“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
May I have a moment of pure vulnerability with you? Get ready, because I’m about to gush. First, I must tell you what an honor it has been to serve you through this study of Ephesians, and we haven’t even finished yet. Teaching God’s Word is a calling that I do not take lightly, and I am beyond grateful and thoroughly humbled by the task. Some of you have walked with the Lord longer than I have walked this earth. You all are my heroes of the faith. I glean from you, and I’m so thankful for your whole-hearted, steadfast devotion to our Lord and the example that you set for the rest of us coming up behind you. Others of you are all together new to Bible study, and you must know that it brings my heart such great joy to meet together on the pages of His Word each day. Although we don’t get to sit across from one another at a Starbucks table or a kitchen table or a Bible study table, know that I love you, and I dream about the day when we will all worship Jesus together face-to-face.
As much as I’ve been overjoyed to journey through Paul’s writings with you, I’ve been tremendously convicted along the way. I find it increasingly difficult to look at any given verse in Scripture and not walk away challenged by it or changed because of it. Every day of this study and every moment spent writing it has left me challenged and all together wrecked for more of Jesus, and I pray it will ultimately leave me changed. My honest confession to you today is that wisdom doesn’t always describe and define my daily walk, but I pray that one day, it consistently will. There are days when emotion gets the best of me. There are moments when complacency wins. There are times when faithfulness is not my default. Even so, God has somehow called me to this task for such a time as this. To say that I am humbled is an understatement. I can hardly believe that He would work through my mess. I can scarcely understand why He would use my efforts for His glory. But I am grateful that He does. I am thankful that He will continue to, and I come to the table today just as broken and in need of His grace as you, but I come hungry for more of Him. Am I in good company?
The longer I walk with Jesus, the more I understand the weight of influence I can have on others. How I live my life based on the faith claims that I make can determine how others will see and interpret Jesus. If I don’t walk wise, my sinful steps can and will cause others to trip and fall. This is why we are given a warning here in Ephesians 5:15 to be careful how we walk because our time is short, the days are evil, and our ability to influence is far greater than we realize.
Therefore, we must ask ourselves this question: “What does a wise walk look like?” Perhaps, we can start by defining what it doesn’t look like. The foolish or unwise person isn’t named so because of an intellectual limit or void. Rather, foolishness is defined by one who says there is no God and lives their life accordingly. Take a moment to read Psalm 14:1, and write it out below.
The end result for the faithless is a corrupt life marked by sinful deeds. We can then determine that a wise walk begins with faith in Jesus Christ. To live a life based on belief in God and in His Word is to live a wise life. Anything short of this is foolishness. Do you desire a wise walk? Do you want to be characterized by foolishness or by wisdom? A wise walk starts with belief.
Secondly, a wise walk is marked by righteous living. Genuine belief in Christ will always propel the believer towards sanctification. A life that has been saved by grace will ultimately be changed by grace. The foolish or unwise person will continue to default to gratifying the sinful desires of the flesh. The wise person will default to falling in step with the Spirit. A wise walk is full of the fruit of the Spirit. A wise walk starts with belief, and it leads to righteous living.
Finally, a wise walk is marked by intentionality and purpose. The foolish or unwise person will waste his days, but the wise person will seek to make the most of them and to maximize every opportunity given to him. This one life that we’ve been given is so painfully short. It will be gone before we know it. What are we doing with our time? Are we wasting our lives or are we intentionally and purposefully making the most of our days, seeking to bring God glory in each and every moment that we are given? A wise walk is one of intention and purpose, constantly seeking to bring God glory. A wise walk is a life not wasted.
How then is this accomplished? A wise walk is achieved by the diligent pursuit of knowing God and making Him known. Wisdom and instruction are found in His Word. Are you reading it? Do you study it? How often do you meditate on it? Have you memorized any part of it? Do you share what you’ve learned with others? We become wise by immersing ourselves in wisdom. God’s Word is that wisdom. His Word gives us all that we need to walk wise. I pray that we will be found wise. I pray that you and I will in unison pursue God through His Word. I pray that you and I will walk wise.