Adam and Eve walked with God. Enoch walked with God. Daniel walked with God. The disciples walked with the Son of God. You can walk with God too. Ephesians 5:1-20 teaches us much about walking with God. Notice three major principles in this passage. These principles will help you to “walk on water” like Peter did with Jesus, and stay calm when you find yourself in “a den of lions” like Daniel.
1. Imitate God. You would do well to imitate a respected pastor or Bible study leader that you know. You would do well to imitate a world famous Christian author or pastor. You would even do well to imitate some of the men and women from the Scriptures. But if you stop there, you have set the bar too low. The Bible teaches us that God expects, equips and empowers us to imitate Him!
Ephesians 5:1-5 (HCSB)
1 Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. 2 And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. 3 But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. 4 Coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks. 5 For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God.
How do we imitate God?
- Display unconditional, sacrificial love toward others (vv1-2)
- Live a life of morality, holiness and purity (v3)
- Be generous, not greedy (v3)
- Speak godly words: use words of thanks, never use crude language (v4)
According to verse 5, a person whose life is characterized by sexual immorality, impurity, or greed does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of God. Such a person should repent of their sin, place their faith in Christ, receive forgiveness, and begin to walk with God in holiness through faith. God transforms lives!
2. Don’t be deceived by the darkness. As you are walking with God, realize that forces of darkness are at work in opposition to you. Don’t be deceived into thinking that the deeds of darkness are acceptable behavior for those who are walking with God. Jesus has set you free from slavery-to-the-deeds-of-darkness so that you will walk with Him in the light of goodness, righteousness, and truth!
Ephesians 5:6-14 (HCSB)
6 Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. 7 Therefore, do not become their partners. 8 For you were once darkness, but now ⌊you are⌋ light in the Lord. Walk as children of light— 9 for the fruit of the light ⌊results⌋ in all goodness, righteousness, and truth— 10 discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. 13 Everything exposed by the light is made clear, 14 for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said: Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you.
Read verses 6-14 carefully. Notice the differences between those who walk in the darkness and those who walk in the light. There are many differences! Those in the darkness are deceived, will experience the wrath of God, have shameful behavior, and much more. Children of light walk in goodness, righteousness and the truth, reflecting the light of Christ. Christ-followers were once in darkness but through Jesus we are now in the light. He even uses our lives to show others their need for Christ.
3. Make the most of your time. When you walk with God, you will realize that every moment of every day is important. Make the most of every moment of your life. Don’t waste a moment! Jesus used every moment of His life wisely, and so should you.
Ephesians 5:15-20 (HCSB)
15 Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise— 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 And don’t get drunk with wine, which ⌊leads to⌋ reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit: 19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
According to verses 15-20, what are some of the ways to carry out the Lord’s will? What are the wise ways to live, and what are unwise? There is an urgency to live for Christ because the days in which we live are evil. People need the Lord. We should not get drunk with wine, but instead we should be controlled by the Holy Spirit. Even our music should honor the Lord.
One incredibly important way to make the most of your time is to thank God FOR everything (v20). It is one thing to thank God in the midst of every situation (1 Thessalonians 5:18), and it takes spiritual maturity to do that. But, it takes much more spiritual maturity to thank God FOR everything, even for the terrible circumstances of life, like the den of lions that Daniel had to face. When you thank God FOR everything, you are saying that you believe God is in control, you believe God has a purpose for everything, and you have faith in God to work everything out for your good and for His glory (Romans 8:28). That is making the most of every opportunity. Thank God FOR everything!
That is walking with God.