“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15–16

A true sign of wisdom and genuine genius is to be able to study a difficult subject, fully digest the material, gain insight from experience in the matter, and then to simplify the difficult in a form which makes the difficult understandable to even the simple-minded. To distill truth so that others may understand, remember, and glean practical instruction is a gift. Those who have formulated sayings that stick in the mind are wise, but those who have uttered many “quotables” are truly brilliant. Such was our Lord Jesus Christ, King Solomon in his Proverbs, and of course, the Apostle Paul. One of his memorable lines is in our text before us.

His is a succinct instruction that believers must be deliberate in their Christian walk because time is a-wasting and evil abounds. He does not discriminate between types of believers—those with years of faithfulness under their belts versus neophytes, those with formal Christian education versus those who have been tenderly discipled, or those who know better versus those who should know better. All Christians are tasked with walking circumspectly.

The Greek word translated circumspectly means accurately, precisely, taking great care. Dangerous times require steady steps. Steady steps require practical knowledge to find solid footing in the pursuit of the Christian pilgrimage from earth to glory. Such a pilgrimage may sound daunting, but as in any long journey, it is accomplished one sure step at a time. You will find that our gracious God has salted through the Bible verses which proclaim the simple steps that lead to an exemplary Christian life. Fools will ignore them but the wise will embrace them.

The first simple step of the Christian life is to unequivocally believe what God says in the Bible. John 5:24 reads, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” Biblical faith and belief are one and the same. Saving faith is being enabled by the Holy Spirit to rest all your personal past, present, and future trust, burdens, hope, and confidence in the promises and character of holy God and the redemption His Son, Jesus Christ, has wrought. Without saving faith, you have no hope of eternal life (Ephesians 2:1ff).

The second simple step is to obey God in word and deed. Romans 10:9f declares, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” To confess is “to say the same thing” as God does. A true believer confesses his sins, calling them what God calls them, and feeling the same way He does about them. Our sin is a mighty offense to the holy nature of God, for this reason you will often hear of the daily practice of confessing sin in prayer and forsaking the ways of sin in practice. Of course, confession is not just of sin, but of the fact that God has bought us, lock, stock, and barrel, so we are to confess Him before men in witness and in the waters of believer’s immersion.

The third simple step is to feed your soul daily in the Bible. 1 Peter 2:1f reminds believers, “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word that you may grow thereby.” Babies have no trouble letting you know when they are hungry and they are very easy to please when you give them the good food they need. Spiritual babes are the same, just as mature believers gain full enjoyment out of the meat of the Word when it is placed before them. Be sure to feed your soul daily.

The fourth simple step is to pursue spiritual fellowship among the saints. Acts 2:38ff records, “They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” The mutual sharpening, the spiritual teamwork, the encouragement to do right and good, the timely counsel, and the genuine brotherhood that you experience among saints who love the truth as you do is indispensable (Hebrews 10:24f).

The fifth simple step is to be a man or woman of prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” You must not evade the necessity of both personal and corporate prayer, no matter how inconvenient it may be for you in both time and timeliness. Cultivate a praying lifestyle.

The sixth simple step is to pick up your burdens and get to work. Mark 13:34 says, “It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch.” Galatians 6 teaches us that we are to bear one another’s burdens and we are to bear our own load; but we will reap if we faint not, so do not lose heart. There is joy to be had in serving Jesus and fulfilling the task He has designed for each one of us to do.

These are the simple steps to the Christian life. Walk by faith and not by sight, be about your Father’s business and He will take care of yours. Trust and obey.