“See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools bus as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.’ (Ephesians 5:15-16)
It is clear that we are living in the last days. Though we do not know the day or the hour that Christ will return, we do know that we must be good stewards of our time until He returns. Often in our effort to redeem the time, however, we neglect the “one thing that is needful”: we fill our schedule with busyness instead of actually doing business with and for God. For this reason, Paul followed his exhortation for the Ephesians to redeem the time with further wisdom; “Therefore do not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).
Knowing God’s will requires listening to His heart. If we are to effectively use every moment that God has given us, we need to be willing to slow down and wait upon Him. As we wait, He will reveal to us how to use the time He’s given us strategically—with vision and with wisdom.
God’s word for us today is “listen and obey.” We cannot obey His voice if we do not listen to His voice. This is why Jesus told busy Martha that Mary had chosen the one thing that was needful—to sit at His feet and hear His voice (Luke 10:38-42). Note that Jesus did not say that service is unnecessary. But His Words advise us that when we sit at His feet, we will gain the direction and the strength necessary to serve Him as He desires: with purpose and power. Our service to Him will have eternal impact only if it flows from relationship with Him.
Jesus said, “…the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father doing…” (John 5:19). We need to be careful to not do anything of ourselves, but only what the Father desires. This requires seasons of waiting, watching and listening—being filled by His wisdom and strength that we might be poured out as a drink offering. When we wait, He will speak. He will move in us and through us as He did in the disciples, who obediently and patiently waited for His power to come from on high before they moved forward (Acts 1). And we are still experiencing the blessings of their obedience today.