Thursday, January 1, 2015

January 2, 2015

"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is." Ephesians 5:15-17

You've heard the phrase, "Life is fragile, handle with care". Or, maybe you heard the spiritualized version, "Life is fragile, handle with prayer."

The simple truth of either or both statements is undeniable but did you ever wonder where it came from?

Well, one source is the Scripture verses listed above!

In these three verses Paul equates careful living with wise decision-making. 

Where do I get that? Just take a look at it!

He makes the connection between being careful (very careful) and being wise (not unwise). And, he equates wisdom with:
  • recognizing opportunity
  • recognizing your obstacles (evil)
  • recognizing what's optimum (God's will)
Let's break this down further.

What is opportunity? Opportunity is a decision point, right? An opportunity is a choice between options. For a believer (which this letter is addressed to) an opportunity is not an option between good or evil because doing evil is not a viable option. When you chose to follow Jesus you chose to turn from evil.

So, for a Christ-follower, opportunity is the option to decide what is good or what is best. Or, stated another way, what is God's will in this decision because His will is always best? Or, put in still another way, the wise decision is choosing the option that best pleases God. Not everything that is acceptable for a Christian is necessarily the best for him or for God.

If making wise decisions was easy everyone would be making wise decisions. That doesn't seem to be happening because of some major obstacles that must be overcome. As the Scripture says, "....the days are evil." This means evil dominates our culture like a strong current that can carry you away if you aren't prepared to stand against it.

When you couple that with the fact the human nature is evil, you understand why wisdom is hard to come by.

Wisdom comes from knowing God because all wisdom comes from Him. Wisdom begins when you understand you need to know Him and confess that to Him. Once you come to know Him by faith wisdom consists of obeying Him. That is His will. You cannot ignore God or disobey God and think you will have wisdom.

"Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is." 

Are you foolish or are you wise?