Stuck “in shelter”? Wondering what to do with all of this time? Asking big questions about the purpose of life, and why this world is so broken and heartbreaking?
These words are packed with wisdom for us:
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17 ESV)
A few reflections may be helpful.
First, it is wise to make the best use of the time. It is tempting during this time of sheltering and quarantines to simply hunker down and watch more and more episodes of Netflix or divert our boredom with video games or reading the latest novels. None of that is wrong in itself. But a better question is “What is best?” We’ve been given some extra time. This is a gift from above. And as we see what’s happening in our world and community we are rightly more aware that the world is fragile, health is fragile, community is fragile and we become more aware that there is evil in the world, evil influencing society, and even, if we are very perceptive, evil within ourselves. Do we really think we have an endless supply of time? I think the Apostle Paul has a massive point when he tells us to Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time. Do I always do this? No. Do I want to do better? Yes.
God, please give us hearts to redeem the time. To make the best use of the minutes, hours and days you give us.
Second, we are to use this time to look carefully then how you walk. This means examining our lifestyles and making adjustments where needed. It is a great time for change! How should we walk? Not as unwise but as wise. What’s the opposite of living wisely? Therefore do not be foolish… Okay, I definitely don’t want to be foolish. Wisdom sounds much better! But how do I go about that? Understand what the will of the Lord is. So the way that I avoid being foolish and become wise is to understand what the will of the Lord is. That makes sense. God has a will for my life, a way in which He wants me to live, to walk. To walk or live in a way that God wouldn’t want does sound very foolish. Walking with God sounds very wise. I want it.
Oh God, please help me to make the most of the time so that I may become more wise and less foolish. You give wisdom to all who truly cry out for it and seek it. May I be that person!
Third, how do we understand what the will of the Lord is? What, practically, can I do to gain understanding into what God’s will is for my life? That is a great question, and that is why he has given some of us this extra time.
Jesus once said to us, Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock (Matthew 7:24 ESV).
To understand what the will of the Lord is, we must hear and do Jesus’ “words”. If we do, we will be building our lives on the rock, instead of on a sandy foundation which will crash in a coming storm.
We find Jesus’ words primarily in the sacred book, the Holy Bible. Have you ever read the Bible straight through? Or have you ever read a whole section of the Bible, like “The Gospel according to Matthew, or Mark, or Luke, or John?” That would be a wonderful place to start!
Listening to a trusted Bible preacher is also incredibly helpful. Have you ever listened to Pastor John Piper preach, or Matt Chandler, or Timothy Keller, or a personally known local pastor who’s life you’ve seen and can trust? These resources are enormous. Most of them are available online. As you listen, as you study the Bible, seek the Lord in prayer. Be open to change.
If you do, you can be sure that you will be wise, not foolish, and that you will be making the best use of the time.
What now? Only this… Let’s go!
Dear God, help me now to make the best use of the time. Help me seek you with all my heart!
God bless you richly as you do,