Redeeming the Time

And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.  (Matthew 21:18 – ESV)

When I was a young man I thought this verse meant that if I had enough faith I could do mighty acts that and could get whatever I wanted from God. What I realize now is that having faith asking for things that reflect the will of the Father. Remember that Jesus did not do whatever he wanted, his faith directed his mind and heart towards God; furthermore, his faith shaped his desires to want God’s will rather than his own. By faith, Jesus went to the cross and rejected the rewards of the devil. Because of Jesus’ perfect faith in God he accomplished things that we, still caught up in our own will, cannot even imagine.  However, Jesus says, if we have even a portion of the faith He did we can do the kinds of things he did.

Do not despair if you do not have the faith of Jesus, or even a portion of Jesus’ faith,  because faith has the potential, in the power of the Holy Spirit to grow! I have read about the concept of redeeming time – to use it for the glory of God.  John Wesley, an 18th Century pastor, wrote

“Think, and speak, and do what you are persuaded Christ himself would do in your case, were he on earth. It becomes a Christian, rather to be an example to all, who was, and is, and ever will be, our absolute pattern. O Christians, how did Christ pray, and redeem time for prayer!

John Wesley

Redeeming time means using the time we are wasting on non-essential activities (binge-watching anyone?) and giving it over to God. My hope is that we will redeem the time we have in our various degrees of isolation by growing in our faith, increasingly transforming our faith into the faith of Christ.

Today, when you feel worried or afraid when you question what tomorrow will bring, redeem that time by turning to God in prayer and trust your health and life into His hands.  Submit to God’s plan for your life, just as Jesus did, and by trusting Him even with the smallest amount of your life, your faith will grow so you can trust Him even more tomorrow.

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