Here it is January, and many people made new year’s resolutions. We think about the new year that is upon us and what we may want to do with it. What I know is that I woke up today – I don’t know that I will wake up tomorrow – none of know the number of days the Lord has given us. Instead of thinking about losing weight in the next year or becoming more physically and fiscally fit, I want my life to be more in tune with the Lord and what He wants me to pursue. I chose to pursue His wisdom. With this in mind, I want to share the following devotional from Dr. Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries:

Do you ever find yourself stunned by the circumstances of your life? Perhaps you’ve been genuinely surprised by the negative consequences you experience as the result of unwise decisions. When things go wrong, it’s common to wonder, What happened? and What did I do to deserve this?

Many times, people don’t ask the Lord to reveal wisdom on a matter before they act. Or they fail to take positive, precautionary measures. Still others choose to associate with individuals who are an influence for evil rather than good.

Foolish choices often lead to a snowballing effect of worsening circumstances. One bad decision leads to another, and the end result is costly. The sad news is that we suffer the consequences of our unwise actions whether we recognize our foolishness or not.

The apostle Paul wrote this challenge to the Ephesians: Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Eph. 5:15-17).

In these two verses, God makes three things clear:

We must choose to pursue wisdom. It’s up to each of us to determine how we will walk through this life. Wisdom is not something a person stumbles into or acquires automatically. It must be sought out and pursued.

We must seek God’s plan. The person who walks in wisdom is aware of how he affects the world and how the world affects him. He recognizes that every person faces three enemies in life: the world system, the Devil, and the flesh. He seeks to know God’s plans and purpose—not only for his personal life, but also for every situation involving the people around him.

Those who love and search for wisdom have God’s promise that they will find it. Personified as a woman in the book of Proverbs, Wisdom says, “I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me” (8:17). Jesus affirmed Solomon’s counsel when He said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matt. 7:7-8).

We must take responsibility for applying wisdom to our lives. The person who walks in wisdom feels a responsibility for his actions and use of time. He knows that he has been given a limited quantity of minutes, hours, days, months, and years. He is aware that that those hours must be spent in a way that produces the largest amount of good. God has entrusted him with certain resources that must be used to further His kingdom.

The Christian who walks wisely is acutely aware of the Enemy of his soul who seeks to ensnare him through temptations and enslave him through the world’s system. He lives with soberness and caution, saying “no” to anything that undermines God’s will.

Wisdom is something we choose to live out, not a vague entity. It is related to the concrete, material world and is applicable to every life circumstance.

God calls us to be wise in every decision of our lives. We need His wisdom in our business dealings, health choices, relationships, parenting, finances, and our walks with Him. No area of life is beyond need, ignored by God’s Word, or off-limits to His wisdom.

Not everyone can become famous, wealthy, or educated. But the good news is, anyone can become wise. No matter who you are or where you live, you can reverence God, receive Jesus Christ as Savior, and submit your life to the Lord on a daily basis. Will you accept God’s challenge to become wise and walk in His wisdom daily?

Adapted from “Walking Wisely” by Charles F. Stanley, 2002.