“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
How you see directs what you do. Perception drives action. Clarity of vision drives qualities of action. This is how God designed us to live and work. However, because of the Fall, our seeing is impaired. So is our doing. The good news is that Jesus redeems both our seeing and doing, and if we walk in obedience to him, he empowers us to see carefully and walk wisely.
The opposite is also true. If we do not trust and obey the Lord, our seeing will be distorted and our doing will be off-path.
Let’s look at the “walk wisely” element of this passage from Ephesians. Once we have been diligent to do the discipline-driven work of seeing carefully and clearly, we must step up and do what needs to be done. All the thinking and evaluating and praying and bible study in the world means nothing if we do not walk in the truth. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves,” says James 1:22.
As we navigate the situations of life and work, the Lord calls us to walk according to the principles and truth he has given to us. You will recall that “walk” is a core theme of the book of Ephesians, which instructs us to:
– Walk in a worthy way.
– Walk in love.
– Walk in light.
– Walk in wisdom.
Walking in wisdom and obedience is also a theme in the Psalms.
“Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11)
The source of blessing — the source of true peace and fulfillment — is found in walking according to the counsel of the Lord and not walking in the counsel of the wicked.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1.2-3)
Psalm 1 is a description of someone who does what Ephesians 5 teaches us to do. This person looks carefully and walks wisely. This person studies the Word of God and seeks to obey God’s truth. As a result of walking carefully and wisely, this person bears fruit and prospers.
The psalmist also describes the foolishness of the disobedient: “The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (Psalm 1.4-6)
Every day we have a decision to make about the walk we choose; about what path we will follow. We can be wise, or we can be foolish. We can do the work to see carefully, or we can be careless and impulsive. We can walk in the counsel of the wicked, or we can walk in the counsel of the godly. The choice we make makes all the difference.
“One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.” (Proverbs 14.16)
May we hear and heed the message in Ephesian 5. May we walk in the wisdom of God’s grace and truth. This is the source of true fulfillment, happiness, and peace.
The Lord is calling.