Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Colossians 4:5
This is good counsel which often comes to mind in a new year or a birthday. And we take it to mean to not waste time. A new year brings to mind all the time we wasted the previous year, so we resolve to not waste time in the new year. But the scripture was not meant to be read only once a year, and if that is the only time we think about redeeming time, we will continue to waste much time.
However, there is a problem with the word redeem. It does not seem to make sense here. Redeem means to rescue, recover, restore, or buy back something of value. Think of buying back something you sold to a pawn shop. The problem is that time, although it is of great value, cannot be bought back or recovered, it is lost forever. How can you redeem time? How do you redeem the irredeemable? How can you recover what is lost forever?
Nevertheless, that is what the inspired word is: redeem. And that gives me great hope. The possibility that even time can be redeemed. That as we look back on our past life and contemplate our wasted moments, hours, days...there is hope that they are not lost forever. Joel 2:25 says “I will restore the years the locust has eaten.”
So how can time be redeemed? Just like we redeem anything else, by paying the price, and the price of recovery is always higher than the original price. What will it cost us to recover all those wasted hours and days and years? Are we willing to pay the price? Actually, the price has already been paid. Y’shua was willing to pay the price to redeem us, which was certainly much higher than the original cost of creating us, and when Y’shua redeems us, He also redeems our time, if we too are willing to pay the price.
To understand how time can be redeemed, we must realize that God’s time runs differently than human time, and when our time is God’s time, it will operate outside of human understanding. We say that time is money, so let’s look at money through God’s eyes to help us understand time. The biblical principle of tithing teaches us that all our money belongs to God, and when we turn over 10% of our income to God, we can do more, buy more, spend more with $90 than with $100. This defies human understanding.
It is the same with God’s time as it is with God’s money. Just as it takes money to make money, it takes time to make time. TIME WITH GOD. You, dear reader, think you do not have time to spend with God each and every morning. You think you have too much work to do, too many responsibilities to make God first, last, and best in your life. But in God’s economy, again, which is beyond human understanding, it takes time to make time. Somehow, in some way above human comprehension, the more time we spend with God and the longer we walk with God, the more we truly accomplish with our time and with our lives. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God.” It is in the stillness of our time alone with God that we can be emptied of self and be filled with His Spirit.
We know it takes time to maintain a relationship, including a relationship with God. But this is more, we are talking here about redeeming lost time, not just maintaining a relationship. It has to cost more, there must be a sacrifice, whatever is necessary. In the parable of the pearl of great price as in the parable of buried treasure (Matthew 13:44-46), the finder had to sell everything he had to obtain the treasure. Scripture tells us that a great while before day Y’shua would get up to pray (Mark 1:35), and He had no need to redeem lost time.
You think it is impossible to redeem the time? With God, nothing is impossible. Time can stand still, as it did for Joshua; time can run backward, like it did for Hezekiah. God is the God of time, He is Lord over time. So this new year, let’s do more than make good use of time. Let us redeem the time.
Picture originally found here