I am going to admit something to you; I have a problem with the way some modern day “believers” talk about those who have gone before. I have had to leave a service where the speaker proceeded to literally disparage believers from “back in the day.” I have heard various ones say it’s those who tried to be so perfect that will end up in hell. Others have tried to explain that it’s actually wrong to try and be so careful in ones walk because that’s not what it’s about, and the old saints were uneducated and didn’t have the best understanding. I recently heard someone speak along these lines, and something kept tickling the back of my mind while they were talking. What was it? “Circumspect!”
When was the last time you heard anyone mention the word circumspect or talk about having the fear of God? Why? There is a lack of concern for what God desires of us. We aren’t worried about walking circumspectly; we take our salvation for granted.
What the old saints understood, that many today do not, is that God’s people are called to be circumspect. These saints valued the gift of salvation to the point that from their heart they walked carefully through this world. They understood that we have a worthy adversary who is seeking to destroy our souls on every hand (1 Peter 5:8). They realized, though people would say it didn’t take all of that, there is actually no such thing as too careful.
By this definition you can see that to be circumspect is to exercise constant caution in our living. Let’s look at the Hebrew and Greek Definitions for this.
Let’s plug some of the above definitions into the following;
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.(Eph 5:15-16)
See that you walk circumspectly – cautiously, prudently, attentively, warily, look narrowly [closely], accurately, diligently – not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are EVIL!
One of the Hebrew definitions is to hedge about as with thorns. Look at the thorns in the above image. If you were hedged roundabout with such thorns would you be so quick to go over it just to get to some trifling bit of worldliness on the other side? I am sure most would think more than twice about that. Circumspect
Just for clarification, here are a couple more definitions to consider within this circumspection loop.
Caution – Wary; watchful; careful to avoid evils; attentive to examine probable effects and consequences of measures, with a view to avoid danger or misfortune; prudent; circumspect.
Prudent – Cautious; circumspect; practically wise; careful of the consequences of enterprises, measures or actions; cautious not to act when the end is of doubtful utility, or probably impracticable.
Warily – Cautiously; with timorous [fearful of danger] prudence or wise foresight.
Diligently – Steady in application to business; constant in effort or exertion to accomplish what is undertaken; assiduous [very careful]; attentive; industrious; not idle or negligent; steadily applied; prosecuted with care and constant effort; careful
Do you see it? Do you see how we are supposed to walk? Do you grasp why the old saints were so careful in their walk with God? They didn’t want to do anything that might displease God in any way shape or form. They lived their faith diligently, circumspectly.
Today it seems many in the church are more concerned with “living it up” here on this earth. We want all the money, toys, and fun we can have and “still be saved.” We have taken our eyes off the prize. We have forgotten that we are pilgrims passing through this place, opting instead to pitch a tent and settle in for all the distractions this world has to offer. Truth be told, we have lost our fear of God.
Thomas Watson (1620-1686) said,
“The veneration of God causes circumcision of heart and circumspection of life.” And,
“The fear of God is wisdom, in that it makes us consider…He who fears God considers how vain the world is – and therefore dares not love it. He who fears God considers how short time is – and therefore dares not lose it. He who fears God considers how precious salvation is – and therefore dares not neglect it.” (The Great Gain of Godliness 1681)
We must adjust our view of God. Is the God we claim to serve really THE GOD of the Bible? We are in a battle against the enemy of our soul. We need to live this life carefully, with our eyes wide open, keeping that in mind. We need to love the Lord, fear [respect] the Almighty God enough to examine everything we do, everything we allow, and everything we think in the light of His Word.
Yes the Holy Spirit is our guide, but are we listening to Him? Yes God has set us free, but not for us to live a life of frivolity. We have been called to a life of Godliness, holiness and separation (1 Peter 1:15-16; 2 Peter 3:11; Rom 12:1-2 etc.). Are we walking carefully in this instruction? Do we take it seriously or is this something we conveniently overlook with a “God understands?”
We are living in a world saturated with evil. In order to remain unspotted from the world (James 1:27) we have to live circumspectly; there is truly no way around this.
** PRAY FOR A HEART THAT FEARS THE LORD: Psalm 86:11; Psalm 1:7; Acts 9:31 “…this fear of God is the root of all holiness, and the mother of all wisdom.” ~Watson
*AVOID THE VERY APPEARANCE OF EVIL (1 Thess 5:22):
*EXAMINE YOURSELF: 2 Corinthians 13:5; Hebrews 4:1; Hebrews 12:15; Revelation 2:5;
*REQUEST AND SUBMIT TO THE EXAMINATION OF THE LORD: Psalm 138:23-24; Psalm 26:2;
*MAKE UP YOUR MIND TO PLEASE THE LORD: Psalm 17:3; Psalms 119:59-60Walking circumspectly is the way of life for all believers.There is no way around it.Our journey through this wicked world to our home with Christ must be traveled with very careful diligence.God requires it and equips us to do it. Click To Tweet
Until next time,