How do we walk wisely?
1) 1) With Direction (vs. 15)
2) 2) Understanding our time is limited (vs. 16)
3) 3) Drink deeply of the Spirit (vs. 17)
4) 4) Encourage ourselves and one another in the Lord (vs. 19)
5) 5) Give thanks to God in all things, through Jesus Christ our Lord (vs. 20)
6) 6) Submitting to others and to God- not my will, but Your will be done (vs. 21)
1- 1- With Direction. Knowing we are here for a reason and a purpose, we have been given new life and a purpose in Jesus Christ. When you are traveling from point A to point B, and you know you only have a specific amount of time to get there, do you allow distractions to take you from the path? No- you stick to the route that is laid before you. You do not deviate from it to take a “more scenic” route. Our walks should be the same. If we are to talk wisely, then we are to walk with purpose and direction, deviating in no respect from the route the Lord has given us. Jesus said “broad is the way that leads to destruction, and narrow is the gate that leads to life.” (paraphrased) Paul tells us in Philippians that we must “forget those things which are behind and reach forward to the things which are ahead press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:13-14) Do not let fear or any other distraction take you from Jesus. Keep your eyes ahead, and your feet moving.
2- 2- Understanding our time is limited. “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12. We are a speck in the span of eternity; our lives upon this earth are numbered. We have been given a specific amount of time to do that which the Lord has called us to do. I saw a post on Facebook, a quote from Erma Bombeck that said something like, “When I stand before God I want to say, “I used up everything you gave me”. Let us not waste our time on meaningless things. But let us spend the time that we have been given to do that which the Lord has called us to. Redeeming means to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well doing are as it were the purchase money by which we make the time our own. (Vines Expository Dictionary) It also goes on to say that “redeeming the time” refers to making the most of every opportunity, turning each to the best advantage since none can be recalled if missed. Once our day is over- it is over, there is no getting it back. Pastor Greg Laurie once preached that we are given 1440 minutes in a day; we are to use them all. We cannot carry over an hour here or two hours there, once they are gone, they are gone. To walk in wisdom is to use our time as if it is our last. A good question to ask yourself, “If the Lord came back right now, what would I be doing?”
3- 3- Drink deeply of the Spirit. Paul tells us to not be filled with wine but be filled with the Spirit. To be filled refers to “joy, as being fulfilled or complete”. “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:52. Not a whole lotta joy in your days? Then drink, drink of the Holy Spirit. Every day we should ask to be filled, and fulfilled through Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit has been given to us to guide us, teach us and direct us in all things that He has prepared for us. We need to ask to be filled, renewed, and filled to the brim with joy! Joy means rejoicing, and delight. Delight ourselves in the Lord and we will be filled with joy! Philippians 4:4-7 is the scripture to read when you are running low on Joy!
4- 4- Encourage ourselves and one another in the Lord. Jon Courson’s commentary takes you to Psalm 43:5. David had just returned from battle with his army and found his people pillaged, murdered and a number of other horrible things, (1 Sam. 30:6) What did David do? He had good reason to be depressed and upset, angry and sad, but instead, he wrote a Psalm. “He encouraged himself in the Lord. Had David remained in his depressed state, not only would he have been rendered ineffective, but everyone else as well. David began to worship (Psalm 103 and 43). God’s will is that you be free- nothing will free you from your own depressing situation like worship. You will be blessed and amazingly productive whenever you give thanks to God for ALL things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul as well, was witness to this first hand. Acts 16:25 says that he and his companions were thrown in prison, they did not complain about their situation; instead they praised, worshiped and sang songs to the Lord, making melody in their hearts. Not only were they encouraged, but all the prisoners and even the guards were affected by their worship. When we are stuck, the Lord tells us that wisdom is in our worship. Surround yourself with God’s Word and not only will you be given wisdom in your circumstances, but Joy as well. (James 1:2)
5- 5- Give thanks to God in ALL things through Jesus Christ our Lord. Philippians 4:4-7 again. We have so much to be thankful for. There is no reason for us to allow fear, failure, sin, doubt, troubles and trials bring us down. David said in Psalm 43:5 “Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him. The help (salvation) of my countenance and my God.” When we think we have nothing to be thankful for, look around you. Look to Jesus and the thanksgiving will flow freely. You have Him, and that is more than enough.
6- 6- Submitting to others and to the Lord, Not my will, but Your will be done. Solomon, the wisest man to ever live said, “The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by One Shepherd. And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, Fear God and Keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecc. 12:11-14) We are one body, one spirit in Christ. When we encourage, admonish, lift up, and pray for one another, we are submitting to one another in love. For love never fails. But the end of that matter, the way and the reason we need to walk in wisdom is because of Jesus Christ. To have true and fulfilled joy in our lives we need to remember, Jesus, Others, Yourself=JOY everlasting. Without surrender, there can be no growth. Without love there can be no Joy.
So, what is the end of the matter? How can we as believers walk in wisdom? Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, all your strength, and, love your neighbor as yourself. In this is wisdom. Amen