Romans 13:11–14 (NIV)
11 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. 12 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. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Understand the Present Time & Wake up from your Slumber
Our salvation is nearer now than we first believed, means the hour of Christ return is beckoning and coming nearer now. Paul exhorted us to understand the present time. There is no more urgent and much needed time to look at the present time of what we are going through in America. With the recent rally in DC with Trump supporters, that sadly broken into into Congress and some protestors even killed, is plainly disgusting and disgraceful. So many evangelical Christians are sucked into the fear of moral collapse in hot button issues like abortions, me included, that we have been swept into a semi cult political personality. Its so sad, though we have seen incredible conservative changes to the Supreme Court, and we are incredibly thankful to our God for the time and season when SCOTUS needs to be filled. That said, we can’t stretch it much further. The total chaos on voters fraud that swept the nation, to which no one realistically have a good answer, for us Christians, we must take step back, if you are following all these closely, and remember what Paul said in Romans 13” Understand the present time. If we don’t, we get sucked into the peripheral , and missed the real big thing the Lord is doing in our lives and our societies and cities and nation. He said “wake up from your slumber”. How do slumber or sleep? Meaning we have been so sucked unto political and cultural changes in our country, though it’s very important, they surely can’t and shouldn’t take up some much of our passion and energy and time, that we become slumber in the spiritual pursuit and the passion of God, and seeking God, praying to God, meditating on his holy scriptures. We can be praying and inadvertently finding a whole chunk of our prayers are directed to the cultural and political moment of the time, which is unhealthy to say the least. For God wants us to be his best friend, lover.
The Motivation for Action is because the night is nearly over, the day is almost near
I know Paul talks in the context of moral behavior, not to sink into immorality and not getting dunk and sexual immorality, but there is also a call for us to cloth ourselves with Jesus Christ. This can apply to all domains of our lives, be it running away from lust, running away from temptations, get out of social media world, cutting it down especially the twitter world, some of which are toxic definitely. We must act now, and wake up from our slumber.
Not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy
Sexual immorality, debauchery, all those excessive indulgence and sensual pleasures will have to come to an end for our spiritual life and our good. Not so much just for obeying God sake, but also for our sanity and joyful sake. The Lord didn’t set up laws, for constraining us for the sake of doing it, but rather to be more like him who is holy, and we will find the ultimate joy in that! Not just going to heaven, but more getting heaven on this side of the world. God sets up laws for us to obey his laws so we will be truly joyful, fulfilled, and blessed. All those sensual indulgences brings temporal gratification that ends in destruction and ugliness. Case in point the amount of porn destruction among men and even many Christians and some pastors even. There is a heartbeat of love from God to obey him.
But there is also the aspect of dissension and jealousy. Disagreement that leads to discord, and we have seen enough in the political hemisphere thus far in our nation, it’s time to turn to the Lord and be made whole, restored, and refreshed.
Cloth yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh
The only way not to gratify the desires of the flesh, is to cloth ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. I love that, because it’s not like other religions whereby you need to asceticism, withdrawal, discipline by self-beating, etc., but cloth with the Lord Jesus Christ. What does that mean? That means you put not on the virtues of Christ, not the teachings of Christ, but you put on Christ himself! You have the person walking and talking and praying for you, very different from the laws on your shoulders suffocating you as you can never make it wrestling with it and become a wretched man. Like Paul says I am a wretched man,
Romans 7:21–25 21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
In God we trust, to God be the glory! Amen.