Ephesians 5:16-17 says: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (ESV) Christians should be wise in their walk, because the Devil is a wily opponent. Here are three analogies to walking carefully:
In the old days, land surveys were measured in steps. Great care was needed to make sure all the surveyors had the same stride. Problems happened when the first surveyor was 5’5” and the next one was 6’2”, or, one surveyor started at a landmark and walked downhill and another started at the bottom of the hill and worked uphill. From a spiritual point of view, Christians must stay within the boundaries that God has surveyed. 2 John 9 reads: “Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” In Matthew 7:21, Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Then in Luke 6:46, He said: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”
Jesus says that one who calls Him the Lord of lords had better do God’s will. Calling Jesus the Master of masters and not doing what He says is hypocritical. According to Matt 7:22-23 there will be many surprised people at the judgment. Not that they were gross sinners, but because they worked “lawlessness,” outside the bounds that God set.
Another analogy to walking circumspectly is a close quarter military formation, like a marching band. Everyone must make the same stride, keep proper positioning and the same steps, or else chaos happens. On the field, the drum major has total control of the music’s tempo. In the spiritual realm, Jesus is the drum major and Christians are the band. Marching to the beat of a different drummer is not acceptable.
If ever there were a one who must walk circumspectly, a tightrope walker would be it. Every step must be made with care and precision, or disaster will occur. Jesus said that the road to Heaven is narrow and difficult. (Matthew 7:13-14) Thanks to God’s mercy and grace, the way has a safety net, but staying on that road isn’t easy. Fortunately, children of God have a peace offering and an advocate to plead for them at God’s throne. (1 John 2:1-2)
To sum up, God’s children must walk carefully. The difference between Heaven and Hell can be a misstep that is not repented of. (1 John 1:9; 5:16-17) However, to the praise and glory of God, who by the grace of Jesus, wants His people to succeed.