It’s a New Year. Perhaps last year wasn’t your favorite year. Maybe you are praying that God gives you a better year. Maybe YOU should redeem the time.
Jesus IS the redeemer. He has redeemed us and as we yield to following the Holy Spirit, He continues to redeem. Paul said “if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation!”
But, Jesus is doing more than redeeming us (as if that weren’t enough!) Jesus is actually reconciling ALL things to Himself! Colossians 1:20 says “and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
Not some things. ALL THINGS!
Who can even define what exactly that means? HA! Not me. I don’t have to understand it to believe it.
But, we have a role in redemption too! 2 Cor. 5:18 says “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…”Paul referred to himself as a minister of reconciliation.
Also, in 2 of Paul’s most brilliant letters to Ephesus and Colossae; he instructed them “to redeem the time.” Again, I don’t claim to understand fully what the Holy Spirit meant but, God has been teaching me some things about that.
I wasted the first 30 years of my life. Utterly wasted them. Drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, selfishness, emptiness, loneliness, attempted suicide…you get the point. Even after I committed my life to Christ and was healed instantly from mental illness (I am absolutely convinced), I still struggled with lust (until I was delivered from an evil spirit) bu still, found my efforts in Christianity futile.
Only recently do I understand what Eph.5:16 means; “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.“
And it’s only possible if we follow verses 17,18 which say: “Therefore 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”
I was foolish! I didn’t understand the will of the Lord. I didn’t know how to redeem the time. I was like a dog chasing it’s tail…until I was “filled with the Spirit.”
Paul is writing to faithful born-again believers in Ephesus (see Eph.1:1) and yet he tells them “don’t be foolish…but be filled with the Spirit!”
Paul knew that the Christian life was futile without the filling of the Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit is the one that gives spiritual wisdom (Isaiah 11:2, Eph.1:17-18, 1 Cor.2:6-16). There is such a thing as earthly wisdom (which is what most I lived by for the first 4 years of my newly Christian life), there is sensual wisdom and even demonic wisdom. (James 3:15)
Maybe they are all descriptions of the same false wisdom…I don’t know but, I know that the only way is to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.” (Prov.3:5-7)
Because both times that Paul encourages to “redeem the time“, he mentions “be wise”.
Wisdom is the key to redeeming the time. Since I have obeyed these principles, I have seen how God has redeemed time. The years that I lost (in my own stupidity) He is restoring! Even now, when I make a mistake…after confessing my sin; I ask Him to redeem it!
I am just asking Him to do what He has promised to do in Rom.8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” It’s not out of doubt that I ask Him to do what He has already promised. It’s in complete faith; acknowledging that I am completely dependent on Him!
Maybe I have taken it to far but, I even ask Him to redeem stray thoughts! My mind is seriously focused on Him, His will, His Spirit, His Word around 90% of my waking hours. Probably more…It’s all part of a renewed mind. But, when I do find my mind wandering to something that is not Christ-centered; I will “take those thoughts captive in obedience to Christ” and ask God to redeem them!
I think His idea of salvation, redemption is much bigger…FULLER, than we give Him credit for!