Walk In Wisdom

Walking Like We're Blessed  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Ephesians 5:15–21 NASB95
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
Thesis: To show that a blessed walk is one that is done in wisdom. I want to show a walk in wisdom through 3 questions we should ask ourselves and answer.
Very common in scripture is the comparison between what’s wise and what’s foolish. GOD reveals both attitudes, actions, and results to us, and gives us choice to choose. Likewise, in this passage, we will see one path Paul warns against and the alternative the Spirit wants us to choose. Based on how we answer will reveal if we’re on the wise path.
Do I Seize The Season?
As a reminder, he has instructed that they have a worthy walk, new walk, love walk, and walk in light.
Look Carefully At How You’re Walking
Considering the need to be in the light, Paul transitions to a wise walk. Paul says saints need look very carefully how they walk. This is a warning statement, identical to when Paul says in 1 Co 10:12, to “Therefore the one who thinks he is standing, take heed that he doesn’t fall”. So this passage is saying “take heed”. How should they take heed? Paul says “carefully”. “Look carefully how you walk”.
Illustration: Imagine walking across a kitchen floor with hard wood and you have socks on, and there 's broken glass and the floor has just been mopped. Some folk would walk right in, paying no attention. But Paul’s instruction is to look carefully!
Furthermore, he says as not as unwise. What’s the alternative Paul? Walk wise, which means in such a way that demonstrates you have gained expertise on the right thing to do.
Look For Your Opportunity
But watch what else that means. Redeeming the time. Other versions say making the most of your time. Time being, the opportune or right time to do a thing. And what should be prompting to do so is because the times or era we’re living is characterized by evil!
Illustration: Remember when COVID first started, for whatever mental motive, every opportunity people had, they went out and bought up all the toilet paper that they could find.
Application: That’s the idea, is that we make the best use of every opportunity. For what? To do the right thing we know to do. We have two routes, either be unwise which means be an amateur at living, and be ok with it. Or wise, which means I know what I need to do. What opportunity have you not taking advantage of? Perhaps it’s
Visit someone
Commit your plans to GOD
What Sense Do I Show? (Active)
Building on that, that is, knowing that these days are evil as they are, no saint should be growing in foolishness. Behaviors that just lack common sense. Behaviors that make even unbelievers scratch their heads! What’s the alternative Paul, that demonstrates a walk in wisdom? Understanding what the Lord’s desires are. For whatever the Lord desires is wise!! Wisdom, Sense, Judgment, Understanding - close linguistic relatives. Listen to a few Proverbs on this topic:
Proverbs 15:21 “21 Folly is joy to him who lacks sense, But a man of understanding walks straight.”
Proverbs 10:23 “23 Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool, And so is wisdom to a man of understanding.”
Proverbs 14:16 “16 A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless.”
Now if we connect this wisdom to the importance of understanding the Lord’s will, lacking sense is foolish and demonstrates that we really don’t understand what our Lord desires for us!
Application: Why do we keep going down that street, knowing its dangerous? Answering that call? Joining that discussion? It hasn’t become clear that my Lord desires something different for my life!!
What Saturates My Spirit? (Passive)
The Liquid Spirit
The last contrastive instruction Paul gives, again deals with what (or who) we are filled with and the results. He says don’t be drunk with wine, which is an over indulgence with wine that brings such high intoxication that it impairs one’s normal function and judgment. So much so that a person becomes reckless and uncontrolled. In fact, dissipation carries the idea of can’t be saved. (ever witness somebody at that point?)
Doctrinal challenge: Paul is not condemning drinking period. For he would have to condemn himself (Ro 14:21), Timothy (1 Tim 5:23), Jesus (Luke 7:33-35), and many of his Jewish ancestors (Deut 14:26; Ecc 9:7). Wine was a regular part of their diet, especially when GOD had prospered their vineyards.
Nonetheless, what he is speaking against is drunkeness that has regularly overtaken someone that they are uncontrolled. Very regular for their Ephesian environment too.
The Holy Spirit
What’s our alternative Paul? Paul says instead of being overfilled with LIQ, be filled with the Spirit!! I thought we already have the Spirit?
Illustration: Consider that all of our homes have HVAC system dwelling in the house. But because its in there, doesn’t automatically turn it on, or turn it high enough to fill the house with heat.
Acts 4:31 is a great example.
What’s the connection with wisdom? Paul affirms in 1 Co 2, that it is the Spirit of GOD that searches the mind of GOD and has revealed wisdom to him. The Spirit is who imparts wisdom to us! But in this context, exactly how does the Spirit expect us to be filled with him, opposed to drunkenness:
Speaking - Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs - to one another
Singing and making melody - in our hearts - to the Lord
Giving thanks - always and for all things, through Our Lord Jesus the Christ - to GOD the Father
Doctrinal challenge/Application: Many of us have been raised to use this text to argue against instrumental music. I understand the objective, but contextually, that is a misapplication of this text and context. Paul is not arguing against or for right or wrong worship in this context. He is giving instructions on how we as saints must walk wisely in these evil times!! Further, he is condemning turning to a life of drunkenness, for whatever reason. (to fix or cure or overturn my sad circumstances, or celebrate pagan festivals)
Now, is this text still applicable for when we come to worship together? Sure, because Paul stresses one another. But let me give you another picture: Acts 16:25. They had just been beaten and thrown into jail, feet fastened with stocks. What y’all doing singing? Encouraged in the Spirit, dealing with these evil times!!
Application: It might be tonight, that you have to call or meet up with somebody, who’s trying to navigate life, need a fill of the Spirit.
Look to the hills, from where your help comes from. Your help comes from the Lord! — GOD is My rock, and my refuge. Shelter in the time of storm!
Hold on to God’s unchanging hand! — Jesus is our hero! Jesus will fix, it! After a while, just you hope in the Lord and watch!!
Let’s pray… Lord we THANK YOU!!!
Conclusion: Are demonstrating you know and appreciate God’s blessings by Walking In Wisdom? Ask yourself, Do I Seize The Season (to do the right thing)? What Sense Do I Show? What Saturates My Spirit?
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