In the book of Ephesians from the Bible, Paul challenges believers to live a life worthy of the calling. To do so means that we are going to live up to that calling. Living in such a way that we honor God as we journey through this life.
Throughout my life and ministry, one of the struggles that I have had is the inconsistency of those who claim Christ but don’t live out their faith. Too often, these individuals will vocalize their commitment to serve the Lord but will damage their opportunity to witness because of their actions. Additionally, they detract from the good work that the church is accomplishing.
Inconsistency between their witness and actions not only has destructive effects, but it also causes them to justify what they do. They will say things like, “I grew up that way” or “I’m only human so it’s ok” among many other excuses. While I am the first to recognize that I am not perfect, I do know this…if we are going to live out the call, we must confront sin in our own lives.
In order to do so, we must measure our conduct in comparison to what God’s Word says. Asking ourselves the tough questions of “Are we living up to the standard God has established?” If not, we need to repent of our sin and commit to allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us to overcome. Jesus came to give His life for us so that we become a new creation. The old passes away and all becomes new!
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What does God’s Word Say About A Life Worthy of the Calling?
From a prison cell, Paul writes: “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.” Ephesians 4:1 (NLT) He challenges believers with an example from his own life while emploring them to live it themselves. He is saying: live for God daily through conduct that lives up to God’s expectations!
I love the way that the Message Version puts this verse: “In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere.” Ephesians 4:1 (The Message)
We have all seen those individuals that are Christian only in word because the conduct of their lives says otherwise. This not only causes them to justify their actions apart from God’s word, but it damages their witness to others. Because of it, many people have been disillusioned by ungodly behavior. God’s call is for us to live a life worthy of the calling.
You have not really learned a commandment until you have obeyed it.… The church suffers today from Christians who know volumes more than they practice.—Vance Havner from, Consider Jesus, 61.
A Worthy Calling Demands Worthy Conduct
Firstly, notice that Paul shares that He is a prisoner for the Master. His physical imprisonment was a result of his service to the Father. He understood that conducting his life within the parameters of God’s Word and call would put him at odds with the world. Yet, his call and conduct were the results of a transformation that happened in his encounter with God.
Secondly, Paul’s command to walk worthy of our calling is challenging believers to prove they belong to Christ through their actions. Not that we would earn our position in Christ, but that we would be a witness to a life that was changed.
This theme is prevalent throughout Paul’s writing. I will give a couple of examples:
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, Philippians 1:27 (ESV)
…walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; Colossians 1:10 (ESV)
Faith Without Works Is Dead
James also reminds us that we must walk in alignment with the call with the fruit of good works: “Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?” James 2:14 (The Message)
James gives this warning that if we don’t walk worthy of our calling, our faith is dead. If we say that we believe in God, having made Him Lord of our lives, we cannot walk contrary to His will! The reality of our calling demands that we live that out under God’s direction and through His power. He alone can help us to walk worthy, but we must commit to submitting ourselves to Him!
God has established His desire for the standards we are to live out each day. When we study His Word, the Holy Spirit will convict and counsel us to apply it to our lives. Additionally, God will honor a heart that is passionate about walking the journey of life, chasing Him.
Make the commitment to pursue God’s best for your life. While you may be at odds with the ways of the world, you will be in alignment with God’s will. Not only that, but you will find God’s blessing and favor resting on your life and relationships. God has promised that he would never forsake those who follow Him!
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