Ephesians 5:1-20

Not a Good Time to Be Sleepwalking

Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:14-16

Many children (and some adults) walk in their sleep. It’s scary to watch them walking around, totally unaware of what they’re doing or where they’re going. What if they hurt themselves?

Paul cautioned the Ephesians, “Wake up, rise from the dead . . . the days are evil.” Our days are evil too—maybe even more so. It’s not a good time to be sleepwalking. We should be wide-awake and alert, reflecting Christ’s light in the darkness around us.

Because we are God’s dearly loved children, we should want to imitate our Father and walk in the way of love—displaying Christ-like love, living for others, and being “a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2). Sexual immorality, impurity, violence, and greed are so common around us that we may be tempted to accept them as normal, but we are not to walk in these things because we are God’s holy people. Let our words offer thanksgiving rather than obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking (vv. 3-4).

Humbly remembering we once walked in darkness, we now walk as children of the light and bear the fruit of the light, which is goodness, righteousness, and truth (vv. 8-9,1 4). May we be concerned about what pleases the Lord and “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them” (vv. 10-11).

Our walk should be wise, as we seek to understand the will of the Lord and to make “the most of every opportunity” (vv. 15-16). And yes, we need to seek the Lord when we act foolishly and miss opportunities.

Thankfully, we do not walk alone. The Holy Spirit walks alongside, continually filling us with psalms, hymns, and songs so we can make music from our hearts to the Lord (vv. 18-19). And when our words are not musical, we can quickly ask for forgiveness.

Are you sleepwalking? Are you oblivious to the dangers around you? Wake up! Allow Christ’s light to shine on you in the darkness and let the Spirit put songs in your heart.


Two of Jesus’s parables depict how we should live amidst the evil around us. In Matthew 13:18-43 what images does he use, and what will be the end result for the righteous and the evildoers?

Under sleep, the thesaurus lists the following:suspension of consciousness, napping, lethargy, coma, dullness, passivity, in a daze, idle, quiet, and dead.”* Does this describe how you walk? How does Peter tell us to walk in 1 Peter 1:13-19?

Read Jesus’s description of our walk as children of the light in Matthew 5:14-16. What are you doing to glorify God with your light?

Nancy J. Baker

This devotion is part of our series on The Prison Epistles.

*Webster’s Collegiate Thesaurus. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 1988, 687.

Leave a Comment

two × five =