“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15,16
I can remember as a little boy listening to Johnny Cash singing, “I Walk The Line”. I must have been only eight or nine years old at the time, but I can remember where I was when I was listening to it. At the time, to me it was just a cool sounding song. I didn’t know the full ramifications of the meaning to the words then, but today I believe that they have a particular realm of spiritual meaning. Look at some of the words to that song one more time.
I keep a close watch on this heart of mine.
I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you’re mine, I walk the line.
The Lord’s love song to His children implores them to “walk the line” too. Throughout the Scripture there is a specific emphasis upon the believer’s walk. In Psalm 1, verse 1 we read, “How blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners.” Thus, who we associate with can have devastating adverse eternal ramifications. The Lord Jesus toward the end of His Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matthew’s Gospel that we must enter in by the narrow gate and remain on the narrow way if we are to attain eternal life. The warning is clear that the wide gate and the wide way that most will unwisely choose will lead only to destruction.
The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians speaks of those who are wise….and those who are fools. To be wise, one’s walk is a moral walk and his life is a direct reflection of such wisdom. Yet when the Bible uses the term “fool”, this is not a measure of one’s intellectual prowess, but an identification of one who is a non-believer, and because he chooses not to believe, his lifestyle is abominable to the Lord. A life lived apart from God is a life that willfully chooses to walk its own path. It’s a life that cannot recognize nor understand truth. Much like the drunkard, all inhibitions are lost, and the fool cannot comprehend his true condition.
So when Paul encourages the believer to walk circumspectly, he is implying that they are to walk accurately or precisely with great care.
Johnny Cash’s song is applicable with the man who chooses to be wise in his walk. “I keep a close watch on this heart of mine.” (He is careful not to follow the pathways of fools.) “I keep my eyes wide open all the time.” (Jesus in Matthew 26:41 exhorted us to, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”) “Because you’re mine, I walk the line.” (We belong to the One who died for us that we might have eternal life. Thus, because we are alive in Christ….we too want to carefully, with all precision, walk the line.)