“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

“Be careful!  Watch where you’re going!”  These are phrases that most parents say over and over again to their young children.  In this passage, we see a direct correlation between being careful and wise living.  It is interesting that the word “careful” is a verb in this passage.  It is an action word…something we do.  It literally means to see, discern, or perceive.  The encouragement for Christians is to actively watch and discern how we are living, seizing every opportunity to do God’s will.

While this passage does not tell us exactly how we can know God’s will, it does give us good some clues.  We are told to “understand what the Lord’s will is” in verse 17.  How do we understand?  By not being foolish.  How are we not foolish?  By being wise.  How can we be wise?  By being very careful how we live.  It all starts with being careful.

What does it mean to live carefully?  It does not mean to never take risks.  In fact, walking with Jesus demands that we risk everything.  We surrender control and obey Christ because He is worthy; and His ways are always best.  Careful living is purposeful living.  It is intentional living.

It is so easy to get on the “American dream” track, or even the “Christian track”, and just coast through life on autopilot, going with the flow.  We get up, have a quiet time, go to work, come home, go to church, teach Sunday school, work in the nursery, etc.  The days can become mundane and predictable.  We do what we’ve always done, try and avoid the “big sins”, and that is enough for us.

But no!  This is not the life that Christ died to give us.  We must be careful not to fall into this trap.  We must always be watching how we live to make sure it is Christ that is in control and not us.  Careful living is wise, and it prepares us to understand God’s will as we live our lives with Him and for Him each day.

Is there an area of your life where you need to be more careful so that you can understand God’s will?  If so, commit it to the Lord and trust Him to help you to live wisely.

Father, Help me to be careful how I live today.  Convict my heart and change me, Lord.  I don’t want to coast through life.  I want to follow You wherever You lead me.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

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