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Women World Leaders' Podcast

Jan 25, 2023

  1. Prepare to Jump, Ephesians 5:15-20

In Ephesians 5:15-20, Paul gives us a warning and a charge. God has so much waiting for your future – are you preparing to jump wherever He calls?




Welcome to Walking in the Word, the biblical teaching arm of the Women World Leaders podcast. My name is Julie Jenkins, and I am honored to walk with you as we open the Bible together and ask God to show us His heart.

If you are new to Women World Leaders, I want to offer you a special welcome. We are a ministry that strives to help others walk in their God-given purpose. To learn more about Women World Leaders, I’d like to invite you to visit our website,, where you can find out more about the ministry. Besides our trio of podcasts each week, we also offer a quarterly magazine, events, daily devotions, leadership training, and an opportunity to partner with us. It’s all there on the website, We’d love to connect with you!

I hope that whatever you are doing today, you are having a great day. Know that God is smiling as you stop for a moment to focus on His Word! Today’s study comes from Ephesians, chapter 5, verses 15-20, but let me begin by praying for us…

Dear Heavenly Father – we come today to hear from you. Father, I don’t know what your precious child who is listening today is going through, but I know you do. You see her, you love her, and you have promised her that you will provide everything that she needs today. So God, I ask that you allow the weight of the world to slip away from her shoulders right now. Your yoke is easy and your burden is light – and what you have for your daughter today is more than she could ask or imagine. So I ask you to speak your words through me – that she will feel your assured presence, your gentle touch, and she will hear you softly whisper her name in love. We give you this time and we thank you for your presence. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

In the New Living Translation of Ephesians 5:15-21, the apostle Paul teaches us…

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this passage, Paul is continuing his instruction to the Ephesians, and to us today, on how to establish and keep unity in the body of Christ. In Ephesians 5:1 we heard Paul tell us to be imitators of God, because we are his dearly beloved children. Today, because of that status as God’s children and his desire for us to be holy as He is holy, we get some further instruction. I love that God NEVER gives up on us and NEVER stops teaching us. I don’t know about you, but I know that there have been some moments over the last week when I have NOT imitated God – in fact, I have failed miserably. But today I am reminded that God hasn’t given up on me – He continues to love me and instruct me – giving me His wisdom and His strength, that I might get up and try again to imitate Him. We serve a gracious and merciful God!

Paul says “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.”

What does it mean to be careful how you live? One thing it means is to prepare to keep your eyes on Christ. We can prepare by prayer, bible study, worship, and thanksgiving.

Have you ever done a home-improvement project? If you have, you know that things go MUCH better when you prepare! Making a list of the materials you will need and heading to the home improvement store may take some extra time, but in the long run, your preparation will save you SO much time AND frustration – and likely MANY trips back and forth to pick up the “one thing” you forgot. Preparing ahead  will help ensure that you stay on track.

God doesn’t want us to waste our time or to get off track – there is far too much to be done in this world! And God knows that when we prepare our hearts and minds to stay in communion with Him, we will be more able to keep ourselves focused on what He has called us to do.

Living like the wise requires seeking God’s will for our lives.

Romans 12:2 tells us “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Knowing God’s will is a lifetime pursuit. God doesn’t show us all at once what He has for us – that knowledge would likely paralyze us! Our God is gracious to show us what He knows we can handle – at times, we can see quite a distance up the path, but often we see just one step.

And knowing God’s will – the path or direction He has prepared just for you – doesn’t mean that walking that path will be easy! The devil and the world will constantly try to drag you off track – by interrupting you, encouraging you to lose focus, telling you lies, and even bargaining with you. But God gave you a mind, and he expects you to use it. In prayer and thanksgiving, gather the facts, examine them, and weigh them. God doesn’t want us to jump in blindly or to react without thought – He wants us to seek, grow and understand.

 Paul goes on…16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 

God offers multiple opportunities for you to step toward His plan every single day. – Paul talked about this plan back in Ephesians 2:10, saying  – “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do THE GOOD THINGS he planned for us long ago.”

So, how do we make sure we don’t miss those opportunities that God presents us with?

Again, we must pray expectantly, and then spend every day watching for how God is revealing the workings of that plan. God teaches us constantly – but often we let His wisdom get drowned out by the busyness of the world.

One of our greatest resources for the Christian walk is teaching from Christian pastors and teachers. As a Christian, you are not to just go to church, listen to the sermon, and leave, planning on returning the following week. Your pastor prays and studies all week – seeking what God wants you to learn and to know. He or she strives to put words together that will convey the idea that the Holy Spirit is impressing on his or her spirit. The sanctuary is carefully set to create the best possible environment conducive to learning and growing. The prayer team goes to their knees, praying for YOU – that your heart may be open to whatever God wants to say to you. God…and your pastor…DO want you to pay attention to what is being said, but, more than that, they want you to put those words into practice. To make the most of every opportunity.

Verse 17 says…17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.  

As we walk through life, we don’t always know exactly where God is calling us next, but we CAN always know that He has a plan. He wants us to pray, seeking His plan and watching for open doors. He wants us to talk to godly friends, ask them to pray with us and give us feedback on what they see are our gifts and talents. God will guide us as we step into circumstances. We can walk steadfastly, even when those circumstances seem a little scary, knowing that we have prayed expectantly. We can walk boldly in faith, looking for God’s answer to our prayers. As we do, we will learn with each new open door and we will be challenged as we seek to take each step in obedience, letting God point the direction.

So often we pray for an opportunity or a blessing, and when it is presented to us, we find an excuse to turn away thoughtlessly, because it doesn’t look exactly like we thought it would. If you have been praying for God to reveal His plan for your life for a long time, I want you to ask yourself a question – are you really willing to follow HIS plan – the one that He created for you? Or are you blinded to the path He has put before you because you are looking for a specific path that YOU think is best? God can see from a point of view that you and I cannot. We must pray continually, overturning every stone, looking expectantly for His answer, and trusting that He will reveal the path we are to take in His perfect time. And then we must be willing to step in faith as that path is revealed.

I LOVE Colossians 1:9-10 “We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.”

Who could ask for anything more? To produce good fruit and to grow and learn to know God better and better? Maybe those simple goals are His plan for you today.

Verse 18 says…18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 

Wine & drunkenness were central features of some non-Christian religious ceremonies of the day, and being drunk was often mistaken for being in a spiritual state. Paul wanted the Christians in Ephesus to understand that being filled with the Holy Spirit and being drunk were 2 completely different things. So he expanded on what it meant to be filled with the Holy Spirit by reminding them of the power that permeates our very being when we worship God in the Spirit.

The Christians of the day were not far removed from the first coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost – when 3000 were brought to Christ in a single day. Maybe you have never experienced a sudden infilling of the Holy Spirit into the lives of 3000, but God’s Spirit is just as strong today as it was then, and every Christian receives the indwelling of the Holy Spirit when we first give our lives to Christ. And the fact is that once the Holy Spirit indwells us, He will never leave us.

But here, Paul teaches Christians to keep on being filled – to continually submit, permitting the Holy Spirit’s presence to have full reign over our lives. Every day, actually every moment, we have the opportunity to be led by the Holy Spirit, to live in His power instead of our own. This doesn’t always come easily. But we can always take a step of obedient submission by “making music in our hearts,” praising God, and giving Him thanks – counting our blessings – stopping to smell the roses and thanking God for them. How we look at life DOES make a difference in what we see! I challenge you to look for those God-moments, the God-blessings this week. And react in praise – giving God the glory and giving the Spirit full reign in your life.

We can sum up today’s teaching in one sentence: Prepare yourself and be ready to jump with joy and thanksgiving into the plan that God has for you today! I guarantee, if you do, you will never look back!

Dear Heavenly Father – today, tomorrow, and this week hold such promise – because you hold them and you hold us. Father, we give ourselves to YOUR plans for our lives, knowing that your plan is exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine. Strengthen our faith and prepare our hearts so that we can submissively jump feet first into all that you have for us! With hope and joy and song we praise your name, today and always. Amen!