Ephesians 5 introduces three stages of Christian growth, giving us clear instruction and direction on how God expects us to live our lives having accepted Jesus as Lord of the universe and Lord of our Lives. Previous posts discussed the first stage, Walk in Love and the second stage, Walk in Light. In this post we’ll discuss the final stage, “walk circumspectly.”
Ephesians 5:15-21 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
We learned that the first stage of Christian growth provides the foundation for our entire new life in Christ. That’s the “walk in love.” When we walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, we provide selfless service to others in the Christian church and to those God has called to become His children. Love is the basis upon which all our actions proceed.
As we walk in love, God is able to enlighten us, hence, the second stage of Christian growth is to, “walk in light” as Christ is the light. God gives us the information we need as we live our lives and minister to others. Our understanding becomes enlightened in what Christ has done for us and what he is doing now. God’s Word becomes clearer to us and ore relevant in our daily lives. God provides light so we don’t stumble in the darkness of this world.
The culmination of walking in love and walking in light is called “the circumspect walk.” We are exhorted to walk circumspectly, but what exactly does that mean? Let’s find out. Here’s the definition of circumspect.
Circumspect means to walk with a fine-tuned degree of accuracy. It means to be exact and to not take undo risks. It’s walking with the wisdom of God in this world, having the knowledge of God ingrained in our lifestyles and walking by the spirit. This is the circumspect walk. The opposite is walking in worldly wisdom and philosophy which exalts itself against the knowledge of God. That’s the path we don’t want to walk in.
Walking circumspectly should be the goal of every Christian. It’s great as a babe in Christ to learn God’s Word and adjust our world view and our actions to agree with what God wants. The emphasis in this early stage of Christian growth is to start leading a life that is pleasing to God, putting God first and loving God’s people. But that’s just a start. Too bad so many Christians never get past this stage to walk in light.
Walking in light requires knowing God’s Word accurately. God’s Word is what enlightens us as to what God’s will is. The more you know God’s Word, the more you know God’s will and are able to believe it and do it. You only have light to the degree that you have an accurate knowledge of the God’s Word. Skewed doctrines don’t qualify as “enlightenment.”
Living the truth brings more light because we find ourselves in fellowship with God who is the light and He is able to work more intimately with us. The more truth you live, the more you will receive.
Walking in love and walking in light seems to cover everything, but God adds one more stage of Christian growth to set our sights on, and that is to walk circumspectly. He wants to get so enlightened that we know exactly what to do in every situation. This is the walk of wisdom, having not only the accurate knowledge of God but also having the wisdom to apply it in every situation.
I heard a story that describes the circumspect walk precisely. There is a certain mountain deer that leads her children up the mountainside. The baby deer follow right behind, putting their feet exactly where their mother’s feet were because they know the ground is solid there. The babies follow the same footsteps of their mother. This is a great example of the circumspect walk.
The circumspect walk is watching our Lord’s footsteps and walking right in them. It’s the walk of the wise and God tells us in Ephesians 5 that we are not only able to walk this way, but that God expects it of us as we grow in Him.
Do you walk circumspectly? Do you want to? Then grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Walk in love, walk in light and mature into walking circumspectly. You’ll find yourself walking closer with God, hearing His voice more clearly and more often, and you’ll become much more useful to the Master, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Enjoy walking with our Lord.