Look at where you’re going
(Read Ephesians 5)
Young people in particular don’t watch where they’re walking. They don’t have to. They have better balance and peripheral vision than those of us who are more seasoned. Another reason could be that they’re more preoccupied with what’s going on around them. This is exactly what Paul warned us about in Ephesians 5.
“”for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
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. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.””
“Awake” used in the earliest manuscripts, referred more to the concept of rousing oneself or stirring into activity. It was a reference to Isiah calling Israel to awake from their darkness. Paul used it here referring to the light of Jesus in the darkness of our world. He called on the church and us individually to awaken out of our spiritual sleep. We must arise.
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
In this verse, Paul is instructing us to watch how we live our lives because it matters to God. He cares what we do and what choices we make. Pay close attention to how you walk. Temptation is all around us. So what we must we do to walk wisely?
Walking wisely in this world requires wisdom. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7 ESV). The fear of the Lord creates wisdom and instruction. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
“…be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
Walking wisely also means being filled with the Spirit not with things of the world. There is a pure, incomparable joy that comes from loving and serving God. Being filled with the Spirit means singing with all your heart and soul to the Lord. Praising God for all to hear. When you watch your favorite team win a game in overtime, do you shout for joy? When you’re alone and something amazing happens, do you sing aloud? This is what Paul meant by singing and making melody to the Lord.
We need to take this behavior and apply it to our public lives. If we’re truly filled with Christ’s spirit, we will give heartfelt thanks for everything in our lives. We will give thanks to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. When times are good and when times are bad, I pray. I urge myself to continue my walk being filled with the Holy Spirit, to remain joyous and give thanks to my Creator.
- It’s hard to be thankful when life is holding us down. Consider the attitude of Job when he suffered the loss of most of his family, his health, and his wealth. He continued to be thankful to God throughout his entire struggle.
- Do your friends and family know what you’re thankful for?
- Where do you believe your wisdom comes from? Your career, the news, TV, your friends?
- Over the next week, try to share 1 thing with a friend or family member that God has provided you with in your life.
- Read all of Ephesians 5. Take a few notes about what wisdom God is sharing with us in this chapter.
- The final point Paul makes about being filled with Spirit is to submit to the will of others. We should submit and voluntarily serve others as Jesus gave himself up for us. Make an effort to do something for someone you love, not because you want to, but because it’s what they want.
Where else in your life can you live out the teachings of Christ? Look for next week’s Devotion.