“Be careful how you walk, not as unwise people but as wise. Making the most of your time because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
Tears escaped as I sat down on a curb on a busy street. Yes, I looked pretty foolish.
As I walked around my neighborhood, a sermon played in my headphones. It was a season of confusion as I wrestled with some decisions regarding time commitments. I felt like I was wasting too much time on things that didn’t matter; I wanted my priorities to be God’s priorities. So, when I heard the pastor read this passage of scripture from Ephesians 5, I dropped in the middle of the sidewalk, sat on the curb, rewound this section of the sermon, and listened to these words on repeat.
It seemed God wanted me to hear these verses on that day. I fell in love with these words of wisdom and committed them to memory soon after.
The apostle Paul was writing to the church in Ephesus, encouraging the people he loved dearly to live with intention, live a life that honors God and follow Christ’s example. His writing reflects a sense of urgency because of the morally evil times in which they were living.
These words apply to us today.
Be careful how you walk, Paul says first. Walk as a wise person would. Think about how you are spending the majority of your time. How is it honoring God? How is it not?
Next, he says to make the most of our time because the days are evil. We can look around our culture and see how dark it seems, as did Paul in his day. So, how do you make the most of your time, practically speaking? What are your priorities in these dark days? Are you shining God’s light? What time wasters can you shed?
Lastly, Paul admonishes us not to be foolish but to understand the will of God. I believe the general will of God is simply reading His word each day, loving Him and others, and sharing His message. So, how does that look in your life?
Yes, we need rest and fun, and that is all good. But to truly live a life of purpose takes evaluation and time, time feasting on God’s word. And living with intention motivates us, focusing us on what matters most—enabling us to drop what isn’t best and to tackle our priorities.
And when we do this, we have more time.
After I got off that hard curb, I brushed away the tears and slowly began to live with focused intention. This passage became the theme scripture of my life and has guided me over the years as I seek to live on purpose for God’s purposes.
I pray this beloved passage will do the same for you.