by Lanny Swaim, Winnabow, NC
Awake and Redeem the Time!
“Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”
(Galatians 6:9, see also 2 Thessalonians 3:13).
“Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:14-16, emphasis added).
This word redeem is translated from the Greek verb, exagorazo, which means “buying up the opportunity.” The word time in Ephesians 5:16 is from the Greek word for time, kairos, or a time in which something is seasonable (a specific time, as opposed to chronological time or days on a calendar). It can also mean “a specific time pregnant with destiny.”
The implication in Ephesians 5:14-16 is that we have been asleep, as if dead, which describes the Church in much of the time in the past 2,000 years, until the awakening that became known as the Protestant Reformation. Then more recent awakenings which restored the baptism with the Holy Spirit accompanied by the gifts of the Spirit (which took place in Wales in 1859 and 1904), and then the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angles, California in 1906. (I should note that these are the better-known awakenings. There have been others.)
Then in the mid-twentieth century, many Believers received the baptism with the Holy Spirit in a move of God known as the Charismatic Movement that crossed all denominational boundaries, not only in Protestant churches but in Catholic churches as well.
But even then, with the restoration of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit, in a very real sense, the Church as a whole still remained asleep. Even those who accepted the baptism with the Spirit, accompanied by the gifts of the Spirit, didn’t fully embrace the fruit of the Spirit, which is being filled with the fullness of Christ as we take on the very nature and character of God, literally becoming perfected love as He is love.
A Season of Maturity and Positioning
Today there is a remnant of the Body of Christ that is beginning to experience the fullness of Christ, having been subjected to an intense and severe process of tests and trials. This has required the emptying of themselves (dying to self), enabling them to become more like God in nature and character than ever before. This remnant has been obsessively walking out the various missions they have been assigned by God, seemingly to little avail. While they have experienced a measure of success, major success has eluded them. But that is about to change for many.
While God’s people have been busy with well-doing, they have been in a season of preparation, as the Lord has been maturing (growing within them the character of God/the fullness of Christ) and positioning them for that which lies just ahead. The Lord is now saying that a new season is upon us, when that which we have decreed, declared, prophesied and prayed for is about to burst forth in our lives and ministries and onto the world stage.
At times, during this period of maturation and positioning, we have become weary to the point of desperation, and yet we didn’t faint or give up. Now, as the season is changing, we are about to buy up the opportunity before us (redeeming the time), and the currency we will use to make the transaction is our overcoming nature, born out of the intense and often severe tests and trials we have endured.
“He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and sitteth me upon my high places.” Psalm 18:33
Surely, We Were Born for Such a Time as This!
Very soon we will find it hard to keep up with all God has us involved in. We will have to day-by-day and hour-by-hour listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit, in order to determine what His priorities are each step of the way. We will see things that have been hidden in our hearts for a long, long time now suddenly come to pass with little or no effort on our part. Instead of going from test to test and trial to trial, with hindrances always appearing to hold us back, we will suddenly find ourselves going from glory to glory (see 2 Corinthians 3:18).
“They that wait upon [serve] the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Lanny Swaim is an author, speaker, psalmist/praise & worship leader who serves the Body of Christ in an apostolic, prophetic and teaching capacity. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and in other countries ministering at conferences and in church meetings. He is also involved in establishing house churches with the intent to eventually establish house church networks. He has traveled and ministered with several other ministries plus ministering alone, is a lifetime member of Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International, has functioned as worship leader in three different churches and has led worship in numerous church and ministry settings.
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