Watch Your Step

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise” (Ephesians 5:15).

Walking wisely is a step in the right direction.

Sometimes a soldier has the thankless task of clearing mine fields from enemy territory. If you’re aware of the procedure, you know the work is both dangerous and tedious. To proceed in an orderly fashion, a soldier marks areas that are considered dangerous and areas that have been cleared. Above all, he makes sure he is careful where he’s walking! In the spiritual realm, Paul is telling believers in Ephesians 5:15 to walk carefully. The Greek term translated “careful” speaks of looking carefully from side to side and being alert to what is going on.

We need to be extremely alert because the world we’re walking through is a mine field of sin and temptation. Therefore, we must walk carefully, exactly, and accurately. The wise Christian carefully charts his course according to life principles designed by God. He doesn’t trip over the obstacles that Satan puts in his path or fall into the entanglement of the world’s system. He is “careful.” The Greek word translated “walk” means “daily conduct,” “daily pattern,” or “daily life.” The daily pattern of our lives must reflect wisdom. The Greeks saw wisdom primarily as head knowledge. They tended to spin off theories that had no practical implications. To them, the wise people were the intellectuals and the philosophers. The Hebrew mind, however, defined wisdom only in terms of behavior. When a person becomes a Christian, it’s more than a change in theory—it’s a change in how he lives.

Paul is saying in verse 15, “If you used to be a fool, but you’ve been made wise in Christ, then walk wisely.” In other words, we’re to practice our position, to live in accordance with who we are. When we became Christians, we came out of foolishness into wisdom. Therefore, we need to act like it!

Be careful not to act foolishly and step on Satan’s mines. Your spiritual transformation demands that you live your life with care.

Suggestions for Prayer
Thank the Lord for helping you obey His Word and avoid Satan’s destructive mines.

For Further Study
Read Titus 3:1-8. What are you to be careful to do (v. 8)? Why?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187

Growing in Wisdom

“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

Growing in wisdom means growing in Christlikeness.

Perhaps you’re asking, “Shouldn’t believers acquire more wisdom?” Yes, we should. No matter how much of God’s wisdom we have, we should always hunger for more. The Bible tells us that we have all the principles we need to walk in wisdom, and yet there’s much more available to us. We should “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), and we should be more and more conformed to the image of Christ by the transforming work of the Spirit of God. Our wisdom should increase, as should our godliness, but we are given the basic principles at salvation. Even though a person may not know all the truths in the Bible, God’s Spirit, who is resident in him from the moment of salvation, will convict and convince him of righteousness and sin.

What do you do if you want more wisdom? First, worship. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Make it your goal to have a worshipful heart throughout each day and to be faithful in attending the Lord’s house regularly (see Heb. 10:25). Second, pray. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Make it your continual prayer to ask God for more of His wisdom. Third, receive instruction. The apostle Paul encouraged “admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom” (Col. 1:28). If you want more wisdom, one good way to receive it is to be instructed by someone who is wise. Finally, study Scripture. In 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.” Set up a regular Bible study time, and let the Holy Spirit teach you.

What about you? Are you growing in wisdom? If not, make it your priority.

Suggestions for Prayer
Ask God to help you grow in wisdom.

For Further Study
Make it your daily goal to implement the four ways mentioned in today’s lesson for growing in wisdom.

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187