And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The 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. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Okay, poor use of an expression. I don’t think I've ever had the pleasure of being woken up by a real “wake-up call.” Maybe the title of this post should be “A Much Needed Alarm Clock” so we can relate to it a bit more. I mean, when you set an alarm (perhaps even multiple alarms), why do you do it? I guess we could simply say we use alarms to wake us up because it’s not natural to act like it’s the day, when it’s still night. For example, it’s just not natural to sneak a workout in at 5 AM. If I want to do that I must use an alarm otherwise there is no way I’m waking up that early. It’s just not natural to act like it’s the day when it’s still night.
The same thing is true when it comes to the way we act before our God. It’s not natural to act like it’s day when it’s still night. We are flawed people living in an imperfect world and as a result, a lot of bad things happen. You could say this world we live in, “the present time,” is a time of darkness. And I don’t have to tell you what kinds of things happen in the dark. You just read a list of them a few moments ago. “…orgies and drunkenness, immorality and debauchery, dissension and jealousy…” These things happen in the dark because no one wants to get caught doing them! And if we’re honest, as flawed people living in an imperfect world, its deeds of darkness like these that come naturally.
And so if we want to do something unnatural—if we want to wake up and live like it’s day when it’s still night—we need a wake-up call! …or an alarm clock. And that’s exactly what our God is providing us with in Romans chapter 13. A much needed alarm clock!
True, we are flawed people living in a world of darkness who are accountable to our creator God for our actions. But our God doesn’t want to hold us accountable for our actions! The proof is in Jesus. Jesus gave up his perfect life so there could be accountability and forgiveness. That means Jesus took the punishment we deserve for our imperfections. He did this to free us from the darkness of sin so we can be with him in heaven forever. As we’re told in 1 Peter chapter 2 our God has “called us out of darkness into his wonderful light!”
Although we still live in the dark, Jesus has freed us from the consequences of those deeds of darkness that come so naturally. Thanks to Jesus, we will one day live with him forever in the wonderful light of his presence! But until that day, we live in darkness. Thankfully, our God has sounded the alarm clock to wake us up so that we can live like it’s the day now, even though it’s still the night!
Sure, there will be times when you and I will slip back into deeds of darkness. After all, it’s in our nature. But then we’ll take those imperfect deeds to Jesus, and they’ll be forgiven like all the rest!
The birthday of the one who saved you from your sin is fast approaching! Wake up and live for him!
Blessings on the rest of your week,