Today we are looking at Ephesians 5:15-17, “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” (NLT) Satan uses distractions to keep us from fulfilling our calling. He distracts us in many ways. It is up to us to be aware of those distractions and keep focused on what God is calling us to do. Paul is telling the Ephesians that they must have a consistent walk, a walk that is filled with wise decisions. When the enemy tries to persuade us from doing what we are called to do, he will put ideas into our heads that may look good at first glance but are pure foolishness when we truly consider what he is suggesting.
We must be so careful that we don’t allow him to persuade us into making foolish decisions that would hinder our walk with the Lord. David knew from where the source of wisdom came, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.” (Psalm 28:26 KJV)
A prime example of Satan’s distractions is finding things for us to do that would pull us away from doing what God has called us to do. It could be anything from television and the computer to finding fun things that we would rather do than what God has called us to do. The enemy distracts us from doing daily Bible study and prayer time telling us that we can do that later or reminding us of a “to do” list, telling us “You don’t have time for God right now you have to do….” Sometimes he distracts us with seeming emergencies when for the most part, they can be taken care of later.
Sometimes he distracts us in ways that, at first, seem good. He may push us into doing what God wants for us, but not in God’s timing. Satan will push us to go ahead of God, and instead of being on track and in step with God, the enemy pushes us over the cliff, and we head for disaster. Solomon warns, “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” (Proverbs 4:25-27 ESV) Notice he said to “ponder the path of your feet.” We should thoughtfully and prayerfully consider the steps we take. What we are about to do might be what God wants for us, but not at this time! In this way, Satan distracts us from being in step with God and His plan for us.
God, Himself told us that His ways, His timing, His thoughts are not like our own. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9 KJV) We should not go ahead of God and His timing. Peter reminded the early church, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8 KJV) As humans, we can be very impatient. When things aren’t going as quickly as we would like, we sometimes jump ahead of God.
The Bible tells us that Satan is crafty. He doesn’t distract in obvious ways. He’s a sneak! “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14 (NIV) He disguises himself and his deceptions cleverly so that we don’t recognize him and his plans until it’s too late. Revelation tells us that he is the deceiver of the whole world. (Revelation 12:9) His distractions deceive many into thinking that they are ok on their own and don’t need to follow God.
The Bible tells us how to avoid the enemy’s distractions. “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 ESV) Notice, Peter says he prowls around LIKE a lion, not that he is a lion. He may roar and cause all kinds of distractions and trouble, but because we are in God’s hands, he can’t touch us. “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7 NASB 1995) When we follow the Bible’s instructions, then we are walking in wisdom. As we heed the Word, we turn away from foolishness and make wise decisions that give honor and glory to God. Today, walk in wisdom!