In our message, WALK IN WISDOM (Eph. 5:15-21), we see God calls us as His children to be alert… to be awake. As children of the light, we are to “walk circumspectly” in this world (Eph. 5:15a; 2 Pet. 1:19; Ps. 119:105, etc.). Circumspect comes from two Latin words that means to be looking around. The Greek word carries the idea of precision and accuracy. The words “See then” in verse 15 show us God is referring to what He just said in verse 14- to paraphrase…
- Don’t walk in your sleep!
- Wake up!
- Open your eyes!
- Make the most of every day!
The Lord is telling His children to “step gingerly,” as a soldier would in battle because we are in spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:10-18; 1 John 5:19; Rom. 16:20, etc.). A person entering battle will have armor on and is also to be alert… sober about His master’s mission (Prov. 9:10, Ps. 111:10, etc.). In military terms one might say, “watch your six” (2 Tim. 2:3-4, etc.). To be the opposite of “circumspect” then is to be careless, aimless, thoughtless, and the Bible even says acting “as fools…” (Eph. 5:15b; Prov. 1:7b; Ps. 14:1; Rev. 3:14-22, etc.). God calls us to “WALK IN WISDOM” also because we have limited time to serve Him in reaching the lost, and “the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16; Col. 4:5-6; Gal. 1:4; 5:1, etc.). Understanding “what the will of the Lord is” involves not just knowledge but wisdom which means fearing “the Lord” -esteeming what our commanding officer wants (Eph. 5:17; Col. 3:1-4; Prov. 9:10; Ps. 111:10, etc.). When we allow Him to be in control, He changes even our desires to that of Christ making us more like Jesus from within (Phil. 2:13; Rom. 12:1-2; 1 John 1:9, etc.).
All Christians are baptized (1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27, etc.) sealed (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30, etc.), and indwelt by the Holy Spirit forever (John 7:37-39; 14:16-17; Rom. 5:5; 8:9; 1 Cor. 2:12; 6:19-20, etc.), BUT we are commanded here to “be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). The command is plural, so it applies to all Christians; the verb is present tense (lit. ‘keep on being filled’), so it is an experience Christians are to enjoy continually and not just on special occasions; and the verb is passive meaning we do not fill ourselves but permit the Spirit to fill us… That is, we permit God to make us drunk with Him (Eph. 5:18). We see here then walking in wisdom, that is, letting the Spirit control our lives, involves individual responsibility from us as God’s children (e.g. Eph. 5:15-16; Gal. 5:16-18, 25, etc.). Once again, “the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord” (Prov. 9:10; Ps. 111:10; 2 Cor. 5:11; Col. 1:28-29, etc.).
Paul gives four examples here of a life drunk with or controlled by the Holy Spirit:
- “speaking to one another in psalms [i.e. God’s Word], hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph. 5:19a)
- “singing and making melody in [our] hearts to” God (Eph. 5:19b)
- “giving thanks always for all things” to Him (Eph. 5:20)
- And “submitting to one another in the fear of the Lord” (Eph. 5:21).