Bible Conference In Ephesus Day Four: Redeeming The Time
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17 (ESV)
“No Christian believer will be “half-saved” at the end, even if now that might be said of us in any sense. God will perfect every man who has faith in Him.” This is what Watchman Nee says when he has his dialog about another aspect of the Christian walk. There is a part of this conference where Nee To-sheng feels the need to discuss how we are to “proceed” towards a goal and it falls into the idea of redeeming the time. I am using the verses today (as Nee To-sheng did) so that we can also see the association between the idea of time and the difference between wisdom and foolishness.
Watchman feels it is important to be reminded of two other passages in which ideas are brought together…Matthew 25:1-13 and Revelation 14:1-5. These are a few of the many passages of Scripture where we assured that what God has begun He will finish. We get clarity when we read Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” When we look at those verses from Matthew and Revelation it’s the idea of those who have done well at an early hour and not so much at those who done better, keeping in mind that the Lamb is seeking firstfruits.
So taking this Christian walk isn’t always about how well we are doing but how we are using the time in unison. Those virgins with the lamps that had no reserve were foolish to say the least but they weren’t lost. And so it can get with us, we walk the narrow path but when does the idea of resting in Him (sit) enter our thought pattern? By taking the time to rest in Him, this rest fills us up with His spirit and this helps us “ripen”. Watchman Nee uses this clever analogy concerning the orange groves in his native Fukien province. He says if you were to look out you could see an instant of green but if you take time you’ll see “flecks of gold dotted among the dark green trees.” There will still be a harvest but among it will be firstfruits.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” We can read that verse, we can understand that verse but unless we are watchful disciples we just learn the verse and not apply the verse. We can’t just be disciples simply by walking that path because we knew Scripture says His word is our guide. If we don’t take the time to notice the lamp and it’s light we just walk. How do we notice the lamp and its light…have a seat and rest. Watchful disciples will keep extra oil in the lamp because it’s not so much about the light but as the light being sustained. Our Hebrews friends celebrate this action at Chanukah don’t they?
“Those who are wise redeem the time” writes Nee To-sheng and sound advice is in such a simple statement. I use to hear Pastor Bill Raws say these two verses a lot…
“So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.” (1 Cor 9:26) and “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:14) and at that those times I tied it with not quitting with being a new creation in Christ Jesus, but if I take the idea a bit further I can hear the apostle Paul say, “Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.” (Phil 3:15) The days are getting evil folks and The LORD needs ready instruments that can sit, walk, and as I will cover next time…stand!! Are You Ready? – Chris Hughes is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger
Today’s Quote: “God may have to do something in us swiftly, compressing it into a short space: but He has to do that much. May the eyes of our heart be enlightened to know what is “the hope of His calling,” and then may we walk—nay run—as those who “understand what the will of the Lord is.”—Watchman Nee
Verse to Memorize: For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father! Romans 8:15 Amplified Bible