Footprints part 3
The final words in Ephesians 5 give us great insight on how we should walk in a way that shows people we are following God. We have all heard the familiar saying,” What would Jesus do?” and now that saying has seemingly become a joke to most people. Perhaps a better question is,” How would Jesus walk?”
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
Every 20 minutes someone is injured or killed by stepping on a land mine. It is a sad and scary fact. In places where land mines are every where, people must be very careful. Landmines are not visual evident and if one is found, it is marked with a white flag so that no one steps on it. Sadly, when land mines are found, it is usually by the foot of a helpless victim. Satan has traps set for us in every direction and he knows the traps that we will most likely step on. We must walk carefully and live our lives with extreme caution and not foolishly as if nothing bad can happen by the choices we make. Stepping wisely will keep you in the footprints of Jesus and will help others walk safe behind you.
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Have you ever been to the shopping mall and you knew what you had to get and you did not have a lot of time to get it? When you have a goal and not a lot of time to accomplish it, you must hurry, you must not take unnecessary stops or steps, you must make the most of the time you have. Sure if you have plenty of time you may take it easy, look around, and go places you did not plan on. This life on earth is short and Satan is busy at work. Now is not the time to walk selfishly or aimlessly.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
What is God’s will for my life? Perhaps the most asked question among Christians, often in frustration. For most Christians, they never find God’s ultimate will for their life because they don’t read and obey His will that he has already written down in the Bible!
Once you show wisdom by getting in and living by God’s Word, he Will grant you more wisdom in the specific direction he wants you to go.
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
I could create an entire devotion on this one verse because many Christians use this verse in a manner opposite of the its meaning. The contrast is the key them of this verse. We should be filled with, controlled by, under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Consistent studies prove that even small amount of (weak) alcoholic beverages cause slower reaction time and alter a person’s normal personality. No matter how you justify, you have begun giving control to a substance and not the Holy Spirit of God. Hmmm, sounds like idolatry. Studies also prove the casual or minimal drinkers are the most dangerous because they have a false sense of confidence and do not think their decision making skills are at all affected. Things are said and done that would not normally be even when only a few ounces of alcohol are drank. For sake of time I will not pile on the other verses in the Bible the forbid not just the consumption of alcohol, but even to look at it. Just as God warns that the sin of lust is just as bad as the actual sin you are lusting over, looking at alcohol wishing you could have some is just as bad as drinking it. A Christian has no business drinking if they wish to stay in control of the Holy Spirit. Many Christians argue that the word (dissipation sometimes translated excess) means that you can have some as long as you don’t have to much. The Greek word here actually means indulgence and unwise, the opposite of being spiritually upright. It also refers to how much alcohol consumption can cost, money, health, and spiritually. We are to indulge ourselves in the things of God, not this world, which gets back to the contrast this verse is showing.
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
Paul always seems to give you some (do’s) after he spell out some (do not’s) after all, what good it is to stop bad things when you don’t start doing the right things? So here we see that instead of walking foolishly which includes wasting time, drinking, and other unwise actions, we should be praising God and letting our words and actions point to and praise Him!
20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Another truth abundant in Gods Word is that we should be thankful for everything.
As far as I know, I have never heard this said, but it struck me one day….. “A thankful heart NEVER sins!” It is true, when you are thankful to God for what you have, you don’t sin, you have no desire to and your heart is set on God. In an instant when we become unthankful, then we are tempted, and we sin.
21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Although this is the smallest verse out of all we have looked at, it is probably the most packed with wisdom and the hardest to do. Submitting to other Christians can be one of the most difficult things you can do. Perhaps the key to understanding submission is that it is unconditional. It does not matter what another Christian does or says about you, we should always have a submissive attitude. How many battles, disagreements, arguments, and troubles between Christians would never start or end quickly if we all had a submissive attitude about each other. Just like a Pastor is submissive to God as well as the church, the church is to be submissive to the Pastor, the wife is to be submissive to the husband, the children submissive to the parents, etc, all Christians should have a submissive spirit to each other.
Why though should we submit to a Christian who we think does not deserve it? It is because we don’t do it for them. Why should we be nice to other people we do not have respect and reverence for? It is because we don’t do it for them. We do it for God which should be our motivation for all we do. In this way, our footprints will point to Jesus whom we should desire to follow because of our love for Him. Not that we loved him so much, but that he loved us first!!!