I learned (again) the hard way Satan is a master at stealing time. It’s amazing and more than a bit discouraging how you can be having a great day serving God only to see it fizzle into hours doing things of no Kingdom value. Without a consistent and diligent focus on how we spend our days, too many of them can be stolen away before we know it.
While pondering that thought, it occurred to me maybe Satan isn’t so much a master at stealing time as we are at giving it away.God has put the gift of time at our disposal. Every breath we breathe is an endowment from Him. What God has given to us cannot be stolen. Satan has no power to do that. But as agents of freewill, it is within our authority to give away what God has granted to us.
We can give away love to those in need and reflect the beauty of God. We can also give away our gifts in ways not honoring to Him. In fact, if we aren’t intentional about the way we manage what has been entrusted to us, we will end up building the wrong kingdom. It is our choice to build the Kingdom of God or the fiefdom of the devil. Every decision we make builds one or the other. There is no neutral building project. Whether you care to be passive and think of it as Satan stealing time or take responsibility and admit you are giving the time away, the result is the same: we are taking from God and giving to Satan. We cannot be okay with this.
It’s very hard to be constantly diligent about our actions and how we spend our time. I find nowhere in scripture where we were promised this would be easy. Instead I find living for Jesus will be dangerous and often painful (Matthew 10:34; Matthew 10:21-22; John 16:33). We give away our time because it’s easier than guarding it. Do we really want to face Jesus and tell Him we would have done more but we took the easy way instead? Following Jesus carries a great responsibility with it. Remember, we agreed to take up our cross and follow Him no matter the cost. When we pledged our life to Him, we were determined to do whatever it took to serve Him. And now we give away the most precious gift He gave us to manage on earth.
It’s not popular to say in modern Christian circles, but following Jesus requires action every day. We aren’t earning our salvation; we are working it out (Philippians 2:12-13). Every day we will choose to spend our moments in service to Jesus and building His Kingdom, or giving them to Satan to tear down what Christ desires for us to build. How dare we waste the precious gift of life on self-serving comforts and pursuits. Following Jesus is extremely difficult. It’s not for the squeamish. It’s not for the lazy or the self-centered. No one is stealing our time. We are giving it away. And it must stop now.