Ephesians 5:15-18 NKJV
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not be drunk with wine… but be filled with the Spirit.
God exhorts us through His Word in this passage to walk circumspectly – to live in a watchful, discreet and well-considered manner. We are called to live purposefully and worthily, as wise children and disciples of God.
This reminds me that to walk wisely is a cautious and intentional choice of ours, and when left to our natural inclination, you and I may inadvertently swerve to foolish living.
When we are careful how we live, we will be on a journey of redeeming the time, recognizing that we are living in an era where the days are evil and forces of darkness are beckoning. Conversely, when we live not as wise but as fools, we do not sense or sometimes, choose to disregard the present evil times. And as a result, the evil that surrounds us will eventually overwhelm us.
Therefore, you and I ought to determinedly and decidedly choose every day to walk wisely and live purposefully.
‘Redeeming the time’ as Paul writes in Ephesians 5:16 is about making the best use of our time and making the most of every opportunity. In the original language Greek, ‘time’ actually refers to ‘opportunity’. It refers to choice moments that God gives us to take hold of in order to accomplish His purposes. In other words, when we are not redeeming the time, we are missing out on all those divine moments God places before us in our daily walk of life, thereby also failing to be used by God to carry out His purposes. Such is certainly not living circumspectly and walking wisely, as God has instructed us.
Redeeming the time requires us to firstly, even recognize these God-given opportunities to bring about His purpose. It could be to share the Gospel with your neighbor, pray for your colleague or help a passer-by who is in need.
In Acts 3:1-10, we read that one day, a seemingly ordinary day, when Peter and John are heading to the temple at the time of prayer, a man lame from birth asks them for money. Peter stops, looks at him, and gives him more than money. Peter declares healing in the Name of Jesus and stretches out his hand to help the lame man up. The man instantly regains strength in his feet and ankles and begins to walk, and enters the temple of God with Peter and John.
This is how we recognize and respond to the God-given opportunities and redeem the time. We have to live circumspectly and walk wisely, with open eyes every day. Open our eyes to see those opportune moments God gives us to glorify His Name through ministering to someone in our path. And, open our heart to respond to these opportunities with the love and compassion of God. Open our mouth to share and proclaim the Words of God. Open our hands to help the person in need and lead him to the House of God to praise and worship Jesus.
We are all called to redeem the time of those who have not yet believed in Jesus. Without Jesus, their lives are still in bondage of sin and they are living their days without the purpose of God. But as Christians, we are able to redeem their purposeless hours by sharing with them the Good News of Christ and leading them to receive the salvation of Jesus. Then, they too will be able to start their life journey of eternal purpose and significance. Our walking wisely and redeeming the time is so that many people can enjoy this Kingdom life and also walk wisely.
Walk circumspectly, walk wisely and understand what the will of the Lord is, so that we are always ready to seize every opportunity that God presents before us every day to accomplish His purpose.
To do this, it is imperative that you and I be filled with the Spirit, as Ephesians 5:18 tells us. For it is the Holy Spirit Who empowers us with all the help and ability that we need in our journey of walking wisely, of being in tandem with the heartbeat of God.
Join me in this prayer.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You that every day of my life has been ordained and appointed by You for me to honor and glorify Your Name. I thank You that You have redeemed me from death to life and brought me from darkness into Your light. I ask for Your strength and guidance that I may carefully live each day of my life and walk wisely every step of the way. Holy Spirit, I need You, come and empower me to be sensitive and alert to every opportunity to minister to people who are in need, according to the will of the Lord. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”