Devotions this week based on the Message: “BELIEVE: Week 18: Offer My Time”
(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Ephesians 5:15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
When you see a warning sign, you take notice because there is some danger ahead.
When your parents told you to be careful when you crossed the road, you made sure to look both ways before stepping into the intersection.
When your chemistry teacher told you to put on protective gear and be careful with the experiment you were cautious not to mix the wrong chemicals together.
Words of caution lead us to take notice.
God’s Spirit through the Apostle Paul get our attention when he says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise…”
So what do we have to watch out for when it comes to life and the use of our time?
Sure there are times we watch a poorly scripted movie and say, “That was a foolish use of time.” Perhaps a task at work seems pointless and you think, “This is a foolish waste of time.”
But is there more?
The Bible describes wisdom as the ways of the Lord and foolishness as drifting away from the Lord and allowing our sinful nature to guide us.
This is where the caution comes.
1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Satan is looking to derail the use of your time and use it for his purposes. He’s subtle and crafty…thus the warning, “Be VERY careful how you live…”
Here is a great reflection based on C.S.Lewis’ Screwtape Letters by an author named Delores Liesner (https://deloresliesner.com/2015/04/30/what-keeps-you-busy/).
Satan called a worldwide convention of demons.
In his opening address he said,
“We can’t keep Christians from going to church.”
“We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth.”
“We can’t even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their savior.”
“Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.”
“So let them go to their churches; let them have their covered dish dinners,
BUT steal their time, so they don’t have time to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
“This is what I want you to do,” said the devil:
“Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!”
“How shall we do this?” his demons shouted.
“Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered.
“Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow.”
“Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles.”
“Keep them from spending time with their children.”
“As their families fragment, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!”
“Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice.”
“Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive.”
“To keep the TV, VCR, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly.”
“This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.”
“Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers.”
“Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day.”
“Invade their driving moments with billboards.”
“Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes.”
“Even in their recreation, let them be excessive.”
“Have them return from their recreation exhausted.”
“Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God’s creation.
Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead.
“Keep them busy, busy, busy!”
“And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences.”
“Crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Jesus.”
“Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause.”
“It will work!” “It will work!”
It was quite a plan!
The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there.
So, be VERY careful how you live. Satan is looking to steal your time for his purposes. With God’s Spirit’s help live with vigilance and wisdom!
Apply: BUSY has been termed: Being Under Satan’s Yoke. Evaluate the use of your day. What is helping you connect with your Savior and his direction in life and what is distracting? Is there something to remove or do differently?
Prayer: Father, open my eyes to see the deception of Satan so every moment of every day is filled with and guided by you and your Spirit. Help me to always be vigilant…living as wise, not unwise. AMEN.