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.
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 carousing 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 flesh.
Are you kidding me? Not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh?
That is ALL WE DO in this country, in this day and age!
Sweet children… We’ve let you whine and fuss and carry on to get what you want. We’ve given you everything imaginable. We’ve put iPads, iPods, and iPhones in your hands to keep you happy. We’ve fed you french fries and soda and sugared cereal so you wouldn’t complain at meal time. We’ve picked up your toys for you when you stomped your foot and cried because you were too tired to do it yourself.
Beloved teenage boys… We’ve given you unrestricted internet and social media, we’ve supplied you with phones and electronics so that you weren’t the uncool ones. We’ve allowed you to attend the parties with girls dressed like prostitutes, because that’s just normal now. We don’t want to be uncool parents. We’ve let you stay up late, doing whatever it is that you do, because it just takes too much energy to fight it. We figure you’ll grow up some day.
Precious teenage girls… We’ve let you plaster your selfies online, spend hours at the mirror and in the mall, spend thousands of dollars to be beautiful and popular. We’ve let you dress inappropriately, spilling out of your clothes on all ends because we can’t be bothered to search for the modest clothes that will make you feel different from everyone else.
How could we possibly expect you not to think about gratifying the desires of the flesh?
The truth is, even if we were raised with discipline and wisdom ourselves, we’ve let some things slide. We indulge in the tv shows that we won’t let the kids watch, then envy the lives of the stars – both on and off the screen.
We wouldn’t commit adultery, “carouse”, get drunk, or anything. But, we’ve lusted after people, their possessions, their lives… sort of wishing we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted.
We’ve forgotten what it’s like to deny ourselves anything. Food. Entertainment. Luxuries. Flirtations.
Telling ourselves “no” — especially in light of “Christian liberty” — feels like death. And of course death is to be avoided.
The truth is, there are very few minutes in a day when WE are not thinking about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
What if we knew that everything was about to change?
What if we knew that soon — oh so soon! — all that was done in secret was about to be made known? That the cover of darkness was about to be lifted, revealing everything?
Do we who call ourselves Christ-followers remember what it’s like to be awake? Not to be in this sleepy, aimless, indulgent fog?
Have we any memory left of spiritual armor? A battle for our souls and the souls of our children?
We must WAKE UP!
We’ve been walking dazed in a mine field. Oblivious to the destruction only inches away.
Have we forgotten Jesus’ words, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)?
The night is almost over. Jesus will come back. Soon. What do we want the dawning of the day to reveal?
Let’s pick up that armor of light. We’ve been pummeled senseless in our sleep. We’ve been in the battle all along, we just haven’t been fighting.
Wake up! Fight! Stand your ground with me!
Soldiers in battle don’t have time to gratify the desires of the flesh.
But soldiers in armor of light, clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ who know the night is almost over fight with courage, perseverance, and with hope. Because they know their King has the victory celebration all planned.
Oh, wake up, weary friend. The pleasures enjoyed by everyone around us will never satisfy. They are addictive, but only increase our hunger. They lead to bondage and misery.
Let’s choose life.