Look carefully then how you walk, not as fools 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
The Bible defines a fool as one who exists apart from God (Psalm 14:1). It is an anti-God way of living and the law of God does not bind the conscience of a fool. They don’t take God at His word. They don’t believe this book -the Bible. They are disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending their lives in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another (Titus 3:3). But, a wise man is one who fears God, knows God (Proverbs 9:10), and lives in accord with God’s divine principles.
In these three verses, Paul makes 03 appeals to those who have come alive from the dead, to those who are now in the light.
Conduct your life based on divine principles (v15)
When you were made alive in Jesus Christ, the wisdom of God takes up residence. The righteousness of God imputed to you does the sanctification work till the day of redemption. Christ has made unto us those things. That’s a whole gift of salvation. The grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness, worldly lusts, live soberly, righteously, godly in this present age (Titus 2:12). The moment you receive salvation you receive a measure of wisdom and you become accountable. Peter warns the Christians to be on guard so that they may not be carried away by the error, but to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:17, 18). There should be an increasing wisdom. There should be an increasing godliness based on divine principles.You need to conduct your daily life carefully as you walk through the minefields of this wicked world system. The wise Christian charts his course according to life principles designed by God. His walk should match his position in Christ. If anyone lacks wisdom he must ask God and He will give it (James 1:5). Study the Bible yourself. Study to show yourself approved under God (2 Timothy 2:15). The Word of God is a lamp to the feet and a light to the path (Psalm 119:10), so that you will not fall off into the traps of the system. You will not stub your toe on the obstacle that Satan puts in your path. The wise Christian, knows what pleases God, watches for Satan’s traps, resists the devil, defeats temptation, is selective about behavior, and so he doesn’t walk like a fool.
Use the limited privilege of time (v16)
God has given us a time boundary, and within that time He has defined a course, with a specific ministry. It is a “race set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). Life is short like a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away (James 4:14). Moses spent the last 40 years of his life leading a rebellious bunch of Israelis out of slavery in Egypt. As they were camped in the wilderness, he wrote Psalm 90, reflecting on the brevity of life and the severity of God’s judgment. And, he writes in v12, “Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.” A Christ-follower must take advantage of the opportunities that God brings his way. The greatest foolishness of all time is wasting opportunities. It is wisdom that numbers the days. It is wisdom that accounts for the limited time. It is wisdom that seized the opportunity for God.
These are evil days where Satan has his false teachers trying to deceive God’s people with lies and doctrines of demons. People of this time are characterized by perverted sexual desires and extreme greed for material wealth. It is a day of corrupt communication, stealing, lying, and anger. Persecution and distress are on the horizon. Remember what Jesus had said about the fact that you would be persecuted for His sake. These are evil days and if we are going to make anything out of an evil day we have to grab the opportunity for glorifying Him, doing something for His namesake. God gives those opportunities to do something good and something to honor Him and something to glorify Him. At the end of our life, we should be able to say with Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
Know with understanding the will of God (v17)
A wise man understands the will of God. So that he can use the divine principles within the limited time the way God has prescribed. Many Christians are busy doing a whole lot of stuff, some meaningless stuff. Some churches are in panic mode looking for ways to add more and more activities. It is one thing to have a sense of urgency, but another thing to channel those divine principles in the Lord’s purposes.
God specifically mentions at least SIX things in his Word that are part of his will for our lives.
SAVED: 1 Timothy 2:3-4, This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
SPIRIT Filled: Ephesians 5:18, “Do not get drunk with wine but be filled with the Spirit.”
SANCTIFIED: I Thessalonians 4:3, “This is the will of God concerning you, even your sanctification.”
SUBMISSIVE: 1 Peter 2:13–25, “This is the will of God that you be submissive to the authorities.” 1 Peter 4:19, Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”
SUFFER: 1 Peter 3:17, “It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”
SAY Thank You: 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything, give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Here then are six clear declarations of God’s will for our lives. God wants us to be saved, Spirit-filled, sanctified, submissive, ready to suffer, and to say thank you. When you know the will of God, you function in the will of God with a sense of time and opportunity and obedience to His divine principles.