Walking Carefully in these Evil Days
By Rev Tan Eng Boo
We were in Southern Israel on the way to visit a section of the Jordan River, when the bus we were in had to travel past a vast vacant land near the Jordanian border with this warning sign on both sides of the road. This was so foreign to us coming from Singapore, but in Israel, this was common in some parts of the territories.
Landmines are dangerous weapons of war. It could be buried for years. Many of these mines have been left alone since the Arab-Israeli six-day war in June 1967 and also the Yom Kippur war of October 1973. One of the dangers about land mines is that the mines can shift its position after a heavy downpour which can pose a danger to tourists who stray off the tracks.
These destructive traps are a fitting description for the subtle snares that await Christians engaged in the Lord’s work. “Spiritual landmines” can be every bit as dangerous as their mechanical counterparts—in fact, even more so, when you consider the eternal implications.
I am reminded of the words from scripture that we should:
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
Paul says, “Look carefully then how you walk.” The enemy has planted traps and mines to wipe you out. If you are a soldier on patrol in a minefield, you must know where the mines are placed and be careful to avoid them. Paul is saying that we must walk carefully as believers. We must choose our steps carefully, because the enemy has strewn the path with dangerous obstacles that will cause us serious harm if we are careless.
The days are evil, and the church is not spared from it. We face it every day. Trials and temptations buffet us from all directions (2 Timothy 3:1-5). The church may even be infiltrated by false teachers (2 Peter 2:1, 2). Look carefully! Be aware of what is going on around you and the church.
Take heed to what Paul says next, “walk wisely.” How am I to do so? In a military context you will use a mine detector to clear the mines. That is the way to walk wisely. In the context of church, I can only think of one way to do so. We all need to know our Bible well,
“so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:14).
Charting our way through a minefield
Knowing the Bible is good, but understanding what is the will of the Lord should be the priority of every Christian, because these are evil days (Ephesians 5:17). The will of the Lord is the navigation chart that tells us where we are going and how to get there. The Lord wants you to understand His will so that you can keep your life on course. Let us be informed of what is going on in the Christian church.
· Christendom today has been swarmed by compromises,. For example, the Church of England (Anglican) recently voted in favour of blessing same-sex unions (February 2023). Interestingly, “the Church of Uganda (Anglican) has re-emphasized its stance on denouncing homosexuality, a few days after the Church of England announced that its priests will be permitted to bless the civil marriages of same-sex couples” (LBSNews Day: February 16, 2023). The Bible is our authority over such issues. While we should show our Christian love to such people, we must not compromise our biblical stand with regards to their lifestyles.
· A new revival has also been reported in America. The 2023 Asbury revival is a Christian revival at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. Many young people have reportedly been moved by the Holy Spirit at meetings which lasted from February 8, 2023 through February 25, 2023, and it is still on-going. Is this truly a revival? We cannot be too quick to judge them.
This is where we need to navigate through the minefield with a mine detector (i.e. the Bible). “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). These are only some of the happenings in the church of Jesus Christ today. May this be our prayer:
“Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long”
(Psalm 25:4, 5)