Summary: 45th message from Ephesians dealing with knowing and doing God's will.
“Pull It Together”
I. Our Wealth and Worth In Christ 1-3
II. Our Worthy Walk in Christ 4-6
A. Live in Unity 4:1-16
B. Live in Newness of life 4:17-24
C. Live in Love 4:17-24
D. Live in Purity 5:3-14
E. Live in Wisdom 5:15-6:9
Wisdom is the practical application of data or knowledge. It applies to human relationships and general life skills. Paul expanded on this general instruction with five ways to specifically live wisely.
• Seize every opportune moment for eternal purposes (make the most of every moment).
• Understand the will of the Lord.
• Don’t zone out but tune in.
• Be continually enlightened and energized by the Holy Spirit.
• Live under submission
1. Seize every opportune moment for eternal purposes 5:15-16
Be careful how you live, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of (redeeming) the time, because the days are evil.
Use your time wisely because we live in evil times. Make good use of every opportunity to grow and serve.
2. Understand the will of the Lord 5:17
Today, we will finish exploring the subject of knowing the will of God and doing it.
Every verse of Scripture connects to the surrounding verses in some way. There is a divine logic that unfolds as you understand those connections. This verse is connected to the previous thought in verse 16 that spells out the urgency associated with the command to make the best use of our time. Use time wisely because we live in evil days. Because we live in evil days, we also must stop living foolishly but work to understand what the will of the Lord is.
This command has a negative and positive aspect. We are to discontinue a particular way of life and practice another. Stop that! Practice this!
In the face the evil days in which we live, we need to stop taking our clues from the culture around us and focus on what God wants. We need to understand the will of the Lord. We need to understand how God wants us to live during our remaining time in this evil age.
We looked at the three main terms used in this verse. "Foolish", "understand" and "will".
This term comes from a positive noun meaning to reign in ones thought and emotions. With a negative “un” or “a” it indicates a failure to reign in one’s thoughts and emotions or to be act foolishly. It was used to describe how a child generally functions. Children fail to properly reign in their thinking and emotions and act more impulsively. They have not learned to process those thought and emotions and act wisely. Proverbs tells us that foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child and the rod of discipline is needed to eradicate it. At the core of foolishness is a failure to think or act according to eternal principles or truth. The fool has declared in his heart there is not God. Foolish behavior fails to keep God at the center of life.
The fool denies or ignores God’s place in their lives. Paul exhorts them not to leave God out of the equation of their lives but to include Him. In contrast to living according to fleshly impulses, Paul called them to live with spiritual understanding. He told them to understand what the will of the Lord is.
The word for understand means to put together, figure out, comprehend. In contrast to failing to reign in our thinking and emotions Paul calls them to put it all together. So many operate by impulses rather than clear thinking. So many make decisions based on what they feel is right rather than what God says is right. Wise living carefully scrutinizes why we do what we do.
Wise living considers God's will in all our decision-making. Paul told them and us to get it together, understand, comprehend what the will of the Lord is in the matter. This kind of understanding not only knows what God wants but why.
It is one thing to know I shouldn’t steal. It is another to understand the principles of why it is wrong to steal and all of the consequences of such behavior. Understanding the command includes understanding the damage that it does to the soul and the hurt to the heart of God.
The term "will" refers to something that is determined, or desired, or something we wish or have an inclination toward. As we pull together the many Scriptures related to the will of God, the first thing that we discover is that there are at least two aspects to His will and a possible third category.
a. God’s Determined will
The determined will of God relates to those things that will without a doubt happen.