The book of Revelation gives us a glimpse behind the scenes of the great controversy between good and evil:
“Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Revelation 12:12)
God lifts the curtain and gives us the perspective of the other side. The devil has “great wrath.” It’s not that he’s a bit upset. The Greek word for wrath means “passion, as if breathing hard.” He’s in a state of panic, a state of passionate anger.
The answer is right in the text: “because he knows that he has a short time.” So there it is. It’s a time factor. Satan is well aware of the times in which we live. He’s familiar with the news. In fact, the effects of his work is what too often makes the news. He’s acquainted with the prophecies that are being fulfilled. So his reaction is appropriate. Is he more convinced about the solemnity of these times than we are?
Here’s the insight Ellen White was given:
“I have been shown that Satan has not been stupid and careless these many years, since his fall, but has been learning. He has grown more artful. His plans are laid deeper, and are more covered with a religious garment to hide their deformity. The power of Satan now to tempt and deceive is ten- fold greater than it was in the days of the apostles. His power has increased, and it will continue to increase, until it is taken away. His wrath and hate grow stronger as his time to work draws near its close” (Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, p. 277)
I’m sure Satan is dedicated to get even better at his thing. It’s evident that he’s committed to success. It’s almost like he’s making up for lost time.
Enough about the devil now. The question is: how does the Christian respond to this reality? And who better to ask than the apostle Paul? In Ephesians, he writes:
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15,16,)
“Redeeming the time?” To redeem means to “buy back.” But how do you buy back time? Can you take back five minutes from yesterday? Can you take back a day from last month? Of course not. So what does it mean?
“We are admonished to redeem the time. But time squandered can never be recovered. We cannot call back even one moment. The only way in which we can redeem our time is by making the most of that which remains, by being co-workers with God in His great plan of redemption” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 342).
That’s an awesome challenge. It’s an invitation to live meaningful and intentional lives. May we live as if our time was significant in the grand scheme of things. As if our days and what we fill them with really mattered.
Because they do.
If you’re not convinced, just ask the devil.