So said Elmer Fudd in his classic pursuit of Bugs Bunny, and so says Paul to us in our pursuit to make the most of our days, and our attempts and desires to live for God, his honor, his kingdom and glory, and for his purposes.
Now, why would Paul say to be “very careful”? He does so because the days are evil, and because they are, they tempt us and try to get us off-track through distraction and disorientation.
Therefore, what Paul does here is remind us of our focus. Just like Elmer Fudd had a laser-like focus on capturing Bugs, so too, we are to have a laser-like focus on making the most of every opportunity. But how do we do that? The keys are found in verse 18 (where we are instructed to be filled with the Spirit) and verse 17 (where we are told to understand what the Lord’s will is). Once we have these two things down, the rest of the passage becomes helpful guidance about how to live out our desires.
Today would be a good day to evaluate how careful you’ve been lately. Have you been attentive to doing your part to be filled with the Spirit? Are you living in submission to the Spirit’s guidance and direction in your life, surrendering your will to his when there is a conflict about who might be right? Are you praying and asking for help, for guidance, for strength or for perspective as you go throughout your day? Are you pausing to be aware of his presence? If you are, you’re doing what Paul has in mind here.
And what about understanding what the Lord’s will is? We discern this through the constant renewal of our minds by the Spirit and the Scriptures. Making sure we are in the Word regularly really helps with understanding his will.
LIVE THE STORY: We have a list of things to do and not do in verses 15-21. As you prayerfully think about this text and your day, what is God saying to you about what he wants you to do more of and maybe do less of? What’s one thing you sense he is calling you to work on with him over the next 24 hours or so?
The good news, no, the great news from today’s passage is that it is possible to make the most of every opportunity that God gives us. The key is to be careful, be vewy, vewy careful.