This is a post my friend Nik Ellison wrote. Find out more about Nik at his blog.
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:15-16
One of my meditations lately has been the above verse and its Old Testament companion, Psalm 90:12:
“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
In this life, we’ve been given a certain amount of time to live. As Moses says, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” The average life span is indeed seventy years. Yet, we are also never promised tomorrow, we “know not what shall be on the morrow” (Jam. 4:14), so we never really know how long we’ll be around. But assuming I will live to the average life span, I have about 52 years left in my life.
Look at it this way: the most recent Harry Potter movie is two hours and ten minutes long. Add in previews, travel time, and ticket buying, going to see the movie could cost you about three and a half to four hours of your time. Four hours – there’s a lot you could do with that time. Unlike the money spent at the theaters, every man is given the same amount of hours in a day, days in a week, weeks in a month, and months in a year. The question is how will that man spend them? Listen to this quote from a man who spent his life for the cause of Christ:
“If God would grant us the vision, the word sacrifice would disappear from our lips and thoughts; we would hate the things that seem now so dear to us; our lives would suddenly be too short, we would despise time-robbing distractions and charge the enemy with all our energies in the name of Christ. May God help us ourselves by the eternities that separate the Aucas from a comprehension of […] Him, who, though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor so that we might, through his poverty, be made rich.” – Nate Saint, two weeks before he was martyred by the Aucas
I don’t know about you, but this quote convicts me every time I read it. We, the bearers of the gospel of Christ, have been given this short time in which to live for Him, by His power. Yet so often we are distracted from our primary cause and are given over to trivial, vain, and pointless pursuits. We can waste so many hours in a day, seeking nothing but the pleasures of this earth.
Not only that, but what we spend our time on is what we will be shaped by. Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” If we are spending more time and energies in movies, television, music, Facebook, and worldly things than we are in the presence and Word of God, how can we expect to become transformed people? Think about it – every movie, song, show – everything has a message it is sending, and if it is a message from Hollywood or pop culture, you can almost guarantee it is anti-Christian.
Am I saying every movie is bad? No – I have watched movies. Am I saying that Facebook is a creation of the devil? No – I have a Facebook account. Am I saying that if we do anything but pray and read the Bible and act like monks the rest of our lives we’ll be unholy? No – I do, in fact, enjoy the sunshine and the presence of my fellow man. Here’s the issue: we live in a culture that creates so many distractions, we cannot hear the voice of God. We live in a day where, because of technological advancements, we are able to waste innumerable hours in front of a screen, and not even troll the depths of entertainment.
We must remember the words of James, which say, “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” We ought to put in our heads the words of C.T. Studd, “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.” We have been given this one life, to do something for the glory of God in our age. We have been born into this era for a reason, and it is not so that we can squander all our time on worldly pursuits. Seriously ask yourself, “How do I spend my time? Do I spend it in a way that would honor God and is transforming me more and more into His image? Or am I spending it in a way that is dishonorable and is conforming me more and more to the patterns of the world?” Think on these things, my beloved friends in Christ, and may we rise far above the ridiculously low standard in our generation.