Walk In Wisdom

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Ephesians 5:15-16 (NKJV) See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
The Greek word translated circumspectly in verse 15 carries with it the idea of “precision and accuracy”—but also has the idea of looking, examining, and investigating something with great care. But this Greek word further includes with it the idea of alertness
.So, Paul is telling us, “See that you walk (live) your Christian life carefully with great precision—looking all around and giving strict attention to all things as one might do when passing through a very dangerous place.” (As when walking thru a mine field)
Paul went on to say, “If you do this you will be wise and not a fool”.  Of course, obedience to God’s Word in general is how we walk in wisdom. But here in Ephesians 5 the wisdom that Paul is speaking of specifically is—knowing and applying the Word of God—anyone who doesn’t, he says, is a fool!
But also, by admonishing us in Ephesians 5:15 to walk circumspectly Paul is telling us to live with purpose.  I think by saying this he was drawing on something he had said earlier in Ephesians 2 when he said—
Ephesians 2:1-2 (NKJV) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world
The word walked here in the Greek is a word that actually means ‘meandered’—or in other words, “to walk without purpose”.  Paul is saying that before we received Jesus Christ into our hearts as our Lord and Savior we were just meandering through life—that is, we really didn’t have any eternal purpose.
“In which you once walked—according to the course of this world…”
The word world doesn’t mean ‘earth’ but the fallen world system controlled by the devil; the word course has its root in the Greek word for weathervane.  A weathervane is also called a “wind-vane” because it points in whatever direction the wind is blowing.
So, the idea that Paul is communicating to us is that before we knew Jesus we were being turned and moved in whatever direction the prevailing philosophical, ideological and moral winds of this fallen world system were blowing us.  In other words, we just followed the crowd, and the justification was, “everybody’s doing it—so get on board.”
But now as Christians our lives are no longer to be lived carelessly and without purpose because Jesus has given meaning to our lives and we are to walk with precision and accuracy in the path He has set before us.
Our lives should be following a different course than the unsaved world around us because— believers and unbelievers are not headed for the same destination. I think that Paul is giving us a very simple illustration here—no one sets out on a trip without plotting a precise course that will lead to a definite destination.
Yet how many Christians really live their lives with a great sense of purpose, walking carefully through their day so as not to allow the devil to trip them up—using the opportunities God brings their way wisely?
That’s why Paul went on to say—
Ephesians 5:15-16 (NKJV) See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
So walking circumspectly first of all means that as believers we—redeem the time.
The Greek word for “redeem” was a term used in the market place which meant to “buy out” or to “purchase completely”.
The word “time” is not the Greek word ‘chronos’ which is time in the sense of seconds, minutes and hours; but ‘kairos’ which is better translated “opportunities”.  This word was used by Paul in Gal. 6:10 when he said—
Galatians 6:10 (NKJV) Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
The idea is that as Christians we should “purchase completely” or “totally take into our possession” every opportunity that presents itself to be used by God. We should be capitalizing on every opportunity we have to witness; to help another in need; or to minister in Jesus’ name—why?
Well, first of all because the days are evil. In other words, there is a tremendous amount of pressure that is being exerted on us by the world around us to waste our time or even worse—to use it in sinful ways.  We are living at a time when wickedness and immorality abound—a time when the darkness is so pervasive and so persuasive that the only way to keep from being swept away by it is to stand up and fight against it—the best defense is a good strong offense.
One author said, “It is sad to see many professed Christians “drift” through life, like sleepwalkers, who never really make the most of opportunities to live for Christ and serve Him”.
John 9:4 (NKJV) I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.
This is a solemn reminder to everyone who is a Christian that life’s “day” (our physical life on earth) is swiftly passing, and the night is coming when our service on earth will be forever over—
“There is only one life it will soon be past and only what is done for Christ will last.”
The great sixteenth century reformer Philipp Melanchthon kept a record of every wasted moment and took his list to God in confession at the end of each day—it’s a small wonder that God used him in such great ways.
Psalms 90:12 (NKJV) So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
None of us knows how many days we will have in our lives—but here we are being told to “make every day count”.  How? By walking with purpose and not wasting our opportunities to be used by God.
I think that Paul is also pointing out to us in Ephesians 5 that evil times create opportunities for good—so we must recognize these opportunities and make the most of them. Henry Ford said this during the Great Depression—“Many people think these are bad times but actually these are good times—the problem is only a few people know it.”
What others saw as tragedy Ford saw as opportunity—the opportunity to make money.  The same is true for Christians today—only the opportunity set before us is not to make money but to save souls!
As more and more people try to live their lives without God and are experiencing more and more problems and emptiness—it creates more opportunity for us to point them to the only One Who can give them purpose and bring meaning to their lives—the Lord Jesus Christ!
For Christians these are very good times—the problem is only a few realize it—God is setting before us an open door—let’s get busy!
As Jesus said, “The fields are white unto harvest (“the world is filled with souls ready to be harvested for God’s Kingdom”)—pray that God will send more workers into the harvest.”  
May the Lord richly bless you as you walk with Him day by day.
Pastor Phil