Saturday, March 11, 2017

Spring Forward!

Photo by Garry Knight 2012

Spring forward, fall back! Catchy saying that helps us remember which direction to change the clocks, but are we truly ready, Biblically speaking, to spring forward?

Paul encourages us to move forward in our Christian walk, using the metaphor of running a race (1 Corinthians 9:24), as does the writer of Hebrews (12:1-2). To run successfully, we can’t keep looking back over our shoulder; we must keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. We must leave behind the sins and weights of our old life and press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).

Yet even when we can’t sprint forward in our Christian walk, we should at least stand our ground. We can’t outrun the devil, so there is no point in fleeing from him. But we can resist him by submitting ourselves to God’s Word and promises, so that the devil will flee from us (James 4:7).

When discussing spiritual warfare, Paul tells us four times to stand our ground. Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.… 13 that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore.

Paul uses this metaphor many times, telling us to stand fast in the faith (1 Corinthians 16:13), in Christian liberty (Galatians 5:1), in unity of spirit (Philippians 1:27), in the Lord (Philippians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:8), and in Christian teaching (2 Thessalonians 2:15).

For those regions observing Daylight Savings Time, this Sunday is the time change most of us dread, because by setting the clocks forward and going to bed and getting up at our usual times, we lose an hour of sleep. But’s it’s just an illusion -- we don’t really lose any time, nor do we gain any extra time in the fall when we set the clocks back one hour. Time marches on, and our moments left on earth dwindle away with every passing second.

Whether through death (2 Corinthians 5:8) or the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51-52) for believers, or the day of judgment (Revelation 20:11-13) for those who have not placed their faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6), time is short before each of us will see Jesus face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12). Our life is “but a vapor” (James 4:14), vanishing as quickly as the visible breath we exhale on a cold day.

Some may complain that “God isn’t fair” as they notice that money, talents, health, intelligence, power, beauty, and other blessings are not distributed equally among us. Every good and perfect gift comes from above (James 1:17), and God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10), distributing resources according to His divine plan.

Meanwhile, Satan paces the earth (Job 1:7), placing his henchmen in positions of authority (Ephesians 6:12) while trying to hinder believers from being productive for God. But time does not play favorites -- each of us has 24 hours in a day, no more and no less. When that day is gone, it’s gone forever. We can’t store, buy, borrow, steal, or create time.

As J. R. R. Tolkien's character Gandalf said, “All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.”

So let’s make the right choice and redeem the time! (Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5). With prayer and Holy Spirit guidance, believers can make each moment on earth have eternal significance. Once the clock stops on earth and we enter eternity, time lasts forever. So our top priority here should be to maximize our experience there, realizing that we will enjoy eternally the rewards we earn for our earthly service (Matthew 6:20).

Even Jesus had only limited time on earth, realized that He must complete the work of His Father while He still walked in the sunlight of earth, and warned His followers that the night was coming when no man could work (John 9:4). Once He brings us home or calls us up in the Rapture, our time for witnessing, working, praying, giving and teaching is over.

Praise God that Jesus completed His Father’s work and was able to say, “It is finished!” as He paid in full our sin debt on Calvary’s cross (John 19:30). May we follow His example and the perfect plan God designed for each of us since before the beginning of time (Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 2:10).

Every soul led to Christ, every believer encouraged and uplifted, every gift given with the right motive to further His kingdom, will be the gold, silver and precious stones that will endure the fire of judgment (1 Corinthians 3: 12-14) and be a crown we can lay at Jesus’ feet (Revelation 4:10-11). May we hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21; Luke 19:17) and be rewarded with positions of responsibility in the Millennial Kingdom!

So don’t lament the “lost hour” of sleep as we set the clocks ahead – spring forward in your Christian walk and redeem the time!

© 2013 Laurie Collett
Edited, expanded and reposted from the archives

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Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
An interesting point you have raised about running the race. Marathon and long distance field leaders often turn to look back as they approach the finish line. The second person following sees this as a sense of insecurity or weakness, and "go for the kill" - to put in the maximum sprint to overtake the leader at the last moment before crossing the finishing line.
As for the time we have here on Earth, I have come to learn how precious each day really is, as you say, once gone, gone forever, whether we turn back the clock during Fall or not. One of my regrets was at the workplace during the early years, when out of boredom caused by monotony, I wished the day away, especially if a holiday wasn't far off. Since then I have learnt that this wishing away of time, even when stuck with a boring job, was sinful.
An excellent blog, God bless.

Winkel's Crazy Ideas said...

Dear Laurie, thank you again for a very important post. Very few of us really make each moment matter, the smallest act done for God's Kingdom is of great value. Nomatter how boring or tough our day may be sometimes, we can do whatever we do for God and make it mean something. Not always very easy, but God is faithful and helps us. Blessings, Pam in Norway

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
I have always hated the expression "killing time" because every moment is a gift, one that is not promised and one that we could redeem or waste. As you say, letting time slip through our fingers by wishing it away is sinful, for it represents bad stewardship and ingratitude to our Creator Who graciously gave it to us.
I love your point about marathon running and how looking back leads to defeat. I'm not a runner, but I can see how it would be a waste of time and energy, and even worse, a silent betrsyal of the fear of defeat, which could end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Thanks as always for your enlightening comment.
God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Pam,
Thank you for your encouraging comment. Praise God that He is faithful, not only to provide an escape from temptation, but to empower us through His Holy Spirit to make the right choices and make every moment count to serve Him.
God bless you,

Brenda said...

Amen Laurie to following Jesus and doing what we are commissioned to do on Earth.
Praise God indeed that Jesus completed His work on Earth, and now mankind is able to be reconciled back to God.
Lovely to read what you have written, the Word of God is always encouraging.
God bless you Laurie.

Donald Fishgrab said...

One of the hardest things for many of us to understand is that God didn't command us to attack, but to stand fast. When we go rushing off to attack we leave our position open for Satan to get past the lines. So often we waste our time trying to do something god never intended for us to do. We just need to be faithful in the job he has given us. Thanks for the reminder.

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
Praise God for the finished, atoning, reconciling work of Christ on the cross! May we follow His perfect plan for our lives, consecrating every moment to His use.
Thank you as always for your encouraging comment. God bless you too!

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Donald! Of all the armor of God, only one of the pieces is for offense rather than defense, and that is the sword of the Word. May we be faithful, stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.
Thanks as always for your comment and God bless,