Walking Wisely - Ephesians 5:15-21

Walking Wisely

My children sometimes have a difficult time putting others first. Additionally, they don’t make the smartest decisions in their everyday lives. However, this is wisdom that they may not know yet. My wife and I do our best to instill proper discernment in their lives, but sometimes personal experiences provide the best examples. 

Paul calls us to walk wisely and utilize our time wisely. Christ may return at any time, so what are we doing as Christians to be good stewards of the remaining time God has given us? Are we being foolish in our actions, or are we being submissive to the will of God?

Ephesians 5-21
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Earlier in the chapter, Paul first calls us to walk as children of light. Now he is telling us to watch out and be careful. We need to be prudent about where and how we walk. Why? Because the days are evil. In the NKJV, it uses the word to walk circumspectly, which means to carefully consider all the circumstances. As we go about our lives, we need wisdom from God to discern His will for us and to have insight into the direction we need to go because time is of the essence. We don’t know when Jesus will come back, but we need to be ready and wisely utilize the time given. How often do we waste time? Sometimes, we sit and plan and plan but miss an opportunity that presents itself. Sometimes we use the excuse that we are ‘waiting on the Lord’ but not taking action that He calls us to do. God desires us to be good stewards of the time given to us and return the investment He has poured into our lives through love.

The days are evil…If Paul only knew how far this world has declined…These words ring true today. There is so much corruption in our society today, which is why Paul is calling us to utilize our time wisely for the benefit of building the body of Christ. The best wisdom we can ever ask for is the discernment of God’s will. What more must we ask for than what God wants for our lives? 

Do not be a fool and act according to the world and worldly pleasures. Paul calls us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul means that this is a continual and consistent act of filling, not a one-time thing. Getting drunk is immoral and clouds our minds, and affects our judgment and self-control. It leads to a wasted resource for Christ. Additionally, we people struggle or face tough times, the answer is not at the bottom of a bottle. The answer to the emptiness is being actively filled with the Holy Spirit. 

When we are actively being filled with the Holy Spirit and gaining more understanding through the Word of God, our words WILL be uplifting and praising. Our hearts will desire more of Him and want to make a joyful noise to our Lord. Are we always giving thanks and for everything? The only way to continually give thanks for everything and always is to fully trust that ALL things work together for those who love the Lord. It is our submissive trust and faith in God that allows us to be so confident that we give thanks in all things. 

Finally, we are to submit to one another out of the fear, or reverence, of God. We submit to one another by putting others before ourselves. Taking a step back and elevating those around us. We do this out of love for Jesus Christ. We need to make ourselves low so that He is elevated. God gives us the tools needed, but we are to be carefully walk and seek His wisdom so that we don’t fall into the sin of today’s evil world. We are set apart because of Christ, and we are to humbly submit to the Holy Spirit for what He calls us to do. Then, when our hearts are receptive and seeking Him, we will praise God in everything. 

I encourage all of us to have a submissive heart but the wisdom to walk prudently in today’s society. Ask for strength to be the witness to those around you. Encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ and strive to put others above yourself. Be an example to the youth of today so that they may learn to have an intimate relationship with Christ.
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