February 28, 2015

Ephesians 5:15-16 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

This comes across as timely, because the days are certainly evil! We are inundated with news of evil, with moral depravity and cruelty that stretch our imaginations in ways they didn’t want to stretch. It is all a form of terrorism on the part of the devil, because he wants to instill fear and destroy peace however he can. We aren’t to let him get away with it! We can’t change how others act, necessarily, but we can change how we respond, and that’s how we gain the victory. James gives us the first instructions: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7) John follows that up with the key to it all: “Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4) If we are paralyzed with fear, we aren’t going to be wisely threading the minefield of life and making the most of the opportunities God gives us. Some people are aware of the threats of violence but are oblivious of the moral dangers, but often the moral dangers are greater, because physical violence is limited to this life but morality echoes into eternity. A disciple of Christ is not going to ignore the evil that is everywhere, but he is not going to be overcome by it either. This calls for wisdom and self-control in the moral area and wisdom and faith in the area of physical danger. However, in it all, God is giving each of us opportunities to share His grace and love, rescuing people out of the clutches of the devil for their salvation and for great joy, in heaven and on earth. (Luke 15:10)

This is my current situation, as it is for every believer. I am not to be discouraged by all the evil, and I am not to be distracted from the task at hand. That last is a real issue, because in this information age there is no end to the news of evil that pours in. I’m not to be ignorant, but I am not to be consumed by it either. Time has always been limited on an individual scale, both in terms of how long we have to be able to share the Gospel and how long someone has to respond to the Gospel, but the sense that we are nearing the climax of the ages is inescapable. I am not to get frantic, thinking it depends on me, but I am to be instantly available, indeed making the most of every opportunity, so that as many as possible may be brought from death to life while there is still time. That actually is no different for me than it was for believers in the 1st Century. However, I must certainly not be complacent or indifferent, but rather allow the Holy Spirit to burn brightly within me, for the glory of God.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I am reminded that I don’t really even know what wisdom is, that is, what is wise and what is not. However, I do know You, and that’s enough. Help me stay fully submitted to You at all times, resting, relaxing, and rejoicing in You no matter how busy my body might be at the task at hand. Help me not draw back from anything You assign, but rejoice to be Your servant, Your child, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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