Luke 16.8-9 observes, here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right —using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior. MSG
What does it mean to be kingdom street smart? For this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus. A clue is found in this passage, we are to be focused on the things above and not be sucked into the things of this world. Like the man on the streets who is wary of the pimp, the drug dealer, the gang leader who might grab him for his own evil purposes, so too the man of God must be wary of the allurement of power, pleasure, and possessions from taking him off God’s purposes.
The man of God is concerned with getting to heaven not living well on earth. His goal is to be kingdom rewarded not earthly recognized. This means he cannot get trapped by the things of the world, the pursuit of power, pleasure and possessions but must remain vigilant to avoid those things. Therefore, to survive he must eat, he must find shelter, he must look for safety. These things are found in the Word of God, the presence of God and the work of God.
The Word of God is our food, the presence of God is our refuge, and the work of God is our reward by which we are recognized as His both now and in the age to come. The heavenly wise man places his priority on daily eating from God’s Word so that he can truly live. He seeks solitude with God so he can be comforted and secured in the love of his Creator. He remains active in helping others find Jesus so that he can be found busy at his Master’s business. The man of God knows when Jesus returns it will be unexpectedly to judge each man by His will as recorded in His Word and he does not want to be found wanting.
Being heavenly wise is to be focused on the kingdom of God by not allowing ourselves to be sucked into the ways of this world; the pursuit of power, pleasure and possessions, but by knowing God’s Word, seeking God’s presence and doing God’s will.