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. (Ephesians 5:14b-16, ESV)
Paul, wanting to urge the church to walk in the Father’s light, uses a quotation to exhort his readers. Many think the quote is a mashup of a few exhortations in Isaiah; some think it an early Christian hymn. Paul takes it and urges, “Wake up!”
From there he tells us to look with care at our at how we walk, making the best use of the time. We live in evil days, so extreme care ought to be taken when considering how we do daily life. The wording expresses the idea of precision and accuracy. Godliness is never accidental. It does not happen by chance. The believer knows this and chooses to walk with caution.
Part of this precision and care is advance decision making. If one does not decide in advance what a good friend looks like, for instance, it will not be surprising to watch them fall into bad company. If one does not decide in advance what a godly spouse looks like, it will not be surprising when they marry someone who cares not for God. A healthy church, a healthy prayer life, a Christlike attitude in the workplace — none of these happen by accident. Decisions must be made. Care must be taken.
Be careful! Take David as a lesson. He began well and, it seems, even ended well. But in the midst of his success, he began to disengage from the wars of Israel, staying home when his army went out to battle. It was at the exact moment of this homestay in which he was overtaken by temptation with Bathsheba. How history would have changed had the verse said, “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David went out to battle.” But, alas, it does not. He remained in the palace, neglecting the work he was called to do. His idleness gave way to deeper sin.
We must be on guard. We must be careful in our walks. Godliness is never accidental.
During Fall 2017, I taught Calvary Monterey the book of Ephesians. During the series, I also wrote about Ephesians in sixty-plus short, devotionally styled posts. Each Thursday, through 2018, I will release a post. I hope you enjoy. For the entire series, please visit nateholdridge.com/united-for-unity-posts.