“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning” — Luke 12:35 NIV
The time to sleep is over. The time has come to be alert and awake. Your Master is coming. Will He find you dressed ready? If not, you may go naked and be shamefully exposed (Revelation 16:15). To avoid it, you have to put on the armor of light. For that you need to put away your deeds of darkness; whatever that might be in your case. In fact, you are called to clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus and not to think about how you can fulfill the evil desires that come from within you (Romans 13:12, 13).
Alertness is required from you now. Because the devil, knowing that his time is short, is filled with fury (Revelation 12:12). He is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Therefore you have to be self-controlled and alert (1 Peter 5:8). Perhaps, you need to ask God to give you more self-control.
Since self-control is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23), you cannot produce it on your own. In this time of increase of evil; you need self-control in areas like anger, sexual fantasies, obsession with gadgets, desire for exotic foods, and even in your ambitions. So better get down on your knees and ask God to show you mercy and give you self-control.
This is most important because the world is destroying itself in all kinds of “freedom” it has permitted for itself. But they are also paying a huge price and penalty for it. For when man-made freedoms cross God-made boundaries they wreck and mar human lives. Still a comeback is possible. It is only through the way of the cross. You need to pass through the cleansing fountain (Zechariah 13:1) of the blood of Jesus Christ (1 John 1:7) which shall cleanse you from all sin and impurity. Then you will move away from darkness and evil deeds, and walk in the light. Then you will know that you are light in the Lord (Ephesians 5:8).
When that realization hits you, you will promise God like David: “I will walk in my house with blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing” (Psalm 101:2b, 3a NIV). Even then, it was not easy for David to keep his promise for he allowed his eyes to wander. The Bible says, “One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing” (2 Samuel 11:2 NIV). He, at that point in time, did not exercise self-control nor did he ask God to deliver him from doing evil. Therefore he sinned.
It is often pointed out that King David was sleeping at home while he should have been fighting the battle. If that is true he was not dressed ready for service. That became the immediate cause of his sin. His lazy attitude made him less alert to the requirements of God. The man who sang so much from his heart about his love for God’s laws forgot all of them in one moment of time.
This has been written down so that it will serve us as an example and reminder. In today’s world evil within homes is a greater reality than ever before. And each one of us need to depend on God to avoid it. As Job pointed out: “The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding” (Job 28:28 NIV). Yes, to keep away from evil, that itself is understanding. For that you need to be alert and ever watchful in prayer; in dependence on God.
It is then that your lamps will be kept burning. For as Jesus said, “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God” (John 3:20, 21 NIV). So, step out into the light. By doing so you will be inspired to continue to live in the light. Yes, “Live as children of light . . . and find out what pleases the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8b–10 NIV).
You need to remember that your time is really short. Did not Jesus warn about the coming night: “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4 NIV). Yes, the night is coming. It can come unexpectedly on each one of us. So time is really short. Remember, you can serve only your own generation. So, keep your lamps burning for the glory of God!