Ephesians 5.17 says, ‘Do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.’
If you are a Christian, you probably want to know God’s will. And if you are like me, that is not something you have always found easy.
Isn’t it surprising that in this verse, understanding God’s will is a command? So, there must be something we can do on our end to better discern God’s leading and direction.
The Greek word for ‘foolish’ is ‘aphron’ and the meaning is interesting. It means without reason, senseless, acting rashly, without reflection. Conversely, the Greek word for ‘understand’ is ‘syniemi’ which means to consider and join together in the mind.
Paul is teaching us that the careful life is a reflective life.
We cannot live carefully and rashly at the same time. Following God is a thoughtful process. It takes prayer, listening, more prayer and often waiting as well.
Have you ever sensed God speaking to you about something and everywhere you look you see that same message? You hear a sermon on Sunday and then something similar pops up in your daily Bible reading and then a friend mentions a verse, etc. Like a jigsaw, God’s leading can be discovered piece by piece.
But if we aren’t reflective, we can miss these precious fragments of God’s providence in our lives.
In the parable of the sower, Jesus explains the meaning of the seed that falls on rocky soil and is gobbled up by birds.
‘When anyone hears the message about the Kingdom and does not understand it the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.’ (Matthew 13.19)
Will it surprise you to know that ‘understand‘ is the same Greek word we see in the Ephesians passage?
No sermon or Bible study or personal prophetic word will bear fruit in my life unless I understand it. Unless I take time to consider it, wrestle with it, submit to it and apply it, it is absolutely useless.
If every week I forget the sermon before I eat my lunch it has no value in my life whatsoever. We have to chew on things to get the goodness from them.
Ken Gire says, ‘The reflective life is a life that is attentive, receptive and responsive to what God is doing in us and around us.‘
Being attentive, receptive and responsive to God’s truth will always position me to know His will and to live a beautifully fruitful life as I follow Him.