Studying with Kenneth and Gloria Copeland’s devotional, “In Pursuit of His Presence”, this morning, God’s Word came alive via Romans 13:11-14.
11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.
The time is now! The stage is set! Prophecies are being fulfilled in quick succession. We are seeing the increase in knowledge and technological advancements that Daniel spoke of. We are seeing an unprecedented rise in violence. The love of many waxing cold. Lots of political instability here and there. Breakdown of law and order. Global economies crumbling. Worldly views and ideologies that fit so much into what has been prophesied in scriptures. In fact, all stage seems to be set for just one more thing to happen… THE GLORY OF THE CHURCH!
For amidst all these, it has been prophesied that the church will rise in glory out of the darkness of the world.
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
It is the season God will be restoring sons to spiritual fathers. There will be transference of grace and anointings to function in the market place
Everything is just happening in great magnitudes except that the glory has been in droplets. Alas! now is the time for an out-pour as Joel put it. Our salvation is nearer than when we first believed for we are next in line for God’s prophetic move.
So where are the Josephs of our time amidst the financial crises men are undergoing? Where are the Daniels in the political sphere? Where are the Isaac order of Business men who will defy famine and reap a hundred fold? I can tell you where these men are. They are in the church and you are one of them! Yes you!
We have slept enough. We have been waiting for Jesus to take the center stage, but He said, He will sit at the right hand of God (having finished His work) waiting till His enemies be made His footstool completely. We are the generation to bring that prophecy to pass before Jesus returns. We are equally the ones to pray down God’s Kingdom. So while we lift up our eyes waiting on Jesus, He is busy waiting on us wondering why we delay Him. Jesus never told us to wait. He said, Occupy till I come. Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me. Blessed is that servant whom when the Master comes, shall be found busy on His field”
That is why Romans 13:11 declares
“knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed”.
Now is the time to run with every vision, Now is the time to start that company, Now is the time to get into that new career the Holy Spirit has been telling you about, Now is the time to get into that ministry you have received from the Lord, Now is the time to get down to business. For the glory of the church is here except a corn of wheat fall into the ground of his assignment and die, no glory – he abideth alone.
How has the devil held us down in sleep?
He has used ignorance. Many of us have no iota of understanding of the significance of the times and our role as the church. We have been ignorant of what teh Word says about us.
He has used distractions of all sorts! Paul said, a true soldier ensures he doesn’t entangle himself with the affairs of this world.
He has used laziness, procrastination, fear etc
AMONG OTHER THINGS, WHAT THEN SHALL WE DO FIRST?
- Romans 13:12 – The night is far spent, the day is at hand:let us therefore cast off the works of darkness.
The devil has held many of us down with several distractions, with sin and whatever is not pleasing to God. MAny of us have lost the place of intimacy, where we hear His still comforting voice. And it takes men synchronized to God’s will to bear this prophetic glory.
But thank God here, the bible did not say “Let us try to cast off…” neither did HE say “let us pray God to help us cast off…” No! It comes so direct, “let us therefore, cast off the works of darkness”. In fact I believe this was a mistaken interpretation just like in Genesis 1:3 where God actually said “Light be! and there was light” but it got interpreted, “Let there be light, and there was light”. Here, the bible says, “You cast off the works of darkness”. HE says “Cast it off!” It means we have every ability to do so, having been washed by His blood cleansed and sanctified by the Word.
The word has in itself the power to cleanse and sanctify. As long as Jesus was with the disciples speaking to them daily, they were kept clean and sanctified even by the constant Words Jesus kept speaking to them even though He had not yet died for their sins. (John 15:3, John 17:17). Little wonder Peter said to Jesus, “Thou hast the Words of life”
Jesus is the Word and the bible says “as many as received Him to them He gave power to become sons of God”. Here is the Holy Spirit saying now is the time to Cast off the works of darkness that has kept us sleeping and bound.
Even if we doubted it before, the fact that the bible says “Cast off the works of darkness” means to him that believes that word, to him it is imparted the power to carry out and live out those words. Oh! how Peter understood this! Little wonder, he ordinarily would not walk on water but as long as it was Jesus who said, “Peter come forth to meet me on water”, Peter knew in receiving those words all the power to walk on water was infused into him via those words! If there is something I have come to learn about God’s Word it’s that the Word is living and The Word carries SELF-FULFILLING POWER – The power to fulfill the intent for which it has gone forth. When you believe and receive those words, you have every power to cast off those works of darkness because Jesus said so. For sin shall not have dominion over you. You have been redeemed from the curse (including sin).
You just receive these words now and cast off any works of darkness right now as long as you are a believer.
- Put on the armour of light / Put on Jesus Christ!
Romans 13:14 says “You put on Jesus Christ” Jesus Christ is the new man in us as Ephesians 4:24. So the word empowers us, if only we’ll receive and believe it like Peter did that day on water. We are empowered by this word to put off the old man and put on Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!
Do you know what it means to put on Jesus? I’ll tell you. It is living by the abilities of Jesus Christ. And one outstanding ability was His ability to fulfill His assignment on earth.
Putting on Jesus is putting on the armour of light. For the entrance of God’s word giveth light and understanding to the simple (the man who simply receives the word like a child). And Jesus is the Word made flesh. So as we take in the word, we take Jesus, we get lighted up for glory and it then lies with us to choose to put Him on to walk in the Word. Oh! The world is dark enough to need our light. And God said, “His eyes searcheth to and fro the whole earth to show Himself strong on the behalf of those whose heart are perfect towards Him – those that tremble at His words, that do the word – putting on Christ the living Word.
And yes it is called “Armour of light”. So the Word – light is and armour that guarantees victory.
- make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof
We have the power again within this word to do this. We are soldiers and God is spelling out our qualification to be enlisted straight up. Many of us have fallen over and again cos we made provision to fall. Ephesians 4 put it this way “And neither give place to the devil.” This is the call upon the church today, to cast off all interference, get back to the secret place and observe to do all He leads us into this season. Just get up!
Romans 13:11 says now is the time. If we don’t act now, we could end like the 5 foolish virgins. They acted late. Their time to act had run out, for there is a season and a time to every purpose under the sun. Your purpose is time bound, now is your season. You may not always have the stage, dive in now and be a responsible son/daughter. The Message bible puts it this way:
“Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!
(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)
The stage is set, prophecies are in your favour, now is the time to wake out of sleep!
God bless you and spend your new week living on purpose!