Realizing our Riches | Ephesians 5:15-17
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Paul has now moved to another way in which we should walk, circumspectly or very carefully. This walk is a walk in love, a walk of light and a careful walk. Paul seems to still be in the vein of caution that he has been in for several verses. Warning us not to walk in darkness, warning us not to fellowship in darkness and now telling us to walk carefully, not as fools but as wise. What a reminder to watch our steps. Only fools run down a path without watching where they are going, only fools run in the dark. So then how do we avoid walking in darkness like a fool? We use the light of His word. His word is "A lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Wisdom comes from the word of God:
(Psalms 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.)
(2Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.)
The entire Book of Proverbs was written by the wisest man to ever live and for the purpose of giving wisdom to young people.
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel. 2To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; 3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; 4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
God would have us to walk in light, in love and very carefully. I don't know of any other way to walk that type of walk than in His word. His word teaches us to love not only our brothers but even our enemies, it gives light unto my path and it reveals the stumbling stones of sin, doubt, unbelief, and a barrage of other dangers that lie along our path. It is the lamp unto my feet that shine on the path I trod, it brings to light my own missteps, it shows me where the path ends and where the path turns it keeps me from falling. I'm reminded of a song we sing: "When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, What a glory He sheds on our way!" This walk requires careful attention, we don't want to fall and stumble along the way and waste precious time, but we should be redeeming the time because the days are evil. How many times have I been sidelined and wasted precious time because I stumbled at some besetting sin, some false belief, some distraction from my walk in love and light? I am ashamed to tell you of all the time that I have wasted because I wasn't walking circumspectly, how many injuries I have incurred along the way because I fell by the wayside, but I want to thank God for Jesus Christ, the Good Samaritan. Who has, time after time, picked me up when religion let me down, when family let me down, He came along and put me on his own beast and rubbed the balm of Gilead on my sin scared life and paid the price of my comfort. The only good things about slips and trips are they cause you to walk more circumspectly. My children like to walk as close to the edge of a large retaining wall in our yard as they can possibly get, they go right up to the edge. Our oldest uses more caution than our younger ones because he has had more spills and falls than they have. Those spills have taught him that falling on the ground is better than falling off a wall. In my young Christian life I like to run right up to the edge of sin and the flesh and the world. I liked peering over the edge and looking as much like the boys at school as possible, acting as much like them as possible, taking everything to the extreme limit. Until in my late teenage years I "fell off the wall." That year and a half fall injured my testimony, my walk with the Lord, My peace and assurance. These days I try not to walk so close to the edge, I try to stick to the path God's word illuminates for me. There was a wealthy woman in England in the 1800's who put out an ad in the newspaper for a new carriage driver. There were three men who applied for the job. they all came in for the interview, which consisted of only one question. There was a very narrow place in the road near her house that had a deep ravine on either side, The only question she asked was "How close could you steer my carriage to that edge without falling in?" The first applicant said he felt confident that he could come within 2 inches of that edge and never fall in. The Second applicant said that he would be totally comfortable with one half on the road and one half hanging over the precipice. The third applicant replied "Madam, I would try to steer your carriage as far away from that edge as I possible could.” I think we know who got the job, the most cautious man. Dear Christian, please walk circumspectly. Don't steer your life so close to the edge that you fall over. There will be wasted time, and injuries and heartache in that ditch. Walk in the light of His Word and you will know what to dodge and when to dodge; Where to turn and where to go straight on; You will walk as wise and not as fools. You will understand what the will of the Lord is and redeem the time.
According to the Riches of His Grace!