Pastor Shelly Foley delivers a powerful message on walking in wisdom based on Ephesians 5:8-21. She emphasizes the journey from darkness to light, stressing the importance of leaving behind former ways and embracing the light and life of Christ. Pastor Shelly explains that walking in wisdom involves discerning what pleases the Lord, exposing darkness, and understanding God’s will. She highlights the significance of living transparently, aligning with the Word of God, and redeeming the opportune moments (Cairos) in our lives. Through surrender and seeking God wholeheartedly, believers can navigate a world filled with moral ambiguities, fostering a lifestyle of wisdom and spiritual clarity.
Re-watch the full service below!
“So we’re just going to dive right in. So today we’re going to continue in Ephesians, chapter five. And as we continue to break down the word of God in application of our lives. See, the book of Ephesians is this great book that teaches us how to live our lives. It’s got such practical explanations and practical assignments to us, things that we need to do to be able to live a life full of Christ, to walk out a life that manifests Christ. It’s the part of the application of the walking in our lives. It gives us an understanding and a revelation and spiritual clarity to what God has in store for each and every one of us. So we’re going to continue here in ephesians five. But I wanted to back up all the way to verse eight that my dad preached on a few weeks ago. My mom touched last week. But I believe that there’s some context as we go to the next verses that we need to gain to see it all together before we can step into this next place. So go ahead and put it up. Ephesians five, verse eight says, for you were once darkness, but now you are light in the world, light in the Lord. So walk as children of light. For the fruit of the spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth, finding out what is acceptable to the Lord and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light. For whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore, he says, awake, o you sleep and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light. So continuing on into our passage, for today, verse 15. 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. And do not be drunk with wine in which is dissipation, but be filled with the spirit speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting one to one another in the fear of the Lord. Lord, I thank you that we can come to hear your voice today. Lord, I thank you that you still speak and that you are speaking through your word today. Lord, I pray that you give us ears to hear, that you open our eyes to revelation. Lord, I pray that the words that I speak would not be mine, but would be yours. And I pray right now in the name of Jesus, that every place that has been blocked would be open by the spirit of God today, that we would begin to understand how it is that we can walk in light and walk in wisdom, full of the spirit. In your name we pray. Amen. So today we’re going to be talking about walking in wisdom. But like I said, I believe there is a journey here that Paul is taking us on, because in verse eight, he says there’s this transformation from darkness to light. You see, it’s the starting point with our journey. We’ve started in a dark place. We started in darkness, right? You were once darkness, but now you are light. It is a complete change, right? Because you cannot have darkness if there is light, and you cannot have light if there is darkness. It is night and day. It is the contrast between darkness and light and the importance of leaving behind our former ways so that we can embrace the light and life of Christ. That is what he’s talking about. He is saying, this is the journey. Walk away from the places that you were in and walk into the place that I have called you. He is talking about identity here. This is really interesting because he is combating the labels that our old sins and our mindsets put on us. You know that Satan likes to attach identity to what we’ve done. Satan likes to attach identity to things that we have done and behaviors in which we walk in. But God said, no, you are light. I have brought you out of darkness. I have taken away that identity. You are light. Then he says, so walk as children of light. We didn’t have to walk right before he called us light. Let me say that again. We didn’t have to walk right before he called us light. We walk in light because we are made light in him. This is the journey. Ephesians continues to teach us that we need to walk as children of light. And this involves learning what is acceptable and pleasing to the Lord. Pastor Celine touched this a little bit, but I felt like I wanted to emphasize a few things today. Finding means to test or prove for oneself. Find, he says, find out what is acceptable to the Lord. Acceptable means to please. So finding indicates the demand for careful thought and discrimination and discernment. Commentary Francis Folkes says, the light of God is given, but it does not free us from the responsibility of thought and choice. The light of God is given, but it does not free us from the responsibility of thought and choice. We are in a process as we walk in the light of discovering the things that please God, this discovery brings spiritual clarity. And this is good because we have got to move past any place of uncertainty about what pleases God. Because this is just the beginning of the journey. We have to move past it. We have to find what pleases God. You see, you cannot find what pleases God without light. Light comes first. And I think sometimes we get it backwards. We’re trying to find clarity on a situation. We’re trying to understand what God wants from us. But maybe we’re not clear on what pleases God because we haven’t brought everything into the light. Light first. Light first. The light enables us to discriminate between what is pleasing and what is not pleasing to the Lord. It’s in the light of Christ that all motives and actions must be tested. If you think about, like, a bazaar or one of those big outdoor shopping areas in the Middle east that are covered with all sorts of things, if you guys know what I’m talking about, those big markets, right? If you go into there, they’re not very well lit, right? And if you want to buy something, what do you want to do? You want to see it, right? So you take it outside, you hold it up to the light so it can expose any flaws, so it expose any imperfections. You see, the exposing things to light is not a bad thing. I think. So often we look at these scriptures and we’re like, oh, man, okay, God’s going to expose things. It’s like, no, I want this. I want to do what pleases God. So I’m going to bring all of these thoughts. I’m going to bring all of these plans. I’m going to bring all of the things that I believe in. I’m going to bring all of my cares, all of my loves, all of the things that are ahead of me, and I’m going to bring them out into the light and say, God, show me what is imperfect here. Bring clarity to what I am doing so I can walk clearly. So we can walk clearly. It’s our duty to expose every action, every decision and every motive to the light of Christ. The desires and choices of who walk in the light are governed by their determination to not please themselves, but to please their lord. The desires and choices of those who walk in the light must be governed by their determination to not please themselves, but to please the Lord. Verses eleven through 14 calls us to have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. Pastor Celine did an amazing job last week. If you did not listen to her message. Listen to it. If you listen to it, listen to it again. It is necessary. This is what she says. It is necessary to expose the nature of darkness and sin, not for judgment, but to manifest love and truth in a world where personal desires often outweigh the well being of one another. She emphasized the necessity of considering the effects of our decisions on God and the people around us. And she encouraged us to pursue God’s way and invited us to reflect and to be accountable to each other in God’s light and expose darkness using truth and love. You see, this elevation of truth doesn’t just protect us, but it also offers the opportunity for those in darkness to be illuminated by the light of the truth of God inside of us. Exposing darkness requires the courage to stand for what is right and the wisdom to discern not just what is wrong. Listen. The wisdom to discern not just what is wrong, but why it is detrimental to ourselves and to others. Exposing the darkness. This act of exposing is a direct manifestation of discernment in action. It’s spiritual clarity on display. See, walking in light means living transparently, honestly, with integrity. And it turns into a life of transformation for those who choose to walk in this spiritual clarity. So here we are. Set a little journey. We are the light. Walk as children of light. Find what pleases the Lord and expose everything else. And now we come to verse 15. Says, see then that you walk circumspect, circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. See, he’s giving us a roadmap. Now said, I took you from there. I gave you my light. Now you get to walk in light. And this is how you walk it out. Don’t walk as fools. Walk as wise, he says, redeeming the time because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Now, wait, didn’t we just say a few verses earlier? We need to find what pleases the Lord. Yes, this is a continuation of thought. We need to find and search out what pleases God. And then later, he continues on, and he adds to it, and he says, understand what the will of the Lord is. It’s a growing moving on. Verse 18. And do not be drunk with wine in witches dissipation, but be filled with the spirit speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. So I want to spend a few minutes to break down these couple of scriptures because I believe we have some things that God has to unfold to us to unpack for us. So I’m a kind of get in the weeds kind of a studyer, and I love to go deep. I think a bunch of you already know this. So I love the interlinear literal translation Bible. Some of you know this. Know this Bible. Okay. Verse 15 in the interlinear literal translation says, take heed how accurately you walk, not as unwise, but as wise. So here, where the new king James says, see that you walk circumspectly, it is more specific to say, take heed how accurately you walk. And to me, this is a little bit different. This is a little bit more specific. You see, take heed means to look, to see, to pay attention, to beware and understand. It also means facing, to be oriented in a direction. It also means to start to do something than to hesitate. It it accurately. Take heed how accurately you walk accurately is exactly diligently, precisely implying care and adequacy. So here we see that he’s asking us to pay attention really, really diligently and really, really precisely. You know that precise things are not broad things, right? He’s not asking us to be like, I’m going that way. Somewhere over there. He’s asking you to carefully pay attention to something very specific, the preciseness of the feet, the steps that you’re taking. Walk means to behave, to live unwise. Here means foolish, lacking skills or understanding. Wise means skillful, practical skills. Specifically, it says, wise, skillful in discernment. Right? So here’s my Shelley’s translation of this verse. Face where you want to go and be on alert so you can carefully and precisely conduct your life intentionally and skillfully, rather than letting life happen to you due to your lack of understanding and wisdom. Face where you want to go and be on alert so you can carefully and precisely conduct your life intentionally and skillfully, rather than letting life happen to you because of your lack of understanding and wisdom. You see, Paul is instructing us to closely watch the principles and belief systems that govern and control our lives. You know that our belief systems are built through the thoughts that we reason with. So often we make decisions through reasoning of the mind rather than the wisdom of God. And strongholds and belief systems are established that are not of God. And if we will begin to understand and be precise in our living and take captive every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ and put it in subjection to the word of God. I will be able to walk a life living of wisdom and light and life, and I will no longer be swayed by everything that comes around and everything that comes in here because I know that. I know that I know who he is and who I am in him. We’ve got to get this church. We need to understand that because we have the life and the light of Christ within us, we have every ability to choose to walk in wisdom. We have every ability to break the stronghold and the thought process that we and the belief systems that we have built up in our mind and put it into subjection to the word of God and walk out wisdom. As we get closer to him, exposing the thoughts that have created strongholds to the light, we can position ourselves properly, aligning our lives with the word of God, and we can find freedom and we can walk in godly wisdom. We’ve got to get this. We’ve got to get this. He goes on in the next verses to explain why. He says, don’t be unwise. See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but wise. And he says, redeeming the time because the days are evil. So once again, I got out my interlinear literal translation, and the scripture reads, ransoming the time because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. We have to understand the time that we are living in. He is asking us to live a life of wisdom for a reason, because we are living in times that do not pursue godly wisdom, and on the Contrary, they pursue everything contrary to godly wisdom. And we cannot be foolish, but we must understand his will and his purpose, which comes through walking in light and walking in wisdom. He’s asking us to ransom the time, understand the time that we’re in. But you know that word ransom? In other translations it just says, redeem the time. Most of the other translations it just says, have the opportune time that God has. For you understand that ransom means to buy, means to purchase something to redeem, to rescue from loss. We are supposed to buy and rescue from loss time. How in the world am I supposed to do that? Well, here’s the other thing. Greek is a cool language, and it’s got a lot more words than English. And there’s two words for time in Greek. Some of you may know this one word for time is kronos. Kronos is the time that we measure on clocks. It’s sequential. It’s quantitative kronos refers to time as we mean it. When I say, what time is it? Right. It’s a sequence of equal parts, 24 hours in the day. Each hour is the same length. Right. Same thing. The second word in the Greek for time is Cairos. Now, Cairos. Now, a lot of, I’ve heard a lot of preachers talk about Cairos. I’ve heard a lot of messages on it, but I loved this. Cairos refers to the way in which certain moments are more important or influential than others. Cairos is about the fluctuation of events and circumstances which create opportunities. And this is a secular definition. Now, the strongs and the lexicons define cairos as an occasion, a set point of time, the set proper time, or an opportunity. But I love how Webster’s world dictionary defines Kairos, a time when conditions are right for the accomplishment of a critical action, the opportune or decisive moment. We are in an opportune moment. We are in a time where the conditions are right and if we will discern and if we will buy it, that requires exchange, by the way. Purchasing something requires an exchange of something. If I will exchange my desires for his desires, if I will exchange my will for his will, if I will exchange all the things that I want in this world for a much better opportunity from him, I will recognize the opportunity in front of us to bring God into the mix. You know, Cairo’s time isn’t just about me. It is about God fulfilling his plan and purpose here in the earth. And he is asking us, will we walk in light and wisdom, and will we understand the moments that we are in? Will we understand that he has us here for a now time, that it’s not about tomorrow, it’s not about the next week. But God is asking us, will we exchange? Will we give something to let the manifestation of Christ out into the earth? Will he exchange our own agendas, our own Kronos time for his Cairo’s time in the earth. We have to understand this. He says, don’t be foolish. Don’t be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. This is not the same word that we defined earlier in the passage with unwise. This word means mindless and stupid and ignorant and egotistic and unbelieving. This is choice. At first he says, I’m bringing you out of darkness and into light, and I’m helping you find me because you’ve been unwise. So come out of your unwise place and come into the light. And now he’s saying, so walk in wisdom. Because you are the children of light. So walk in wisdom. Do not be foolish. Do not choose ignorance. Do not choose unbelief. Do not choose mindlessness, but understand, really comprehend to the point of insight. God’s purposes. First we find what pleases God, but then we have to understand his purposes. Now, here’s the thing. Our job is to search. Our job is to align my life, to expose places of darkness, to face the direction that I’m going. His job is to bring revelation. Jeremiah 29, verse 13. When you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found of you, says the Lord, and I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. The emphasis on understanding what the will of God is speaks to a heart surrendered to God’s guidance, a heart surrendered to the purpose of God, because I may not be able to figure it out here, but when I search for him and when I seek him with all of my heart, he says, I will be found. I will bring truth. I will bring understanding and revelation. And, you know, revelation goes beyond a mental understanding. Revelation is an understanding of the heart, an awakening to something that God has brought and an invitation to walk into something new. That is what revelation is. We’ve got to get an understanding of this. If I am truly walking in wisdom, then I am walking in discernment and clarity. Then I have the ability to, even in the middle of the darkness of the world that it’s around me, I can see clearly. When God says, now is the time. You we need to walk in the fullness of God. Walk in the fullness of him. You see, the conscious choice to discern what is pleasing to the Lord will equip us to navigate a world filled with moral ambiguities, fostering a lifestyle of wisdom and spiritual clarity. Transformation from darkness to light brings us to a place of rejecting worldly wisdom and embracing the wisdom that comes only through relationship and closeness with God. This sets the stage for understanding the transformation that is necessary for walking in God’s wisdom. You know, we live in a world where lines between right and wrong are increasingly blurry. But Ephesians calls us to a life of intentional discernment, to spiritual clarity, to a walk of wisdom, a walk of surrender to the spirit’s leading, transforming how we live, transforming how we interact with each other, building up the body of Christ. Amen.”
In a world filled with moral ambiguities and shifting values, it’s crucial for believers to walk in wisdom and spiritual clarity. Pastor Shelly Foley’s recent sermon on Ephesians 5:8-21 provides a guiding light on this journey, offering practical insights and spiritual encouragement.
“You were once darkness, but now you are light. It is a complete change… We walk in light because we are made light in him.”Pastor Shelly Foley, Sunday Service 02.07.24
The Journey from Darkness to Light: Pastor Shelly begins by exploring the profound transformation described in Ephesians 5:8—moving from darkness to light. This journey signifies a radical change in identity and perspective, as believers embrace the light and life found in Christ. The contrast between darkness and light underscores the importance of leaving behind former ways and fully embracing the truth of God’s Word.
Discerning God’s Will: Central to walking in wisdom is discerning what pleases the Lord. Pastor Shelly emphasizes the need for believers to carefully discern God’s will in their lives, seeking clarity and understanding through prayer, meditation, and studying Scripture. By aligning our lives with God’s principles, we can navigate the complexities of our world with confidence and purpose.
“Walking in light means living transparently, honestly, with integrity. And it turns into a life of transformation for those who choose to walk in this spiritual clarity.”Pastor Shelly Foley, Sunday Service 02.07.24
Exposing Darkness: Another key aspect of walking in wisdom is the courage to expose darkness. Pastor Shelly challenges believers to confront sin and deception, both in their own lives and within their communities. By bringing hidden things into the light, we can experience freedom and transformation, fostering a culture of honesty, transparency, and accountability.
Seizing Opportune Moments: The sermon highlights the distinction between kronos and kairos time—sequential time versus opportune moments. Pastor Shelly encourages believers to recognize and seize the opportune moments that God presents in their lives. These moments, filled with divine purpose and significance, require discernment and readiness to act in obedience to God’s leading.
“Living in wisdom also entails aligning our lives with the Word of God… Through prayer, fellowship, and reliance on the Holy Spirit, believers can stand firm in their faith and live out God’s truth with integrity and conviction.”Pastor Shelly Foley, Sunday Service 02.07.24
Living in Alignment with God’s Word: Living in wisdom also entails aligning our lives with the Word of God. Pastor Shelly acknowledges the challenges believers face in upholding biblical principles in a world that often opposes them. Yet, through prayer, fellowship, and reliance on the Holy Spirit, believers can stand firm in their faith and live out God’s truth with integrity and conviction.
Surrender and Seeking God: Central to walking in wisdom is a heart surrendered to God’s guidance and purpose. Pastor Shelly emphasizes the importance of seeking God wholeheartedly for revelation and understanding. By prioritizing intimacy with God and yielding to His will, believers can experience spiritual transformation and discernment in their daily lives.
To conclude, Pastor Shelly Foley’s sermon serves as a timely reminder for believers to walk in wisdom and spiritual clarity. By embracing the journey from darkness to light, discerning God’s will, exposing darkness, seizing opportune moments, and living in alignment with God’s Word, believers can navigate life’s complexities with confidence and purpose. May we continue to seek God wholeheartedly and walk in the wisdom that comes from Him alone.
Sermon Summary: Pastor Shelly Foley delivers a powerful message on walking in wisdom based on Ephesians 5:8-21. She emphasizes the journey from darkness to light, stressing the importance of leaving behind former ways and embracing the light and life of Christ. Pastor Shelly explains that walking in wisdom involves discerning what pleases the Lord, exposing darkness, and understanding God’s will. She highlights the significance of living transparently, aligning with the Word of God, and redeeming the opportune moments (Cairos) in our lives. Through surrender and seeking God wholeheartedly, believers can navigate a world filled with moral ambiguities, fostering a lifestyle of wisdom and spiritual clarity.
- How does Pastor Shelly describe the journey from darkness to light, and what significance does this hold for believers?
- Pastor Shelly emphasizes the importance of discerning what pleases the Lord. How do you personally discern God’s will in your life?
- In the sermon, the idea of exposing darkness is discussed. How do you interpret this concept, and what practical steps can we take to expose darkness in our lives and communities?
- The sermon mentions the distinction between kronos and kairos time. How can we discern and seize the opportune moments (kairos) that God presents in our lives?
- Pastor Shelly speaks about aligning our lives with the Word of God. What challenges do you face in aligning your life with biblical principles, and how do you overcome them?
- The sermon highlights the need for surrender to God’s guidance and purpose. How do you cultivate a surrendered heart in your daily life?
- Pastor Shelly stresses the importance of seeking God wholeheartedly for revelation. How do you prioritize seeking God in your daily routine?
- The sermon concludes with a call to walk in wisdom and spiritual clarity. What practical steps can we take to continually grow in wisdom and spiritual discernment?
- Share a moment in your life when you experienced a significant shift from darkness to light, whether spiritually, emotionally, or mentally.
- Reflect on a time when you faced a moral dilemma and had to discern what pleases the Lord. How did you navigate that situation?
- Discuss a kairos moment in your life—an opportune time when conditions were right for a critical action or decision. How did you recognize it, and what did you do?
Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank you for the wisdom and clarity you offer us through your Word and Spirit. Help us to discern what pleases you and to walk in the light of Christ. Grant us the courage to expose darkness and the humility to surrender to your will. Guide us in redeeming the opportune moments you present in our lives, that we may align with your purposes and bring glory to your name. In Jesus’ name, Amen.