I want to zero in on verses 15-17 from this passage.
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Living with intentionality! This is the point Paul is making. He uses the word “walk” in verse 15 as a metaphor for “live”. This has been a favorite theme of his in Ephesians…
- “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world…” (2:1-2)
- “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” (4:1)
- “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.” (4:17)
- “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (5:1-2)
- “For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” (5:8)
Paul’s encouragement to the believers is to live intentionally and to do so wisely – not foolishly. Practically, how do we do this – how do we become more wise in the way that we live? Scripture gives us some tips: 1) Hang around people that are already wise in the way that they live (Proverbs 13:20). 2) Ask God to fuel us and fill us with His wisdom (James 1:5). 3) Pay attention to what God’s Word says and obey it (Matthew 7:24-27). 4) Get to know Jesus better and better (Colossians 2:2-3).
The other side of the same coin would be to answer the question “how do we not live like fools?” Again, Scripture gives us some tips: 1) Learn to hold your tongue and watch what you say (Proverbs 18:7). 2) Learn from your mistakes and failures (Proverbs 26:11). 3) Never stop learning (Proverbs 1:22). 4) Listen to people when they give you advice (Proverbs 12:15). 5) Receive instruction with humility (Proverbs 1:7).
Why does Paul say we need to take this to heart – why do we need to be very intentional in the way that we live? Because the days are evil. Because life is short. Because people need Jesus. Because we don’t want to waste our lives. Because the Lord is honored when we use our lives for His purposes.
May this brick encourage your hearts and motivate you to take one more step toward living each of your days with intentionality.