See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
There’s an old saying that when opportunity knocks, answer the door! From a strictly secular perspective this is great advice. We must take advantage of great opportunities in our lives in order to find some measure of success. As an Air Force officer I was offered the opportunity to see the world. It certainly shaped my perspective on life and leadership as I traveled around the globe. In a single day I would move from one of the wealthiest nations in the world to some of the most impoverished people groups alive. The opportunities to dine with Muslims, Hindus and Christians from other nations. I lived in 5-star hotel one day and a tent in the desert the next. I would never trade away these opportunities for anything in the world as God used these experiences to mold and shape me.
Just as our federal government offered me great opportunities to succeed, God offers us a great opportunity. But like most opportunities, it won’t last forever. We must seize this opportunity now! Not tomorrow, not next week, not next month and not next year. God does not ask us to wait when it comes to this opportunity because time is very, very short. Here it is:
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
So what exactly is this opportunity that we must take hold of if we are going to fully understand God’s plan for our lives? Great question. Let’s see if we can answer it.
(Prepare Yourself for the Opportunity) LIVE PURPOSELY. Paul states in verse 15 that we are to “walk circumspectly.” A more common translation would be to live your life thoughtfully, carefully and purposely with regards to following Jesus Christ. Jesus and His Word must be at the forefront of our minds at all times, no matter what. Jesus emphatically states this in John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Abide means to “fellowship with” or “keep your focus on.” When this happens—whatever we ask for will be done. Why? Again the answer is because our desires will be Jesus’ desires because we are completely focused on Him. If we take our eyes off of Christ, then we will lose the opportunity He has for us.(Prepare Yourself for the Opportunity) LIVE WISELY. We are not only challenged to live purposely and carefully, but we must also live wisely. Certainly if I am living purposely for Christ then it would seem that I will also live wisely. Living wisely is simply a reemphasis of purposeful living. The Ephesians were not for some pretty unwise living as they worshiped their god Bacchus through drinking, partying, sexual orgies that drove them to act like madmen. Paul was saying that it was time to put all this foolishness aside and act like Christians.(Seize the Opportunity) REDEEM THE TIME: So, here it is. Here’s our opportunity—Redeem the time! Galatians 6:10 offers us a similar challenge related to “redeeming” or seizing opportunity, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Our opportunity here in Ephesians is to grab hold of the occasion to make the most of Christ. We are not just talking about making the most of time but making the most of the time that is the time to bring glory to Jesus. Every action, every word, and every thought must be for Jesus’ glory. This is our opportunity right now. Just as a cunning businessman never misses the opportunity to make the deal, we must never miss the opportunity to glorify Jesus. Why? Because the days are evil. Time is short and iniquity abounds. Perhaps you have noticed that our society is normalizing sin and perversion at an alarming rate. People will be less and less receptive to the truths of God’s Word as the desires of our sinful nature rule the day. A recent survey of college men found that 75 percent of them would rape a woman if they knew they would not get caught. Another study found that 65 percent of men and women were willing to administer lethal amounts of electricity to a victim for personal gain. Wickedness abounds and we must seize every opportunity for Jesus.
We must stop wasting time! Many people are confused as to God's will for their lives. We go on wasting time and goofing off as if life is a sort of preschool play time. We do our own things and never really pursue God, therefore never really seeking the will of God for our lives. Stop wasting and start redeeming!