Friday, May 31, 2019
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
The Unseen Battle As followers of Christ, we’re reminded that we live and walk in a dark world (Eph 5:8-11). Unbeknownst to us, there are unseen, spiritual forces that are trying to pull us down in our walk (Eph 6:12). These forces can affect the situations and people around us. Sometimes, we just go about, living our life, and we forget this unseen battle and we forget that we have an enemy who seeks to destroy (1 Peter 5:8). You may remember Mr. Magoo the often clueless, retiree who continued to get into trouble because of of his extreme nearsightedness and his need to always be right. The Bible reminds us to open our eyes and recognize this battle because “the days are evil.”
Power for Every Problem
Thankfully, as followers of Christ, we have the Spirit living and residing in our hearts and we have the power to overcome. With every problem, we have the power to be victorious and with every temptation we have been provided with a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13). We do not have to participate in the deeds of darkness around us. Although we have the power, we have to appropriate this power. It begins with the “want to.” The first thing we should long to do is to be obedient to Christ’s commands. We must remember who we are and whose we are. We should long passionately to please our heavenly Father. Second, we are to be aware of our surroundings. We’re reminded, “look carefully.” We to examine our lives in light of God’s commands and make any corrections necessary. As Christians, there are things that we should be doing and things that we should not be doing. God’s Word reveals His perfect will for us. Finally, we are to “make the best use of the time.” Our stay upon this earth is brief and we are all just passing through. We need to remember that each day is a gift and we are to use it wisely.
Tired and Cranky
I was the new pastor at First Baptist Grain Valley. At the time, I was in transition from my work at Life 88.5 to the church. I would do the morning show (be up at about 3:30 AM) and then head to Grain Valley to serve in the church. My wife and I were still living in Belton while we were remodeling the house in Grain Valley. It’s about a 40-minute drive. It was Sunday night and I had preached twice in the morning and just finished the Sunday night service. It had been a long day and I was pretty tired. I still had a 40-minute drive back to Belton and then had to be up at 3:30 in the morning. That afternoon, while I was in meetings, my wife had driven down to Nebraska Furniture Mart to pick up our stove. They loaded it for her in the back of my truck and that’s where it sat. I knew it needed to come out and be brought in the house and I also knew that I could not do it alone. I knew that she, although willing, would not be able to help lift it. I had talked to one of the guys, Paul, at church and thankfully he was willing to help. He lived down the street. My truck was already in my driveway with the stove in the back. I just needed to back it up to the front door. When Paul arrived, I hurried outside and hopped in my vehicle. I just wanted to get it done and get on the road.
What in the World Happened?
Unfortunately, it was dark, and I could not see out of the back window because of the big box that housed the stove. “Not a big deal,” I thought, no one lives across the street and it’s wide open. I knew there was a light pole there, but I was pretty sure it was back quite I ways. I knew that my truck tires could safely hit the curb and I would still have plenty of room. I looked both ways out of the side windows and backed up slowly. All of a sudden there was a thud and my truck’s progress came to a halt. I couldn’t figure out what it the world had happened. At first, I thought maybe something was wrong with the truck. Then, I figured, “I hit that light pole!” Now, not only was I tired, but I was a little concerned, and a little huffy. Climbing out I said to myself, “what kind of place is that to put a power pole?” Upon closer examination, I was horrified. It wasn’t a power pole. I had backed into Paul‘s car! He had parked it on the street behind me. I hit the guy’s car who came to help me! I never saw it. It was late and dark. His car was dark blue and I was in a rush. I did not take the time to examine my surroundings.
My attitude changed instantly. I went from being a little frustrated and huffy, to being extremely remorseful, apologetic, and fearful. I could not believe it! I had always prided myself on being an excellent driver and being extremely careful and here I back into a car. Just like me, he was in shock. His car now had a dent in the front bumper. “Oh my gosh,” I said, “I am so sorry, I don’t know what happened.” He chuckled and said, “hey it’s no big deal. It’s just a car that I use for work. It’s no problem.” I was horrified and said, “it is a big deal. I can’t believe it. We’ll get it fixed no problem.” He chuckled again and said, “seriously, it’s no big deal. I’m not worried about it.” I learned a valuable lesson that day about looking behind me. In my mind, I knew that I had nothing to worry about, but I let my guard down. I did not “look carefully.” Spiritually, we need to be aware of our surroundings and the potential, spiritual dangers and challenges that could ruin our day and possible our witness.