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Romans 13:11-14

By: David Lyda (From: Volume 1 - Issue 2)

Darkness has such a powerful grip on this world. Men are afraid to go to the light for they are afraid of their evil deeds that will be revealed (John 3:18-21). They stumble through the dark, not knowing where they are going or what is around them (John 12:35-36). We sleep in the dark and are seemingly comfortable there.

The scripture references many analogies of light (Good) and darkness (evil). Darkness may often be said to be the opposite of light, but it is actually the absence of light. Light will always consume darkness and darkness cannot comprehend (or overcome) the light. Our Lord is mightier than the devil and evil in this world. He has given us His light to overcome the darkness, to see where we are going, to see what is around us, and to shine His light for the people around us.

What are we doing with that Glorious Light? The sad fact is that most of us are doing nothing. We are passive to the things that are going on around us, and we are not standing for God. The early church also faced this carelessness in “living” their lives. Paul addressed this in Romans 13:11-14.

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.

“Knowing the time” or being aware of what is going on in this era or period in history should be enough to awake any Christian. Satan’s hand can be seen in almost every aspect of government, schools, and even families. Paul’s cry for us to awake out of sleep is telling us to be awake, pay attention, and act! Not much is accomplished while we physically sleep (which is usually in the dark). The same can be said when we are spiritually asleep. Why are we not responding to the things of God?!

“For now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” This is not talking about when we first came to the Lord and were justified, but it is talking about our final glorification. Jesus is coming back, ready or not. Preachers are frequently “rallying the troops” by telling them that the end is near. The return of Jesus should be enough motivation for any Christian to stand up and live the lives that God has called them to live. We do not know the hour or the day of His return, but it is an undeniable truth that the day grows nearer. Think of yourself in the aspect of aging. Every day you get older, not younger. Every day the Lord’s return is getting closer, not farther away. It is time to wake up and be ready!

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

The devil’s reign and man’s sin within it (the night) is drawing to a close, and Christ’s reign (the day) is coming closer. If we know the end is near, we need to be prepared. The end may be at Christ’s return or we may stand in His glorious light sooner with our own death.

Paul tells us to “cast off” and “put on.” Like dirty clothes from the night before, we remove them once the night is over and replace them with clean clothes for the day. Living the Christian life is an everyday thing. We are to repent and forsake the darkness that our “flesh” desires and put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17) each day.

The devil can and will destroy your testimony, your life, and your usefulness for God if you allow him. The only way we can defend ourselves is to put on the “armour of light”. It will make us ready to face the darkness, protect us from the attacks, prepare us to fight, and guide us along the way. We cannot do this on our own. The Lord gives us His light for us to shine. Be ready and awake from your slumber!

13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

How can we walk honestly or properly? Only with God’s righteousness poured upon us can we even begin to stand. To walk honestly is to reflect God and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-26). We walk in the day because we are not afraid of what will be revealed. As Christians, we should have nothing to hide. The things that are covered in darkness have no place in a believer’s life.

What is done in the night? The works or fruit of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) are performed in the darkness. "Rioting and drunkenness” produce nothing but death. They are rebellion against God (sin) and cause man to do many evil things. Fighting, mayhem, wild parties, and drinking often lead to other works of the flesh like chambering (lewdness) and wantonness (lust). Sexual sins pervert God’s design for marriage, and they bring their own consequences. “Strife and envying” can even come from those sexual sins.

Sin only brings more sin and more destruction. In the darkness there is no peace. Strife rules all that is done in the darkness, and “those that practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21). What a warning and what a rebuke of those that call themselves Christians yet serve the flesh! If you’re not going to heaven, you’re going to hell. Are our lives characterized by darkness or light?

Though no man is perfect, God empowers us to defeat the flesh! We are “a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Sin cannot be a habitual thing in our life. We need not be passive to the things of God, but wake up!

14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfill] the lusts [thereof].

Again, Paul calls for us to “put on” the garment of light which is found in our Lord Jesus Christ. Each day, we must wake up and put on His righteousness if we are to stand against the powers of darkness. We cannot do this on our own.

We have to not allow “provision for the flesh.” What is provision? It is simply forethought. How many times do we allow sinful desires to stay in our minds? The longer these ideas linger, the better chance there is of sin coming as a result. The lust of the flesh cannot remain in our lives.

We need to make provision for the Spirit. Prepare your steps for the day, and do not allow yourself to be put in compromising situations. We all know our own individual weaknesses. A recovering alcoholic does not allow himself to go to a bar if he wants to stay on track. Just the same, we cannot allow ourselves to go where we will fall into darkness.

God has given us His mighty light to guide our way. We can see the path clearly, and we carry His torch into this world. “14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16).

Awake! Do not be afraid to walk boldly in this world. The darkness cannot overtake the light, and the battle is already won. Do not be passive to things going on in your family, country, or world. Do not overlook the things of God to serve your flesh. Stand up for God!

From: Volume 1 - Issue 2


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