“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 5:15-17
The thought nagged at me for days, but I kept shoving it to the back of my mind. I was busy with little kids with ear infections and housework, avoiding the unpleasant complaining I knew the phone call would bring to my unwilling ears. The urge to make call my friend wouldn’t go away, but I stubbornly ignored it for two whole weeks.
The phone ringing as we were getting ready for bed was odd. It startled both my husband and I. We sat down on the edge of the bed in disbelief, the tragedy in the life of our friends’ unreal and shocking. Then I remembered that irritating nudge to pick up the phone. Was there anything I could have said which would have changed things? Would my phone call have made a difference?
Thirty years later, I still remember. I have no trouble believing God was behind the incessant urging. I still doubt the ability of my words to change a situation which had been growing for years—yet how can I know that even my willingness to be a listening ear might have turned the tide somehow.
I have no way of knowing how God intends to use me in the lives of the people around me. I don’t know what will happen in the next days, weeks or even years that might cause something I said to make a difference in what someone else chooses to do. I have no idea what impact God could make through my obedience to that recurring thought that just won’t go away—what might happen if I obeyed instead of ignored. I think I learned the lesson of obedience though.
Paul urged the Ephesians to live carefully, to live wisely. I can never get back that opportunity to act in obedience to Him. We live in evil days when Christians are tempted by so many things.
Proverbs says that fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Do you pray for wisdom when you feel the urging of the Holy Spirit? Have you ever failed to do what you were being urged to for selfish reasons?
Be careful about how you react to the inner voice of the Holy Spirit. Make the most of the opportunities God gives you and act in obedience rather than selfish indifference. Be alert to when God’s opportunities knock. Your choice might make all the difference for someone else.
Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston-Holtman & 2MefromHim Ministries, 2011. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission of author.