In 1 Corinthians 15:34 it is written, “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin…” Another translation (NRS) says, “Come to a sober and right mind, and sin no more.” What does this mean?
Being awake to righteousness, or to have a sober and right mind, is the same as being serious about keeping all of God’s Word; doing God’s Word in every area of my life.
To take life seriously doesn’t mean that I always have to look really serious. To be serious doesn’t mean something heavy or looking depressed and dark. I can be serious right in the middle of being full of joy. I can be serious right in the middle of the most happy celebration.
Live according to the light I have
Being serious means that I live according to the light that I have, that I do nothing that is against the Word of God, and that I reach out to get more light and understanding. God has commanded us to keep His laws and commandments carefully. Only then can we grow spiritually. That is what it means to be serious.
Paul saw this so clearly. In Acts 20:31, it’s written that he had taught and warned the Ephesians night and day with tears. That is the way he saw the seriousness of life. The five wise virgins also took things very seriously. The five foolish virgins were along on the way, but unfortunately they did not take life that seriously and so they did not reach the Bridegroom. (Matthew 25:1-13.)
Acting when God works in me
When I sense God works in me to give something or say something for example, and I do it immediately without reasoning back and forth and waiting, then I am taking life seriously. Then I am not letting my feelings or reasoning hinder me. When I do the things that I am supposed to do without putting them off, then I am taking life seriously.
Noah built the ark because he believed God. For him, it would have meant death if he hadn’t built the ark. Building the ark meant life for him. That is how I should look at it when God works in me—it is either death and destruction, or that I get more of Jesus’ life in me.
Noah also had to do things exactly as God told him in order for the ark to be able to stay afloat, otherwise the ark would have sunk. I must work in the same way on my own salvation, with fear and trembling, as it’s written in Philippians 2:12. That means I have to take it very seriously. In this way I can test myself in many things to find out if I am taking life seriously or not.
Take all of God’s Word seriously
The Word of God is for you and me personally. It will be an eternal judgment for me if I reject it, and eternal salvation if I receive it and do it. My life will be judged according to what I have heard. That is why I should really take this seriously. All of God’s Word is serious. God has His plan of salvation for me, His plan how I should grow up to Him in everything, but then I have to take His Word seriously.
I know I am taking life seriously when I am …
Living according to the light that I have
Reaching out to get more of God in me
Keeping God’s Word with great care
Acting immediately when God speaks, without waiting or reasoning
Doing exactly what God works in me to do
Taking all of God’s Word seriously