This morning, while drinking my coffee, I read Ephesians chapter 5. In the (New King James Version (NKJV) it is split up into 4 subheadings. The first three are: walking in love, walking in light, and walking in wisdom. So, I’m going to split my post into three parts, with those same headings…
Walking in Love
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. (Ephesians 5:1-2)
What then might it mean to walk in love? Firstly, it’s the unconditional love (agape) that flows to us from the source – God is love. This love is open to all. In John 3:16 it says, ‘For God so loved the world…’ He doesn’t exclude anyone or make exceptions – He loves the whole world, regardless of gender, age, colour, wealth, marital status, ability, health, sexuality, etc. We are to love with that same love – a sweet-smelling aroma.
Walking in Light
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. (Ephesians 5:8-11)
We all have secrets, we all do the wrong things sometimes, we all make mistakes. We are all human. Without grace we’d all be lost. When we become Christians we start the process of bringing ourselves to Jesus light. Under that light will come healing, forgiveness, repentance, renewal, transformation. All of these things are a gift of grace and mercy.
I recently exposed some sin to the light of Jesus. I took to Him my jealousy and hatred. He showed me a better way. I gave it over to Him. When I did He replaced it with love and acceptance. I received healing and transformation in this area. I’m sure I’ll pick it up again in the future, but that will just be another opportunity to surrender to Him.
Walking in Wisdom
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. (Ephesians 5:15-21)
A quote, by Miles Kington, came to mind when reading this, ‘knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad’. I’m using that distinction for this, ‘do not be drunk with wine… but be filled with the Spirit’. I’m not saying whether or not it’s alright to get drunk, but rather that I do not believe that to be the focus of this verse. I believe that it could be written as an excess of anything: TV, cake, chocolate, food, Facebook, etc. It’s not saying that we can’t enjoy ourselves, or feast and celebrate. But rather it is pointing to the wisdom of filling ourselves with the Holy Spirit, which means that we don’t need anything else.
These three aspects of discipleship are tough to do, aren’t they? I haven’t got any simple answers apart from, I suppose, try your best.