Paul wrote, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17). There are three basic lessons we can learn from this admonition.
Wise VS. Unwise
The Bible repeatedly admonishes man to be wise. The very purpose of the book of Proverbs is to impart wisdom, especially to the young. “The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: to know wisdom and instruction…” (Prov. 1:1, 2). Many practical truisms about life can be gleaned from this book. However, the real thrust is godly wisdom. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7).
Wisdom, according to the Bible, is reverence for God and that which is holy. It has reference to morality and righteousness, not academics, science, politics, or things secular and worldly. A man may be wise and work a low-income job. A woman may have a third-grade education, but still be biblically wise. On the other hand, someone who has a doctorate degree and be considered a genius by the world, but biblically be a fool.
We Can Understand
Too many people have taught and many more believed that the will of God is beyond our ability to understand. They see the various religions and their practices and think it is impossible to figure out what is true. Among the denominations people generally believe only a few select people can understand the Bible and the rest of us are out of luck. It is too difficult, they believe.
With this concept, many have excused themselves from learning God’s will and living it. The result is apathy and sin.
On the Day of Judgment, no excuse will suffice. We are here commanded to understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph. 5:17). This means it is understandable; God would not command the impossible. He made man and the Bible. And, the latter was made for the former. A God of love did not leave us without the ability and opportunity to know Him and His will.
To further assure you that we can understand God’s will, read Ephesians 3:3, 4, where Paul said when we read we can understand as he did. Also, Jesus said, “You shall know the truth” (Jn. 8:32). Should we confidently believe the Savior or doubt Him?
The Will of The Lord: Where Found & Its Outcome
The will of the Lord is found in His Word.
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:10, 11).
We learn from this passage that God has revealed His will through the Holy Spirit. Jesus made this promise to the apostles in John 16:13, where He said the Spirit would guide them into “all truth.” Notice it does not say “some truth” or even “most truth,” but “all truth.” This means all truth was revealed in their lifetimes. No truth is being revealed today because it has already been revealed—and preserved in the New Testament (Jude 3).
Man does not know God’s will intuitively. It took the Spirit searching out the mind of God. Our feelings are not a safe guide, but often a dangerous one. To truly know God’s will we must turn to His Word.
When we do turn to the Word of God, where the will of God is found, we will be greatly blessed. John stated that we should avoid the things of the world (1 Jn. 2:15, 16). He said it is passing away, “but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 Jn. 2:17). That is, when we follow God’s will, we will have eternal life. Indeed, that is wise.