“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” -Ephesians 5:15-16, ESV
When you are young, time seems never-ending; you want it to speed up because you can’t wait to get older. When you are older, you want time to slow down because you know your time here on Earth is limited. William Penn said, “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
Consider this poem:
What happened to Time?
When as a child I laughed and wept, time crept.
When as a youth I dreamed and talked, time walked.
When I became a full grown man, time ran.
And later as I older grew, time flew.
Soon I shall find while traveling on, time gone.
The Bible talks a lot about time:
– Now is the time of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2)
– Time will pass away (1 John 2:17)
– Everything is beautiful in its time (Ecc. 3:11)
– Understanding the present time (Rom. 13:11)
– Teach us to number our days (Psalm 90:12)
– One day is like a thousand to the Lord (2 Pet. 3:8-9)
– Your life is a mist and then it vanishes (James 4:13-17)
– There is a time for everything (Ecc. 3:1-8)
Time is a creation of God; the entire universe was formed at God’s command (Heb. 11:3). Understanding how God functions in His creation of time gives us some insight into the nature of God. There are two Greek words used for time, kairos and chronos, but they imply different things and also refer to how God’s sovereignty is revealed. Chronos refers to minutes and seconds, it refers to time as a measurable duration. Kairos refers to time as an appointed time, a due season, or a specific point in time, a “strike point” moment.
We live our lives in the chronos mindset, we monitor the year by the month and day it is. We measure how long we have until a vacation or a birthday. We monitor our day by what hour we come home from work or when we go to bed. But even in our chronos life, we can think of certain kairos or strike point moments that happened over the course of our lives that defined who we are, that changed a course of action, or that brought tremendous stress. Some examples might be a job loss or promotion, a death, an accident, a new birth, a marriage ceremony, a move, or anything that takes place at a specific point in time.
Paul tells us in Ephesians to take advantage of the time (kairos) because the days are evil. We need to be aware of the strike point moments in our lives where we can use discernment and take advantage of the time. This could be a moment in our day that someone needs us to show them the love of God. This could be a stranger we meet that we feel called to witness to. This could also be a moment during the craziness of the day that we set aside for prayer.
God moves and works within the two forms of time. The Israelites were in slavery during chronos time, waiting for their freedom. In a kairos moment, God sends Moses who starts a chain of plagues and miracles and crosses the Red Sea into freedom.
Jesus had many kairos moments during the course of His chronos ministry. When Jesus intervened in any of His miracles, that was a kairos moment. He powerfully changed the course of someone’s chronos timeline. Jesus’s chronos ministry was ended in a kairos moment with His words in the cross “It is finished.” Romans 5:6 says, “At just the right time (kairos) when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (NIV, emphasis added, parentheses mine). Again with Jesus’s resurrection, this was a kairos moment where He overcame sin and death.
We live our daily life in the chronos, awaiting the day when Jesus returns in a kairos moment. He will victoriously proclaim again that “It is finished” (Rev. 21:6).
Maybe you are frustrated in the chronos now, waiting on God to come through in a kairos moment for you. Keep trusting in God and wait on His timeframe! God is not slow as we count slowness (2 Pet. 3:9). Sometimes, we do not see the big picture over the course of our chronos history and may never until we are in eternity; however, God still moves in strike point moments every day!
Sometimes, it is up to us to take advantage of each kairos moment we are given and not let time slip away from us where we leave behind a wasted life. Ephesians 5 tells us to make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil; we don’t have the luxury as Christians to sit idly.
Some of what happens to us is the result of living in a sinful world. Living in the chronos timeframe, things will happen to us and around us as a result of the sin process that will not fully be restored until the final kairos moment of redemption of this fallen world and a New Heaven and a New Earth where there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain (Rev. 21:4). Hallelujah!
Discerning Moment: How can I make the best use of my time on a daily basis? What do I need to be pray to God about, and how can I best understand His timing and plan in my life? Where have I been frustrated with this sinful world and blamed God for it, and do I need to ask for forgiveness?
Prayer: Lord, help me understand You and Your will for my life. Help me make the best use of the time I am given, however long it is. Show me the kairos moments in my life where I need to act out in obedience to you.
Featured Image by Andrik Langfield