Day 7: WISDOM— Are You up for a Reality Check?
'Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’—Ephesians 5:15—20
You’ve made it through the first week of the fast—way to go … Heaven is cheering you on!
In our first week we focused on living selflessly with God, this week we focus on living wisely with one another.
Whilst growing up as a raging extrovert, I can’t pinpoint the time or reason for my transformation into an introverted character. I do recall that my ‘conversion’ deeply impacted my relationship with my wife, Suzie.
Struggling to socialise
I become a home-boy who struggled to socialise. Staying home meant an uninterrupted opportunity to read, pray and develop in my faith—[a nerd I know!].
Unbeknown to me, I had divorced what God had united together: loving God and loving others; developing spiritually and relationally; commitment to Jesus and interactions with His people.
Learn to live wisely
In his letter to the church in Ephesus, Paul instructed the church to not make my mistake. They were to live wisely (Ephes 5:15-20), demonstrating their beliefs by their behaviours.
He encouraged them to live circumspectly—not carelessly, haphazardly or without prudence.
3 Characteristics of wise living
Paul challenged them to live wisely all the time.
Sounds unachievable? You bet!
That’s why Paul specified three characteristics of wise living:
Embracing God’s will.
Empowered by God’s Spirit.
Exhorting God’s people.
You probably agree that we are often consumed by our daily activities that we either fail to recognise or apply God’s will in the heat of the moment.
God's plan requires …
That’s no surprise–because God’s plan requires selfless living. Wisdom from above is primarily selfless. So, how do we live wisely?
Paul alluded to the solution when he instructed the church to be filled by the Spirit.
To be controlled by the Spirit means …
To be filled means to be controlled constantly by the Spirit. And quite frankly this is how we can live wisely; making the right choices for the right reasons.
To be controlled by the Spirit is to say NO to our selfish agendas and seek God’s Spirit to manifest the character of Jesus in us.
Being controlled by the Spirit will transform the purpose and the nature of our interactions with one another.
It moves us from asking: ‘What interest can I gain?’ to ‘What investment can I make?’
Invest in each other
You see, Paul taught the church to invest in each other; to speak to one another in psalms, hymns and songs of the Spirit.
Does that sound like a worship service?
Does it mean that we simply walk around with open Bibles, hymnal books (if you still have them), and sing at each other like the Sound of Music?
Engage & interact
I think Paul was appealing to the church to engage in constructive and profitable interactions; exhibiting the Sound of the Spirit daily.
Throughout the second week of the fast you will be supported with diverse blogs that will prompt you to live wisely from the inside out.
Today's call to action
What are you going to change today to connect with someone in our church family that you don't normally associate with?
Join in the conversation
Share what you think stops us from transparently connecting with one another as followers of Jesus?