“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15,16, NIV).
The Apostle Paul’s admonition to the Christians in Ephesus is as relevant today as it ever was.
For many months, I have felt a fire burning within my soul for the future of America. With each passing day, the burning becomes even more intense. Neither silence nor inaction is an option I choose.
I haven’t always felt this way. Going back to the 1960s, my worldview was simple: “Live and let live. Be tolerant. Avoid conflict. It’s all good. America is great and will remain that way.”
My worldview has changed. I’m a Christian now with many decades of experience. For me, God’s Word is our road map. While everyone has the right to believe as they choose, in my view a Christian worldview is the only one that makes sense.
America is in trouble. While evil has always existed, even in a great country like ours, the practice of evil within our culture is accelerating at an alarming rate. With biblical values and principles serving as the measuring rod, the evidence is irrefutable: abortion, crime, Critical Race Theory (CRT), woke ideology, gender fluidity, disintegrating families, and removing God from the public square only scratch the surface.
What to do? These verses provide the answer—live wisely and make the most of every opportunity.
How do we do this? Here are a few thoughts:
Recognize that evil is destroying our country. Don’t just accept what I’m writing. View the issues I’ve mentioned above through the lens of Scripture. If you don’t agree with Scripture, ask the Lord to speak to your heart and give you wisdom to understand. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). The Lord will help you discern the consequences of policies and actions that run counter to God’s Word.
Understand the times. As a young infantry officer fighting in the jungles of South Vietnam, I put my life on the line almost every day. Despite my involvement in the war, I was clueless regarding my understanding of world events, even to include important issues facing America. Granted, the Wall Street Journal wasn’t being delivered to my field location. Still, up to this point in my life, I took little interest in current events beyond the sports world.
Shortly following my return from Vietnam, I committed my life to Christ. Growing in my faith through Bible reading, I came across this verse from 1 Chronicles 12:32: “From Issachar, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do—200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command.” The Holy Spirit awakened me to the wisdom and importance of that verse. Since that time, I’ve tried to understand the times and seek God’s wisdom for knowing what to do.
Ask God to help you make the most of every opportunity. In this information age we have access to inexhaustible information on millions of topics and issues. If you feel overwhelmed and are wondering how in the world you can know where and how to apply your talents and energies, you’re not alone!
But remember this. God has created you and put you on this planet for a purpose. You can discover that purpose. A great place to start is prayer. Prayer was life’s bedrock for a man God used to come to the aid of his nation.
Nehemiah was a Jew living in exile in Persia, far removed from his beloved homeland, Israel. In approximately 444 BC he received a report that his people back in Jerusalem were experiencing terrible times—they were in constant trouble and were living as a disgraced and defeated nation. The walls surrounding Jerusalem were broken down, leaving them exposed to attack. Read Nehemiah 1 and 2 for the biblical account.
Nehemiah was sad to the depths of his being. From a worldly standpoint, he was powerless to influence the situation. But, with God all things are possible. Nehemiah fasted and prayed for days. Then God opened a door of opportunity. Artaxerxes, the Persian king, intervened and sent Nehemiah to Jerusalem to help the situation. Not only did the king send Nehemiah, but he supplied the necessary support to help Nehemiah rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
As you seek the Lord to open doors of opportunity, God will show you. Have faith and be patient. The Lord will answer your prayer.
Act. America needs help, and God will provide what this country needs. How? Most of what God seeks to do will come through the actions of individual people like you. Throughout history God has used ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
The times are evil. The Lord commands us to live wisely and make the most of every opportunity. When your opportunity comes, will you roll up your sleeves and act?