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Live Carefully

by Jane Jones
Summer 2009

Ephesians 5:15-18. Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit. [Prov. 23:20.]

I believe this is a word for the hour that we live in, it is a time to ďredeem (rescue from loss) the timeĒ as it says in the KJV. Sometimes I feel like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland ďNo time to say hello, goodbye, Iím late, Iím late, Iím lateĒ I am not always a good steward of my time and if Iím not disciplined I can go off on rabbit trails! When I am writing an article or preparing a Bible study and look up something that triggers an interest in me, the next thing I know it is an hour later and I am no further ahead in the task I sat down to do.

Paul says look carefully how you walk and live purposefully, so I am trying to exercise the logical side of my brain and get organized! I make a joke about it, but I am really sensing an urgency to be ready and prepared at all times.

The ten virgins knew the bridegroom was coming, just not the hour. Five were ready and five were not. In Jewish custom after the betrothal, the groom would go back to his home to prepare a place for his bride. This separation of a year, would give the bride time to prepare herself. On his return to fetch her, a shout would go out to warn her of his arrival - Matthew 25:6 But at midnight there was a shout, Behold, the bridegroom! Go out to meet him! (AMP) Are we the generation that will usher in the second coming of the Lord, the return of the Bridegroom for the Bride? Are we ready when the shout goes out?

The oil is found in the presence of the Lord. Zechariah saw a lamp stand with bowls on either side and two olive trees which gave a continuous supply of oil so that the light never went out. When we continually spend time in the presence of the Lord the light of the Lord in us will always burn brightly.

Zechariah 4:6 Then he said to me, This [addition of the bowl to the candlestick, causing it to yield a ceaseless supply of oil from the olive trees] is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit [of Whom the oil is a symbol], says the Lord of hosts. AMP

I have been drawn to read Daniel in the last few months and how he lived has spoken volumes to me. Here was a young man taken into captivity in a heathen land who knew how to live a Godly life in an ungodly world. He did not compromise his faith; he did not eat what was not healthy for him; in every way he refused to give into the pressure to conform to the world around him. He refused to stop praying knowing that it was better to obey God than man. He had the Word with him. Scripture tells us that he was reading the scroll of Jeremiah and the Lord gave him revelation of what the prophet was saying.

Because Daniel didnít compromise and he trusted in the Lord he was delivered from prison, from his enemies and from the lionís mouth. When the king wanted to know about his dream, Daniel got together with his friends to pray, trusted the Lord for the answer and the Lord revealed the dream and the interpretation to him. He had favour with the Lord and did not curry favour with man by flattery or attention but spoke the truth and the Lord showed himself strong on Danielís behalf and gave him favour with the kings.

Daniel 2:22 He reveals the deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness and the light dwells with Him! [Job 15:8; Ps. 25:14; Matt. 6:6.] AMP

Paul tells us in Ephesians to make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil and to firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is. We can make many excuses for not being ready, for not being filled and stimulated by the Spirit. In this world there is a smorgasbord of delights to titillate our flesh, a veritable banquet of pleasures offered for our delight and when we succumb to the desires of our flesh, we can lose our spiritual edge in hearing and knowing what the will of the Lord is for this hour.

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. (AMP)

Like Daniel the Lord is calling us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we know His perfect will. He is calling us not to give into the pressures of an ungodly society and when we look at the economy and at the darkness that is rampant in the world He wants us to trust Him to deliver us because, just as He was faithful to Daniel He is faithful to deliver us from all that would devour us. He is calling us to live by Biblical standards in a world that in many areas doesnít live by those standards.

Daniel 11:32 ÖÖÖ..but the people who know their God shall prove themselves strong and shall stand firm and do exploits [for God].

When we look carefully how we walk and ask the Lord to direct our steps we will do great exploits for the sake of His kingdom and even in darkness people will see the light of Christ in us.


      Jane Jones is ARM's National Prayer Coordinator
      and worships at St. Peter's, Okotoks, AB.

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