To walk wisely, you must know what God wants you to be, what dangers to avoid, and how to take advantage of the opportunities that God gives you. Some of the popular TV preachers will tell you that God wants to help you fulfill your dreams. But that’s backwards, because it leaves you as the lord of your life and makes God your servant. The Bible is clear that God is the Sovereign and we are His servants. We exist to fulfill His will, not vice versa! So it is vital to know from Scripture, where does God want us to go with our lives? Much more could be said about that, but note these four things in relation to what God want you to be:
1. God want you to please and glorify Him with your life. Colossians 1:10 says that we are “to please Him in all respects.” Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:9 that his ambition was “to be pleasing to Him.” He wrote in 1Corinthians 10:31, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” As the Westminster Shorter Catechism puts it, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” To glorify God, in simple terms, means to make Him look good, as He truly is. You extol, magnify, and exalt His person and attributes through praise, honor, thanksgiving, trust, and obedience. To do this requires a second goal:
2. God wants you to know Him more deeply. You can only extol, magnify, exalt, and glorify God to the extent that you truly know Him as He has revealed Himself in His Word. I personally believe that our chief problem as believers today is that we do not know God as deeply as we ought. Paul said in Philippians 3:7-8 that he counted everything else in life as loss and rubbish in order that he might know Christ. The only way that we can know Him is as He has revealed Himself in His Word. So as you read the Bible over and over, from cover to cover (not just your favorite verses ha ha!), ask God to open your eyes so that you come to know Him more deeply. Moses said in Exodus 33:18 “Show me Your glory.”
3. God wants you to be a godly person. You can only glorify God to the extent that you display His holiness through your obedient life. As 1 Peter 1:14-16 puts it, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” Jesus said in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” To walk wisely, so that your life counts for eternity, ask God to give you that hunger and thirst after His righteousness. He promises that you will be blessed and satisfied when you pursue that course. Sin always brings pain and sorrow.
4. God wants you to proclaim His Excellencies by your life and works. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Or, as Paul has told us in Ephesians 5:8, “You were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light.”
Thus God wants you to be growing in the direction of pleasing and glorifying Him with your life. You will do this as you come to know Him more deeply and grow in godly character. He wants to use your transformed life (from darkness to light) to display His excellencies, both by your behavior and your words as you bear witness to the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, let’s look at how to get there.Again, much more could be said, but note three things:
1. You must discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness. You can sit around wishing that you were godly for the next ten years, but it won’t happen! According to 1 Timothy 4:7 you must discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness. In all of my years of ministry, I would say that the presence or absence of self-discipline is one of the most determinative factors in whether a person will do well or have serious problems in their Christian life. Self-control or discipline is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Paul compares discipline for godliness with physical exercise and the analogy is helpful in thinking about how to do it. The athlete sets a goal and then works hard to reach that goal. By definition, self-discipline means going against your feelings for a higher goal. Also, discipline is an ongoing process and not a quick fix. You must set aside all hindrances, keep your eye on the goal, and manage your time in line with your goal.
2. Godly discipline includes the discipline intake and application of God’s Word. Paul says that we should walk as wise people, not as unwise. Proverbs 2:6 tells us where wisdom comes from: “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 says He has given us His wisdom in the Bible and especially in the message of the cross. To be a godly person who glorifies Him through your life, you must be getting a steady intake of His Word. As Psalm 1 pictures it, the godly man meditates on God’s Word day and night, so that he is like a tree planted by a river. His deep roots sustain him in times of drought. You should have a plan to read constantly and consecutively from both the Old and New Testaments. I also try to read a daily portion from the Psalms or Proverbs.
3. You must learn to think biblically about all of life. Walking wisely requires that you be a thinking person. But, not just thinking logically, but also thinking biblically. You should develop a biblical worldview, so that you filter news, movies, literature, moral issues, and all of life through a biblical framework.
Thus, to walk wisely, you must know where God wants you to go and how to get there. While all of our times are in God’s hands according to Psalm 31:5, He wants us to walk wisely, redeeming the time, in accordance with His sovereign will. No matter who you are, if you walk with Christ and grow wise through His Word, He can use you greatly for His eternal purpose.
Let’s pray: “Heavenly Father, please order my steps according to your divine will and purpose for my life. In Jesus Name, Amen!”
One Simple Nugget: “Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory!”