“And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has 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.”
“Night” in this passage of Scripture refers to life on this earth, where Satan reigns. “The night is nearly over” is a comforting message to Christians. “Day” in this passage of Scripture refers to Christ’s second coming and the new heaven and earth. Christ is always the light, and we (as his followers) are called to be light-bearers. Paul uses the Roman soldier metaphor of putting on “the armor of light.”
We need spiritual eyes to filter the ways of this world, and that is what Satan wants us to avoid. He wants us to be distracted, focused on the here and now by using our human eyes, instead of the “eyes of our heart” mentioned in Ephesians 1:18.
I find that if I get around negative people who do not share my Christian worldview, if I neglect my daily devotional, skip church, listen to pop music, or read fictional books by secular authors, my spiritual vision dims. It becomes difficult for me to regain my proper perspective. I begin thinking maybe I don’t have to be so rigid in my Christian views; maybe All Dogs Go to Heaven (and people too!) as the movie title suggests; perhaps I am being too judgmental, and I can probably just relax! I start to consider the religious pluralism view—that all paths lead to the same destination. Well…Jesus didn’t think so (see John 14:6).
To avoid the “it’s all good” slumber I can fall into (I’m starting to imitate Dorothy and her friends in the poppy field, getting oh, so comfortable!), I need Paul’s admonition to “Wake up!” We do walk in darkness, and part of the trick of the enemy is deception. We are deceived into thinking the world isn’t darkness—it’s “all good,” as the chirpy saying goes. On a spiritual level, we know the truth, but in our flesh, we get lazy. We can easily morph to the culture.
We need to mine down intentionally to that level beneath our daily round. How we do that is: Scripture, prayer, Christian fellowship, worship and shunning those stumbling blocks (for me, that is certain people, music, books, and movies) which pull us off center.
Try reflecting on these questions: What obstacles dim my spiritual vision? What actions did Jesus take to keep centered on the task at hand?
Then let’s pray that the Holy Spirit keeps our night vision 20/20.