripheral vision for any animal approaching the highway, as they often dart across the road in a blink of an eye, and unto the path of our vehicle. In a similar way, we need to stay alert and not be careless as we move along the highway of life.

            If we allow the devil to make us drowsy spiritually, we can be vulnerable to sinful ways, unscriptural attitudes, and lifestyles that surround us today. King David was a warrior who loved God, and he won many battles for Israel. But after walking with the Lord for years, he allowed his spiritual life to slip. Instead of leading his troops into battle, he was sending his general there instead.

            He was not keeping alert to Satan’s temptations, and thereby fell into serious sins. After seeing this beautiful woman across the way from his rooftop palace, 2 Samuel 11:3 “David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” He pursued the matter, invited her to his place, and sinned seriously.

            He should have been leading the troops as he always did, but instead was taking time off from the battle—that decision made him more vulnerable to danger, than if he had been on the front lines fighting Israel’s enemy. There have been people who take a spiritual vacation from the Christian life of faith, but there is no taking a vacation from God.

            The Christian life is a continuous spiritual battle with the enemy of our soul. The minute we decide to take some time off from the battle with the devil, we become vulnerable—we fall asleep spiritually, and our spiritual defenses are weakened. This is when Satan is ready to attack.

            It is the reason the apostle warned his young assistant: 2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” That advice is not just directed to the young, but to every one of every age and experience.

            We are not to feed the sinful nature with wrong images or activities—because it is like throwing gasoline on a fire. We are to starve that nature—not feed it. We should stay away from anything that encourages immoral actions, thoughts, or desires. Romans 8:5 “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

            We are warned of the spiritual obligation we have to the life of Christ. Since we have committed our life to God—Romans 8:12 “Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—[we are debtors] but it is not to the sinful nature [flesh], to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death [mortify; degrade, or take down] the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” 

            If we knew the time, we would mortify the flesh more often and more diligently. The apostle is also telling us not to compete, fight, or to argue with one another. He says we should walk honestly Romans 13:13“not in strife and envying.” Strife is persistent contention, arguments, bickering, petty disagreements, anger and hostility.

            It reveals a spirit of competitiveness that constantly strives and struggles to have its own way—regardless of the cost, and regardless of the effect on others. It is a desire to prevail over other people—it is a signal of deep-seated pride in our heart. That arrogant and self-important attitude has to be dealt with and removed, which only God can do—as we fervently ask Him in prayer; trust Him in faith; and always being willing to obey His Word on humility.

            It is the devil who wants us to feel like we always have to win and triumph over others. He wants us to be upset and angry if we lose a game or a sport. We may have tried to diffuse anger at times—saying: Hey, it’s just a game! But only God can give us a right attitude at all times, and only He can enable us to see the pride that may be in our own heart.

            Knowing the time means dealing with such attitudes before they get worse. We are not competing with one another in God’s Truth. Our competition is not with fellow believers, but with sin, self, and Satan—those are our enemies.

            Humility—not pride—but humility is something to put on every day—1 Peter 5:5 “be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” And the fall can be a serious one, if corrections are not made, and the pride removed from our heart.

            The apostle says we are not to be envious of another. We may be absolutely fine and satisfied with what the Lord has provided for us, until we see what was provided for someone else. It is then that the devil can cause envy—he says; They have it; You don’t, and he makes us feel unhappy. It is petty, but it can happen because Satan will use anything that works for him, and against us.

            Satan suggests: The neighbors are doing a room addition; A coworker received a raise in pay; The family on social media just went on an expensive vacation; or, I wonder how they got that new vehicle! It has been said: Envy shoots at another and wounds itself. The only person we hurt when we allow envy to enter our heart, is our own self.

            Knowing the time means keeping our faith in the Lord Jesus, who gave His life, so that we could live a new life of trust on the faithfulness of God. It is He who provides all things richly for us to enjoy—but it is our decision to enjoy what He has already given. Romans 13:14 “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Knowing the time, has us wanting to follow the Lord!


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