Now is the hour to denounce worldliness, refuse apathy, and cling to Christ like never before. It is time to redeem the time while trusting God, for though the days are evil, he is forever good.
Get proper sleep. Organize your day. Get exercise. Watch your diet. Limit distractors. Draw boundaries. Get outside. Keep a calendar. Review each day. Set attainable goals. Say “no” to good things. Detach from screens.
So run secular productivity and self-help books.
What lacks in this advice is to ask if God has anything to say on the subject. Natural revelation, not special revelation, is consulted. Principles may abound, but are the most important realities missing? You receive no sense of sin and Satan, no sense of God and glory, no sense of faith and repentance, no sense of heaven or hell, no sense of souls or immortality. All we receive is a few peripheral tips for navigating the world. They send us rowing off to nowhere, efficiently.
In turning to God’s book, however, we find not only superior counsel, but surprising counsel. To make the best use of the time, to navigate this life to the fullest, to use our time most wisely, we must be aware of the setting of our lives this side of eternity: the days are evil.
Redeemed Time for Evil Days
To know how to live, we must know when we live.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15–16)
- Look carefully — watch closely, take inventory, consider;
- How you walk, how you live, where you place your feet, where your steps lead;
- Not as unwise but as wise — listening to, obeying, and navigating life heeding God’s voice;
- Making the best use of the time (literally, “redeeming the time”) — buying it back from idleness, purposelessness, sin, Satan;
- — Because the days are evil.
Paul knew that the world he lived in — the same one we live in presently — has a rebellious “course,” ruled by a “prince” whose ways are sinister (Ephesians 2:2). To redeem our time, to walk wisely, to make our lives count and avoid destruction, we must see what Paul does: a world at war with its Maker, and ourselves traveling through that world.
Our Busy Enemy
Can you discern the times in which we live? Turn on any news station, talk to any of your neighbors, glance at posts on social media, consider for a moment the thousands of babies legally murdered in neighborhood facilities, put your ear to creation’s chorus of groans, we are confronted with the same message: The days are dark with evil.
Yet we often fail to realize it. Modern times do not come to us dressed in black, holding a pitchfork. We sail in luxury on our self-help cruises, gliding under clear skies and warm weather. But the apostle Paul places us in a battleship, travailing perilous waves with the threat of enemy planes above, torpedoes below, and mutiny within.