Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep.
Some people are “night owls.” Their most productive times are between about 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. They are not able to speak in complete sentences until their fifth cup of coffee around noon. But even if you happen to be a night person, I think you will agree that there are some days when it is not difficult at all to get up: The first day of your vacation. The first day of a new job. The day that you are getting married. These days are so exciting that you get up immediately. You are able to shake off the lethargy of the night before.
In Romans 13, Paul said there is a day coming that is so exciting it ought to cause us to awaken immediately, get up, and get ready. And that day is the day of Christ’s appearing.
In Romans 13:11, Paul said we are to know the time. What time is it on God’s clock? Paul said the alarm has already sounded. That means it is time to get up. Look at Romans 13:11: “Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep.” Paul wanted us to know what time it is.
Right now, we are living in the time when darkness prevails. Paul said in verse 12, “The night is almost gone, and the day is near.” It is still nighttime. When your alarm goes off, it is probably still dark outside. It is not full daylight yet. In the same way, we need to realize that the darkness is still prevailing. The day is at hand, but it has not quite yet arrived.
Understanding that darkness still prevails helps us make sense of the world in which we live. Galatians 1:4 says that we are living in “this present evil age.” We are living in an era where Satan is still in control of this world. Just look around you at what is happening–it is clear that Satan is in control. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that Satan is “the god of this world.” Ephesians 2:2 says he is “the prince of the power of the air.” God is still sovereign, but He has given temporary control of this world to Satan.
That explains a lot of what is happening in the world today. We look at atrocities and ask, “Why did God allow that to happen?” The reason is clear, the Bible says. Satan is the prince of the power of the air; he is the god of this world for now. We will never make sense of our world until we understand that. Paul said in Ephesians 6:12, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” We are living an age in which darkness prevails.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “It’s Later Than You Think” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.