“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:15-18).
We have so much technology at our finger tips today and yet we still do not seem to have enough time to get things done. People are always rushing about as though their world is about to come to an end, yet they too will look back on all the wasted years that really did not achieve anything but emptiness and worry. “For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow” (Job 8:9).
The limitation of time
Time does fly, not while we are having fun, but while we are getting older. The seventy years of the normal human life is only a short time compared with eternity. “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10). There is a Death Clock on the internet that calculates how many minutes and seconds you have left on earth, and it bases the average lifespan around seventy-five. Apparently there is also a Countdown Clock on the market that shows you what time you have left, but that is not going to be a popular purchase!
The fact is we do not know how much time we have left. “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:13-14).
The opportune time
We ought to be using every minute of our lives for the glory of God by living the way He intended us to do. Paul advises us to make best use of our time “because the days are evil.” The devil will do all he can to rob us of our time. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). This is illustrated in the life of Martha as she scurried about but took no time to sit in Jesus’ presence. “And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42).
We see then that even everyday housekeeping can drain us of precious time. If we allow our jobs, commitments, possessions and people to overload us, then we are headed for both physical and spiritual depression. The greatest use of our time has to be being engaged in the Lord’s work, but even here Jesus calls us to rest in Him. “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). Is running around like headless chickens making best use of our time?
The Lord’s time
We need to make time to get into the Lord’s presence, instead of allowing everyday life to crowd Him out. This is where we find out what His will is for our lives. Worries, fears and anxieties can overwhelm us, but prayer, study and obedience will give us the right perspective on life. Our depressing diaries can be turned into journals of praise. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom … O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days” (Psalm 90:12, 14). If we do not know how to make the best use of our time, it is certain that God does and will teach us. “My times are in thy hand” (Psalm 31:15).
How many are wasting away their lives by looking at the contents of a beer glass! It is sad to think that so many will be propped up against a bar at the start of an evening, but will be carried home in a drunken stupor at the end. Most will remember very little of the so-called good time they think they had. We do not need the world’s means to use our free time. If we walk in holiness and filled by the Holy Spirit, then we will honour God with our time.
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:12). Instead of running about and wondering where all the time has gone, why not seek God’s face? By doing so, we will not only be conscious of the few years we have here, but have an eternal perspective on our lives. If we know Christ has saved us, then we have to agree that He wants our time too. “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:17-19).