Reminded this morning about walking. Three times in the first twenty-one verses of Ephesians 5. Less about getting my steps in but more about putting my salvation on. Redeemed not because of my good works, nevertheless, redeemed for good works (Eph 2:10). Called not because I am worthy, but gifted a new nature so that I may walk in a way worthy of my calling (Eph. 4:1).
To walk: to regulate one’s life; to conduct one’s self. And the Spirit, through Paul, reminds me how I should be thinking about regulating my life.
Regulate it in love.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
(Ephesians 5:1-2 ESV)
Really, how many problems does this solve? How much stress does this reduce? If I’m walking in love like Jesus loved, how many answers does that provide for how to respond in any given situation? Christ gave Himself up for me, I should regulate my life with a view of giving myself up for others. Ready to release my own claims, relinquish my own rights, and realign my own will for the sake of another. Sacrificing for them, perhaps, but more so offering myself to God, for His glory.
Regulate it in light.
. . . for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
(Ephesians 5:8-10 ESV)
Gotta be who I am, a child of light. So, in a world under the rule of the darkness, I’m probably gonna stand out in different situations. They’ll be going left but, discerning the will of the Lord, I probably shouldn’t be surprised that often I seem to be going right. While the world around me is driven by what is self-satisfying, ego-building, and go-with-the flow convenient, as a child of light my drivers should be what is good and right and true. And who’s to say what is good and right and true? The Creator. Communicated through His written word. Communicated by His living word.
And finally when it comes to regulating the affairs of my life, I’m to regulate it thoughtfully.
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 5:15-16 ESV)
“Walk circumspectly”, that’s how the King James version translates it. Watch your step. Pay careful attention to what you’re doing. Have you’re head in the game. Be intentional — intentionally aligned to the ways of God and the will of God. Redeem the time. Live for the kingdom.
So, conduct your lives in love, in light, and with heavenly-minded intentionality. Tall orders to begin the day with. And really, knowing who we are and the weakness of our frame, who’s up for such high and holy commands to obey? Who is sufficient for such things? Uh, we are.
Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God . . .
(2Corinthians 3:5 ESV)
The Christ who loved us is the Christ who lives in us (Gal. 2:20). The God who authored light has infused us with light (2Cor. 4:6). And the careful walk is possible because of the indwelling Spirit who is ready, willing, and able to lead us (Gal. 5:16, 18, 25). Our sufficiency is from God, the Triune God of our salvation.
So, let’s walk.
By His grace. For His glory.