Passage of the Day: Ephesians 5: 17 [highlight verse in bold/underlined] … 15 Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
My Journal for Today: Well, here we are on this last day of November, closing out our discussion of the pursuit of Godly wisdom; and for the final time in our series, we return to the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to walk carefully in this evil world (Eph. 5: 15 – 16); and we’ve seen that he made this charge to help believers walk in a way that is worthy of our calling in Christ (see Eph. 4: 1). But today we focus on Paul’s tag line in verse Eph. 5: 17, which he added after verses 15 – 16; and that is the exhortation to avoid foolishness by understanding the will of God for our lives.
That’s actually a pretty heavy challenge. If I’m to be a wise Christian in this evil world, Paul is saying that I have to know and understand God’s will for my life. But, how do I do that? And in this pursuit of God’s will, John MacArthur give us six signpost areas, which are biblically supported to help us know God’s will for our lives.
From God’s word and prompted by John MacArthur's study, which is documented in today's entry from Strength for Today, we know that it is God’s will that any Christian must …
>>> #1 … Be SAVED (1st Timothy 2: 3 – 4 and 2nd Peter 3: 9)
>>> #2 … Be SPIRIT FILLED (Ephesians 5: 17 – 18 – see above)
>>> #3 … Be SANCTIFIED (1st Thessalonians 4: 3 – 8)
>>> #4 … Be SUBMISSIVE (1st Peter 2: 13 – 15)
>>> #5 … Be SUFFERING FOR CHRIST (1st Peter 3: 17)
>>> #6 … Be SAYING THANKS (1st Thessalonians 5: 18)
According to MacArthur and God’s truth (I hope you’ve looked up those scriptures), if a Christian is all of these or recognizes his life in the context of these elements of the Christian experience, he is bound to be living a life which is in pursuit of, and quite possibly even fulfills, God’s will. He would also be in complete fulfillment of God’s command, through the Psalmist, to “… delight [ourselves] in the Lord,” (see Psalm 37: 4) which results in God’s wonderful promise to fulfill the heart of such a believer.
This biblical and God-promised formula goes like this … the quest to know God yields >>> the loving desire to be obedient to God’s will, the pursuit of which results in >>> the inner drive to obey and serve God to the utmost, surrendered to God’s Spirit, >>> the fulfillment of which yields the abundant blessing of fruitfulness from God’s grace [i.e., the fruit if the Spirit – see Gal. 5: 22, 23]. If you’ve read my teaching or exhortations enough, you may remember me quoting the chain of Christian discipleship, which goes … to know God is to love Him >>> to love Him is to obey Him >>> to obey Him is to serve Him >>> to serve Him is be blessed by Him. And so, does not this make pursuing the mind of God (i.e., knowing God and His will) the foremost goal for all Christians? I believe it does.
That’s what I’ve gotten from this month’s quest for Godly wisdom … that I am driven, by God’s prevenient and enabling grace, to know my Savior, to dig deeply into the treasure mines of God’s word (see Job 28), to find His will for my life (again primarily from His word), and to live out God’s way (i.e, always following Christ as He commanded in Luke 9: 23) in such a way that I can shine His light into this darkened world, glorifying my Father in Heaven (see Matt. 5: 16, which I would certainly hope you have memorized by now).
Is knowing God and His will for your life your primary goal in life? Is your life directed in such a way as to move in the direction we’ve discussed this month? If not, perhaps it would be productive to ask yourself, “Why not?!” And then maybe you could move to respond to God’s challenge from Paul in Ephesians 3: 13, resulting in a quest to know and understand the mind of God no matter what the challenges of life present. If you do, God’s promise and power awaits you [see Acts 1: 8]; and you will become a more powerful witness for our Lord in this world. That is certainly my desire and plan. I hope you join me.
My Prayer Today: I want to know you more today, Lord … and then even more tomorrow! Amen