Paul, writing to the Ephesian Christians, wrote: “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:17)
Christ has commanded us to love one another as He loved us, and God’s Word has already told us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
To love God supremely means to put Him first in everything. How do we know if we are putting the Living God first? We can know in two important ways at least. One way is when our consciences tell us that we are listening to God’s Word (the Bible), believing and obeying it. There is a lot in that statement. As well as that, we need to have the witness of the Holy Spirit within that we are understanding and applying God’s Word correctly in our situation. This is necessary for us because people have been known to misunderstand God’s Word in many different ways. If we do not have the Holy Spirit’s witness that we are abiding in Christ and doing God’s will, we should really wait before God and ask Him to search our hearts so that that can change.
Paul commands us here DO NOT BE UNWISE. For the Christian, lack of wisdom comes when we disobey God’s voice, God’s Word or God’s principles. We are commanded NOT to be unwise, and I would say the only way we can seriously aim at keeping this commandment is to make it our business to know God’s Word, to know God’s principles, and also to know what is the voice of God to us in our hearts. The way God speaks to our hearts may vary from person to person, but we need to know how God speaks to us, or we will be unwise.
The oppposite of “being unwise” in Ephesians 5:17 is “understand what the will of the Lord is”. The way we “understand what the will of the Lord is”, is by obeying what God shows us from the Word. Obedience to God is vital because God has said that he will harden the heart and dull the heart and mind of the rebellious. It is only if we are willing to do God’s will that we will come to understand what the next step is. If our way seems dark, it may be because we have not been following Jesus properly (John 8:12)
John 8:12 says: Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
I would say that we have our hands full then with this commandment alone. There is never a time when we don’t need to be diligent about understanding what the will of the Lord is. One reason for this is that diligence is part and parcel of wisdom. To be lazy is to be unwise. God’s command here not to be unwise includes the command not to be lazy, since laziness is foolishness in the economy of God.
Even though we are under the New Covenant of the Spirit, and not under the Law, it does not mean that we can be lazy in our searching and contemplation of the Bible. The Spirit of God will frequently use the Scriptures themselves to teach us what we need to know.
Pray that God help us all to realise that we need to keep seeking out His Word, His wisdom and the understanding of His will on a daily basis. Time spent sowing the Word of God in our HEARTS, the deepest part of our beings, is never wasted. Plant seeds in God’s garden – your own heart – and the day will come for an abundant harvest.