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The Will of the Lord

“Therefore ‘do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is’” (Ephesians 5:17, NKJV).

The fifth chapter of Ephesians is full of instructions on how to live out the Christian life and how to live worthy of the calling with which we are called. There are simple admonitions: do not lie, do not steal, do not sin in anger. A whole course on practical Christian living in a few verses.

The verse above has some general statements and implications that I find far-reaching. First, I have a responsibility. I am not to be unwise in living my life. God has provided extensive teaching in His Word that yields wisdom and understanding, practical wisdom

for life, not the classroom. And I am to learn and put that wisdom into practice. Whatever advice I get from my friends may be wise or unwise, but that should not determine how I live. God’s wisdom should determine how I live. Whatever my thinking on some matter is, it may be wise or unwise, but that should not determine how I live. God’s wisdom should.

The internet has become an incredible marketplace of ideas and human wisdom. You can listen to a TedTalk about seemingly anything. Pick any subject, and YouTube channels and podcasts will be readily available. I listen to quite a bit of this. Some are good and helpful, some are not, and some amount to “swapping buckets of ignorance.” But how do we know? With so many voices competing to instruct us, how do we know which to heed? We need to learn true wisdom from our Father. Podcasts and the like may help us, but ultimately, we need to seek God’s wisdom.

A second thought is that God has a will, and that will is to govern my life in all areas. Some

people are convinced that God created the world, but now has nothing to do with our affairs; we are on our own. He wound the world up and let it go. This is called Deism. I think one reason people conclude this is the amount of evil and abuse in the world, particularly when innocents are involved. But this verse tells me God has not abandoned His world. He has an active will for it and for me individually, and I am to learn and carry that will out.

Third, we can know His will. The people who first received this letter were not highly educated. Some were bondservants, some could not read and had to have the letter read to them. Those who could read generally only heard it audibly because there were no copies available for the common people for a long time. And yet a bondservant, who could not read but could hear this read on a Sunday, was told that he could be wise by understanding the will of the Lord. You and I can also. The will and wisdom of God are not locked up in the

hands of experts and highly educated people. If you can read Greek, great, but if not, you

can still know the will of the Lord. If you have a Bible degree, great, but if not, you can still know the will of the Lord.

May God bless us all with a desire to know and the courage to be faithful to the will of

our Father in Heaven.

—John Ostic

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