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THE WALK OF WISDOM
Intro: Beginning in Ephesians 4:1 and continuing through 5:14, the Apostle Paul has challenged the church concerning her walk before the Lord. We have been commanded:
Eph. 4:1-2 - To walk in Humility
Eph. 4:4-13 - To walk in Unity
Eph. 4:17-32 - To walk in Separation
Eph. 4:14-16; 5:1-2 - To walk in Love
Eph. 5:3-14 - To walk in Light
Now, we are challenged to add to those virtues the quality of wisdom. The word wisdom, in our language means, knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action. In Scripture, it carries the idea of understanding the will of God as it is revealed in His Word, coupled with the desire to live it out.
So, the call here is for believers to yield to the Word of God in our daily walk. We are to hear His voice, as it is revealed in His Word, then we are to live out that revealed Word moment by moment. In this passage, Paul gives us some insights into what The Walk Of Wisdom is supposed to look like. Lets look at these insights and learn what The Walk Of Wisdom is, and how we can activate it in our lives.
I. V. 15 IT IS A DILIGENT WALK
The wise walk is clearly defined in this verse. Paul calls upon to the church to see then that ye walk circumspectly.
The word see means to observe.
The word circumspectly carries the idea of being diligent, accurate, and precise.
The command is for us to give attention to the way we walk in this world, so that we walk accurately and precisely.
If youve ever seen anyone walk a tightrope, then you know what Paul is referring to here. The person on the tightrope watches where they place each step. The least deviation or inaccuracy in their footing would result in a certain fall.
As believers, we must give due diligence to every step we take in this world. To do less is to guarantee that we will fall into the trap of the enemy. I would remind you that we have an enemy that is set on our destruction, 1 Pet. 5:8. He sets traps for us and lies in wait to attack us and to destroy our walk with the Lord. Ill. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed, James 1:14.
The phrase drawn away, means to lure prey from it hiding place. Like a hunter sets a trap to catch an animal, Satan does all he can to lure us away from the place of safety and closeness to the Lord. He seeks to lure us into sin.
The word enticed, means, to catch by bait. If you are going to bait deer, you dont use dead fish. You have to use corn or apples, or something else that is attractive to the animal. Satan knows makes us tick. He knows what is attractive to us. Like a hunter who studies his prey, Satan studies us to see what we like, and he baits his traps accordingly.
Satan is a treacherous and very dangerous enemy. Yet, the only reason he has any power at all to deceive and destroy us is due to the sin that dwells within each of our hearts. As James says, we are drawn away of our own lusts. Satan is only able to tempt us to sin eternally, because the will and ability to sin already exist within our hearts. Every time we fall into sin, it is only because we take the bait and fall into the devils snare.
Have you ever done something you know is wrong and immediately felt stupid because of it? We all have, and we should! The only reason we did it was because we fell for the deception. We got snookered. We didnt watch our step and we fell into the trap.
So, knowing the deceitfulness of the enemy, and the wickedness of our own hearts, Paul warns us to watch every step we take, because each step is filled with danger, especially in this world.
We are counseled to walk not as fools, but as wise. We are not to walk like the world around us. They stumble around in the darkness of their depraved condition, and they take no heed to where the next foot will fall. We are not so blind. We have been redeemed. We have been made alive. We have been given the Spirit of God. We have been given the light of the Word of God. We do not stumble about like a blind man, but we have been equipped to walk accurately, placing each step precisely where it pleases the Lord and leads us closer to Him.
What a blessing it is to know that we do not have to fall for the deceptions of Satan. We do not have to be ensnared in his traps. Through the help of the Holy Spirit, every subtle maneuver of the enemy is painted with the light of Heaven. We do not have to yield to his devices. We do not have to walk his way. We do not have to find ourselves overcome by his schemes. Our Lord has made us wiser than that. He has given us all we need to be able to walk in His will for His glory.
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth, 1 John 2:20–21.
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him, 1 John 2:27.
That is not to say that we do not grow. We do, because sanctification is a progressive reality. It does mean, however, that if we would listen to the Holy Spirit and stop sniffing around the traps Satan has laid for us, we would come out on top far more often than we do.
Beloved, you are not fools! Christ has made you wise.
I. It Is A Diligent Walk
II. V. 16 IT IS A DISCERNING WALK
We are to walk accurately, literally, perfectly in this world, but we are also to walk with discernment.
The Lord here says we are to be redeeming the time
The word redeeming means to buy up; to deliver from loss. It was used in that culture of purchasing a slave in order to set the slave free.
The word time does not speak of clock time. It does not speak of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. The word he uses here is a word that speaks of a measured allotment of time. Paul is talking about the small window of time we have in this world. In other words, we are to deliver the allotted time we have been given in this world from loss.
This phrase speaks about our walk with the Lord. It challenges us to make good use of every opportunity for serving the Lord. Peter says it this way: And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every mans work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear, 1 Peter 1:17.
The Lord has determined the boundaries of our lives. We will not live one minute more, one minute less, than the time we have been allotted by the Lord.
Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass, Job 14:5.
If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come, Job 14:14.
LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am, Psalms 39:4.
Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth, Psalms 104:9.
An ancient Greek statue depicted a man with wings on his feet, a large lock of hair on the front of his head, and no hair at all on the back. Beneath was the inscription: Who made thee? Lysippus made me. What is thy name? My name is Opportunity. Why hast thou wings on thy feet? That I may fly away swiftly. Why hast thou a great forelock? That men may seize me when I come. Why art thou bald in back? That when I am gone by, none can lay hold of me.
You and I have been given a short window of time to live in the world. At best, our lives are a vapor, James 4:14. We are here just a few days, Job 14:1. We need to make the most of every opportunity we are given to serve the Lord.
Take the time to pray.
Take the time to worship.
Take the time to share the Gospel.
Take the time to be holy.
Take the time to read the Bible.
Take the time to honor the Lord every minute of every day.
Paul tells us that we should salvage the time we have been given, because the days are evil. The word evil comes from the same word that gives us our word pornographic. The days are wicked, evil and filled with every kind of sin and vice.
God has placed us here to be light to a world trapped in darkness. We are His ambassadors, 2 Cor. 5:20. He has given us a window of time in this evil world to serve HIm, walk for Him and bring glory to His name. So, as we walk through this world, we are to recognize the evil around, as well as the opportunities the Lord has given us to serve Him. We are to redeem those opportunities in order to make our lives count for the glory of God.
One day we will all leave this world. When it comes time for you to die, what kind of legacy will you leave behind? I pray that my life comes produces more than a dash between two dates. I want to leave a legacy. I want to buy up the opportunities the Lord gives me.
I would remind you that the word redeeming refers to buying a slave in order to set that slave free. It also has the idea of saving it from loss. We are all slaves to time. We can either lose that time, and have it be gone forever, or we can redeem that time and make it count for the glory of God.
The moments of our lives either serve to glorify God, or they are lost forever, and thus they glorify the devil. Lets buy up the time and deliver our moments from the tyranny of death and sin, making every opportunity count to the glory of God.
I. It Is A Diligent Walk
II. It Is A Discerning Walk
III. V. 17 IT IS A DEFINITE WALK
Finally, Paul says, Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. The word unwise means to be stupid, or ignorant. It refers to a person who thinks himself wise when actually he knows nothing. If you take this verse in connection with the two that precede it, you have Paul saying, Dont run through this world like an idiot.
If we are not careful, we will fall into the trap of business. We will allow the enemy to so dil our calendar with good things, that we wind of frantically running from one activity to the next, all the while missing out on what really matters in this life. God did not create us or save us to live like we do.
We run here and thee with our calendars, our smartphones, our schedules, thinking we have to do all those things for ourselves, and for others, no realizing that Satan has baited the trap, and we have taken the bait. We allow ourselves to get so busy doing all the things we do that we dont have the time to enjoy the Lord Who saved us.
I am preaching to myself here, but we need to learn to say, no. Its hard to do, but it must be done. I would also say, that is we truly love others, we will not make unrealistic demands on their time.
Instead of running through life like a maniac, we are counseled to be understanding of what the will of the Lord is. How do we understand the will of the Lord? The basic answer is that we find the will of God in the principals taught in the Scriptures. The Word of God reveals the will of God. We have to slow down long enough to read the Word of God, to meditate on it, to understand it. We must take time for the Bible, our we will let the moments of our lives slip though our fingers and amount to little in the work of the Lord.
Think of how foolish we are in this matter. We send our kinds to school in an effort to help them learn, but we dont take the time to teach them the book written by the wisest Being in the universe. It would be a shame for you to send your child from your home to a college to be educated in the wisdom of men, if they left your home ignorant of the Word of God.
We strive to learn all sorts of things, glorying in our knowledge, while we do not take the time to learn from the fountain of all wisdom, the Lord Himself. The lack of biblical knowledge in the average church is astonishing. Our ignorance is proven by the things church members believe and the things they say. That kind of ignorance does not have to be. What a tragedy!
God has given us His Word. It is without error. It is infallible. It is inspired. It is eternal. It is food for the soul. When we read the Bible we are exposed to the very mind of God Himself. We need to read it much and read it often. We need to be a people of the book, knowing its Author intimately, and understanding it message clearly. There is no excuse for any believer, who owns a Bible, and who can read it, being ignorant of the Word of God.
It is our ignorance of the Word that explains the problems we have with sin. It is our ignorance of the Word of God that explains the problems we have in our relationships. It is our ignorance of the Word of God that explains why our churches are devoid of power, empty of life, and dying on the vine. We need to repent of our neglect of the Word of God and pick up our Bibles and read.
Knowing the Bible settles us. It gives us peace, hope, help and strength. It helps us know the God of Heaven, and knowing Him teaches us how to walk in this world. Knowing Him teaches us how to make our lives count for Gods glory. Do you have a Bible? Read it! Learn it! Love it! Live it!
Your Bible will keep you from being spiritually stupid. It will make you wise in the ways of the Lord, and it will open your eyes to the schemes of the enemy.
Conc: You do not have to live like the world around you. Your life can count and leave a legacy behind when you leave this world. You do not have to be spiritually deceived and ignorant or Satan. We can walk in wisdom, if we will follow the clear guidelines given to us in the Word of God. If we will simply take His Word and make it the rudder of our lives, we will sail a straight course through this world. We will live a life that honors God and gives light to the world around us.
I will close with a couple of questions:
How is your walk with the Lord? Are you walking in wisdom, or are your walking in ignorance?
How is your relationship with the Word of God? Do you read it? Do you live it?