"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain" (Galatians 4:9-11).
The Christian life is exactly that. It is a life. Every thought, word, and action will be accounted for in the day when our deeds are measured according to the standard of the person of the Lord Jesus.
"So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:12)
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (II Corinthians 10:4:5)
"I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Matthew 12:36-37)
"Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (I Corinthians 3:13-15)
If these passages do not disturb us, we are not reading them carefully enough. The fact that every thought, word, and deed will be judged presents to us a sobering reality. 24/7. All day. Every day. A life, and a lifetime. The Lord Jesus did not give all, nor was He tortured to death and forsaken by God and man to redeem us for merely Sunday mornings, or for special times and seasons. He rather died to make possible a quality of existence wherein we honor God by living always in a manner faithful to His glory and will. We will perfectly fulfill this standard in Heaven after being glorified. On earth, we will not achieve perfection while still living amid the world, the devil, and the flesh. However, we can experience an increasing consistency in faithful obedience as we "grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." (II Peter 3:18)
24/7. All day. Every day. A life, and a lifetime. Lest we be discouraged by the daunting challenge of this truth, let us remember that the leading, motivation, and power of full-time godliness is of God, and not ourselves. Indeed, we will crash on the rocks of carnality if we believe that we must produce this life ourselves. "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works... it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:13). Every godly thought, word, and action of righteousness expressed by us is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. He is the life, the strength, and the dynamic motivator of all goodness in us. In that day when the lives of believers are judged, and "every man shall have praise of God," we shall give all glory to our Lord (I Corinthians 4:5). "You were the reason, Lord," we shall exclaim, "You were the life, the power, the wisdom, the motivation, and the love! All glory to God!"
Our Lord is the power of all goodness revealed in us. However, it is also true that we are called to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" by the enabling of His life, power, wisdom, motivation, and love (Philippians 2:12). Godliness does not just happen in believers because our Heavenly Father has called us to a real and freely exercised relationship with Himself. We must respond to Him, and keep ourselves in the environment, as it were, of His reality. "Keep yourselves in the love of God" commanded Jude (Jude 1:21). Our Lord has formed a sublime freedom in our hearts whereby we may or may not trust and obey Him. The use or misuse of this freedom is always ours to determine, or as the Lord Jesus declared, "Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." (Luke 12:48)
24/7. All day. Every day. A life, and a lifetime. This truth drives us to our knees, and to our faces in the realization of wasted time and opportunity to know, love, trust, and obey God. But it also raises us up in hope because implicit in the challenge is the glorious truth of a 24/7, all day, everyday, life and lifetime God. If He calls us to such a total consecration of ourselves to Him, it is because of the total consecration of Himself to us. Our Lord is with us and within us always if we have believed, and His power works in us "exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20). There is no more joyous thought, and we face the challenge of 24/7 godliness by remembering the promise of our Lord's 24/7 involvement and investment in us...
"He that hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."