"And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”
The elections has come and gone, the results have been tabulated. We need to move on but what is God saying to us in this 'present' time?
This phrase 'present time' has an interesting context – it is part of Paul's entire response on how believers need to behave in the context of earthly governments and rulers. In Romans 13:1 Paul states a biblical truth - 'Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.' This is a biblical perspective that declares that God is still in control of every earthly situation. This is the truth that releases hope to all of us who trust in God !However this verse does not state that every governing authority that od has allowed is in accordance with what we expect or that it isnecessarily benevolent towards its people. Indeed the regime that existed during Paul's time was not.
But what Paul does say is this - inspite of whatever has happened this is still God's perfect timing for Malaysia!! God is still at work – His Light is still shining. All we need to do is to know how to respond to Him in this perfect 'present time.'
What then is expected of God's people at this 'present time'?
Paul uses two words to talk about God's timing and adds to this by talking about night time and daytime. In giving us an understanding of God's timing he first refers to time as in 'kairos' or a season in time , an opportune time. Then Paul goes on to use the word 'hora'or hour to give us a more urgent sense of God's time. When he says the hour ( 'hora') has come he is telling us we are now no longer in a season in time but in a 'point in time' in a definite time – the hour of time has come!
What hour then has come?
The night is nearly over and day is almost here! What an amazing encouragement. Just when we all feel night has taken over and hope is gone the Lord tells us no – it is the reverse - the night hour is 'nearly over' and day is ALMOST here!!!!
Night in the bible is a metaphor for the time when 'deeds of sin and shame, moral stupidity and darkness' and when weariness and drunkenness give way to slumber. (Strong's concordance)
Day on the other hand is that hour of time when we abstain from indulgence, vice, crime, because acts of the sort are perpetrated at night and in darkness. Daytime is also the time when the work of Light can be done. Jesus tells us to work while it is day –for the night comes when the work of God's light is curtailed (John 9:4).
What then is our response to this 'present time'?
Jesus is still the Light of our world. This is the hour when we must draw closer to Him than ever before –to be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the hour to keep our focus on him, to love Him with all our hearts, soul and mind, to worship Him and above all to work alongside Him!!
There is much work to be done my friends even as the day draws near !
Let us soldier on because this is still THE HOUR and it is still God's time !!!