The critical importance of time in life, on the place and rank in eternity, makes it important to redeem time. The Bible says, “Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light.
Therefore it is said, ‘Awake, O sleeper and arise from the dead and Christ shall give you light.’ LOOK CAREFULLY THEN HOW YOU WALK, NOT AS UNWISE MEN BUT AS WISE, MAKING THE MOST OF THE TIME, BECAUSE THE DAYS ARE EVIL. THERE- FORE, DO NOT BE FOOLISH, BUT UNDERSTAND WHAT THE WILL OF THE LORD IS. AND DO NOT GET DRUNK WITH WINE FOR THAT IS DEBAUCHERY; BUT BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT (Ephesians 5:10-18). In order to redeem the time the following should be done:
1.Be filled with the Spirit.
2.Understand what the will of the Lord is.
3.Use time wisely to do the will of the Lord!
Be Filled With The Spirit
The most important thing that anyone who wants to redeem the time being lost should do, is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. A Spirit-filled man works with divine wisdom, whereas the one who is not filled with the Holy Spirit, works with human wisdom.
The man who is filled with the Spirit of God works with the power of God, whereas the one who is not filled with the Spirit works with the power of the flesh.
The Spirit filled man sees things that the one who is not filled with the Holy Spirit cannot see. The person who is filled with the Holy Spirit has access to divine knowledge which the one who is not filled with the Holy Spirit has not.
The difference between the wisdom of God available to a Spirit-filled man and the wisdom available to a person who is not filled with the Holy Spirit is the difference between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of man. The Spirit-filled man has the very wisdom of God, whereas the one who is not filled with the Spirit has human wisdom. The Spirit-filled man sees what God sees and knows what God knows. The man who is not filled with the Holy Spirit sees what man sees and knows what man knows. Ultimately, the difference between a Spirit-filled man and a man who is not filled with the Holy Spirit is the difference between God and man! Can you imagine two people who are working on a project: one is using divine wis- dom and the other one is using human wisdom? Can you imagine the difference between their accomplishments in time?
Can you imagine the difference between their accomplishments in eternity? I am quite persuaded that the difference be- tween their accomplishments would be like the difference between light and dark- ness and between heaven and earth.
I confess that it is as if scales are falling off my eyes for the first time, so that I may see the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit and the tragedy of daring to serve the Lord without being filled with the Holy Spirit. I am beginning to see why the Lord insisted that the disciples should not begin the task of evangelizing the world until they were endued with power from on high. The Bible says, “And he said to them, ‘Thus it is written that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high’ ” (Luke 24:46-49).
They were to wait until they were clothed with power from on high. Again the Bible says, “And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘You heard from me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know the time or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth’” (Acts 1:4-8).
So it was clear: they were to be filled with the Holy Spirit and then they would begin their ministry. They were forbidden to begin before they had been filled with the Holy Spirit, for if they had done that, they would have failed utterly. The task of world evangelization was such that only Spirit-filled men could accomplish it. Men and women who were not filled with the Holy Spirit, regardless of their natural abilities and opportunities, would fail at it.
Those requirements have not altered. They cannot alter, for the task has not altered! THE MOST URGENT NEED OF THE MOMENT IS FOR MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT OF GOD TO DO THE WORK OF GOD. That work will fail in the most meticulous, well trained and most able hands of people who, having everything, nevertheless lack the indispensable qualification, which is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. WHEN PEOPLE ARE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, THEY CAN THEN GO AHEAD AND LOOK AT ALL ELSE THAT HAS TO DO WITH THE REDEEMING AND THE USING OF TIME. THOSE WHO ARE NOT FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT BUT WHO, NEVERTHELESS, WANT TO REDEEM TIME AND INVEST IT INTO THE SERVICE OF THE LORD, ARE SELF- DECEIVED. They are self-deceived because, to begin with, they cannot see time the way God sees it; they cannot redeem time the way God wants it redeemed. Thirdly, they cannot use redeemed time the way God intends it to be used. They are just wrong people at work. Can you imagine that workers went out of an office and sin- cere monkeys came in and began to try to do their work? Whatever the monkeys did, would be wrong, to begin with, not, first of all, because it is badly done, but because it has been done by those who should not do it.
All spiritual service carried out by a person who is not filled with the Holy Spirit is wrong, not necessarily because it is wrongly carried out, but because God has not mandated the person to serve Him. All that he does, even if it seems to be well done, is out of place. Do not misunderstand me, I am also talking about people who were filled with the Holy Spirit in the past but who have not continued to be filled with the Holy Spirit in the present. The condition of having been filled with the Holy Spirit in the past cannot compensate for the fact that you are not filled now. Can the food you ate two weeks ago or two days ago satisfy your need of food today? Certainly not.
So, be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Know What the Will of The Lord Is
Those who are filled with the Holy Spirit should go ahead and know what the will of the Lord is. Those who are not filled with the Holy Spirit may guess what the will of the Lord is and be correct at times. However, it is the privilege and the responsibility of those who are filled with the Holy Spirit to know the will of God. They have no choice but to seek and know the will of the Lord; for, without knowing the will of the Lord, how can they act?
When a man is wise he will seek, first of all, to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In the Spirit-filled state, he will seek what the will of the Lord is and, because he is flowing in the Spirit, he will know what the will of God is. Because he is filled with the Holy Spirit, he will also readily discern the will of the world and abandon it, discern the will of the flesh and abandon it, discern the will of self and abandon it, and discern the will of God and cling to it.
Because he is filled with the Holy Spirit, he will love the Lord and love the will of the Lord. He will love only the will of the Lord and he will loathe the will of the world, the flesh and the devil. He will also loathe his will and unceasingly deliver it to death.
Knowing the will of God and being filled with the Holy Spirit, he will be inflamed to do the will of God. Being aflame to do the will of God and knowing the fact that time is needed to do the will of God, and seeing time and eternity through the eyes of the Holy Spirit with whom he is filled, things will be different.
Redeeming The Time
What does it mean for a Spirit-filled person to redeem the time? It means that having seen what God has revealed and having seen its eternal consequence from God’s point of view; having seen the divine programme, and having seen that in the divine programme there is no provision for loss of time, the Spirit-filled person sets out to ensure that every minute is invested the way God wants it invested, to do the things that God has ordained it to be used for, for the purpose for which God ordained it. Having seen God’s eternal purpose and knowing that God has an enemy who wants to destroy what God has in mind, the Spirit-filled person would set out to protect his time and that of the others from being used by the enemy to build his ill-fated kingdom.
So the Spirit-filled person has a twofold responsibility: first of all, he wants to use time to do God’s will. Secondly, he wants to use time to destroy the devil’s will. He will protect the time that God has given from the enemy’s use; he will capture time that the enemy wants to use and convert it to the use of the Lord. He will redeem time by using the time that he has been given wisely.