“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 and I have something in common. We’ve both done some really dumb stuff. Stuff we hope nobody ever finds out about. Stuff we wish we could forget, and if you are like me, you look back and wonder – How could I have been so dumb, so blind, so foolish? We always think after the fact that we should have known better. In some cases, we did know better, but for some reason we thought we could beat the odds or that we would be the exceptions to the rule. In spite of what common sense (parent, friend, or leader) told us, we believed that we could control the outcome of our decisions. So we followed our hearts, we trusted our emotions, we did our own thing, and now we wonder what in the world we were thinking. Let’s face it, nobody plans to mess up their life, but bad choices change the best laid plans for our lives. Part of the problem is we don’t put the necessary safeguards in place to ensure a happy ending, and unfortunately some of our bad decisions simply embarrass us or try to scar us.
In breaking down our verses, Paul is saying to be careful about how we live – [Literally: Look out carefully, how you walk/where you step] not as unwise, but as wise, [eyes wide open]. Then he states, making the most of every opportunity – [Literally: Time, like if only we could go back and reuse the time we wasted on those dumb or even dumber decisions]. And because the days are evil – [Literally: Dangerous times. You can’t afford to be careless because there’s too much at stake]. Lastly, Paul says don’t be foolish, but understand what God’s will is, meaning – Wake up, and quit deceiving yourself, you already know what God wants you do so just put your head down and do it.
Last month I used an illustration of a guardrail, and to review, the definition of a guardrail is: a system designed to keep vehicles from straying into dangerous or off-limit areas. Ultimately they are put in place to protect you from extreme danger, and direct you back to a safe path. In Ephesians 5:18, Paul gives us an illustration: one thing leads to another and in using the word “debauchery,” (which means – extreme indulgence that results in the loss of control). Examples of this can be alcohol, lust, greed, anger, or other issues that lead us to make careless, and dumb choices. Additionally he adds, “be filled with the Spirit” – to show us as Christians, who should be our influence when we’re making choices and decisions that will affect our lives and future.
We don’t ever set out to wreck our lives, any more than we plan to wreck our cars, but we need guardrails to keep us from going into dangerous situations in our lives. God wants to play that role in our spiritual lives to protect us from veering off the path He has set for us. In the end, heeding Paul’s words will allow us to be careful and live under God’s protection and direction, so we don’t allow ourselves to live like dumb and dumber…
Confession for today: “Today Jesus I want be influenced by the Holy Spirit, in every decision or choice I make. So I can have your protection and direction in all that I do, so I don’t allow the enemy to wreck my life, and have any regrets.”
Living for today,