Understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:17
When I was ten, I brought home a cassette tape from a friend at youth group that contained the music of a contemporary Christian band. My dad, who had been raised in a Hindu home but had received salvation in Jesus, didn’t approve. He only wanted worship music played in our home. I explained it was a Christian band, but that didn’t change his mind. After a while, he suggested that I listen to the songs for a week and then decide if they brought me closer to God or pushed me further away from Him. There was some helpful wisdom in that advice.
There are things in life that are clearly right or wrong, but many times we wrestle with disputable matters (Romans 14:1–19). In deciding what to do, we can seek the wisdom found in Scripture. Paul encouraged the Ephesian believers to “be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise” (Ephesians 5:15). Like a good parent, Paul knew that he couldn’t possibly be there or give instructions for every situation. If they were going to “[make] the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil,” they were going to have to discern for themselves and “understand what the Lord’s will is” (vv. 16–17). A life of wisdom is an invitation to pursue discernment and good decisions as God guides us even when we wrestle with what might be disputable.
How can you determine what will be wise or foolish as you make decisions? How can you seek God’s guidance?
Dear Jesus, cultivate a heart of wisdom in me. Enable me to live my life in a way that will always draw me closer to You.
To live a meaningful and purposeful life, “a life worthy of the calling” (Ephesians 4:1), Paul told believers to be careful, wise, and make “the most of every opportunity” to do good (5:15–17). Being careful is being wise, for an unwise person or a fool is both careless and reckless (Proverbs 12:15; 14:16). Careful living means living as “children of light” and striving to do “what pleases the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8, 10). In another letter, Paul said, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity” to share the gospel (Colossians 4:5). To the Galatian believers he said, “Let us not become weary in doing good . . . . As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:9–10).