The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Walk Circumspectly

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. (Eph. 5:15-17)

“Circumspectly” means cautiously, vigilantly, heedfully, with watchfulness to guard against danger. “Circumspect” literally means looking on all sides, or examining carefully all the circumstances that may affect a determination. (source)

Why do we need to walk circumspectly?Because the days are evil.  These are days of spiritual warfare.  In these evil days, we need to take up the whole armor of God so that we can stand against the wiles of the devil.  We need to be mindful that principalities and powers are against us to destroy us, but God has given us everything we need to overcome them if we will but heed His warnings. If we neglect the spiritual dress God has provided, we do so to our own peril.

Ephesians 6:11-17 teaches us how we must be dressed for these evil days:

in Truth–for the Lord desires truth in the inward parts (Psa. 51:6). Let us say with David, I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me. (Psa. 119:30)  The entirety of God’s Word is truth (Psa. 119:60), and the truth is in Jesus(Eph. 4:21). We who follow Jesus and His teaching follow the living Truth, and it is the Spirit of Truth who lives in us (John 14:6-7).  It is by the truth that we are sanctified (John 17:17). Buy the truth and do not sell it (Prov. 23:23), for only those who receive a love of the truth will be saved (2 Thess. 2:10).

in Righteousness–for the Lord upholds the righteous (Psa. 37:17), and He shall never permit the righteous to be moved (Psa. 55:22).  He who does righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous (I Jn. 3:7), and righteousness delivers from death (Prov. 11:4).

in the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace–always being ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear (I Pet. 3:15), being unashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.  As Paul did, let us share also in the sufferings for the gospel as Christ’s ambassadors through whom our Lord pleads “Be reconciled to God.” (2 Tim. 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:18-20)  And if we areentrusted with the gospel, even so… speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts (I Thess. 2:4).

in the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation–faith to quench the fiery darts of the wicked that will come, and to move the mountains that will stand in our way; and our so-great salvation and its captain (Jesus) always guarding our minds. Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

with the Sword of the Spirit ever fitted to our hand and ready to be used–used to silence the lies of satan and to invade and pull down strongholds; casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly; study to show yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth(Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 2:15).  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17).  Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you (I Tim. 4:16)..

always prayingwith all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints (Eph. 6:18).  Pray without ceasing, being ever mindful to keep your connection to the Father unobstructed by sin or apathy (1 Thess. 5:17).  Don’t go to sleep, saints, but watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matt. 26-41).  Heed the warning of the Lord:

But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.  Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:34-36)

Walk circumspectly; be dressed for battle and on your guard at all times, waiting and watching for your Master.  Do not be like the foolish virgins, who were unprepared for the long delay of their Bridegroom, and tried to shake off their slumber and get ready at the last moment, only to find they were too late.  Shake off your slumber now and check your oil supply; take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness (Lk. 11:35).  Make sure you are doing what God has told you to do, and that you maintain that work to the end, lest you be appointed a portionwith the unbelievers.

Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;  and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.  Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.  And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.  But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.  Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?  Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.  Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.  But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk,  the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. (Luke 12:35-40, 42-46)

Walk circumspectly when you are with the wicked, guarding your own behavior. David said, “I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me.” (Psa. 39:1)  Satan is looking to take advantage of us, and we are not ignorant of his devices (2 Cor. 2:11). We must not give place to the devil through our yielding to any sin (Eph. 4:27), especially in the presence of unbelievers who are watching to see if our walk matches our talk. Guard your mouth, for he who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction (Prov. 13:3).  Satan will exploit everything he can, to ruin our testimony before outsiders and offer them an excuse to reject the truth. Therefore, be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (I Pet. 5:8-9)

Redeem the time. Each man is given only one life–one chunk of time–to steward, and the end of it is coming. So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom (Psa. 90:12). LORD, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am.   Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths. (Psa. 39:45)  And do this, knowing the time, that now it ishigh time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we firstbelieved. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.  Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, tofulfill its lusts (Rom. 13:11-14).  Saints, we simply don’t have time to make provision for the flesh and pursue vain things that have no eternal value. The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Who will go for the Lord? He who wins souls is wise (Prov. 11:30).

Do not be unwise, but understand what the Lord’s will is. His will is not that we seek a comfortable life on this earth while millions perish. His will is not that we eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die. His will is not that we blend in with our neighbors and keep our lights under a bushel, lest someone be offended. That is satan’s will.  Satan wants us to be carnally minded, because to be carnally minded is death (Rom. 8:6). We dare not be an offense and stumbling block to Christ and His mission, as Peter was at first, being not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  (Matt. 16:23, 25-26)  We must not be conformed to the thinking of this selfish world, but transformed by the renewing of our mind so that we can prove what is the perfect will of God (Rom. 12:2). We discover and prove the will of God so that we can do it, for whoever does the will of God is the Lord’s brother and sister and mother (Mark 3:35).

Walk circumspectly!  God bless you.

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