I therefore, as a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling which you have been called. Ephesians 4:1 ESV
Does anyone else find Paul’s admonition to “walk worthy” a bit intimidating? At times, it seems impossible to fulfill this high standard. However, it seems to be an important word for him and the Holy Spirit, because he exhorts not only the Ephesians, the Colossians (Col. 1: 9-10), and the Philippians (Phil. 1: 27-30)! He’s writing each of these letters to the believers in these churches, not just to the leaders. Therefore, we can infer it is to us, too.
So what does it mean to walk worthy of the calling. Some translations use the word “lead” a life worthy–but as I was thinking about walking, it occurred to me that it is something we need to do as we live our life. In the morning, at noontime and suppertime, too we are to walk worthy of the calling we have in him. First, we may need to release our faith and accept the fact it is possible. How do we do it? By trusting in the completed work of Jesus on the cross. There is no way we can do this without him, but that is not an excuse because we do have him!
We have to trust his ability to empower us to walk worthy in our every day circumstances. I think maybe it is our unrealistic expectations that causes us to try and overlook these exhortations. Paul goes on in Ephesians 4 to clarify the characteristics of a person who walks worthy of his calling. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves together with peace. (Ephesians 4: 2-3). These are all attributes that can be developed, if we want to.
Our flesh doesn’t like to walk in humility. It doesn’t always enjoy being gentle–because it wants its own way. Learning to be patient with each other and overlooking one another’s faults, isn’t easy, but it is doable. We do it because we love we love one another. God has a good purpose for us walking worthy of our calling, it helps spread the gospel, or minimally it at least does not hinder our testimony!
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to 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.(Col 1: 9-10 ESV) Oh my fellow followers of Christ, let us move these exhortations up on our to do list. It is one way we can bear good fruit for his kingdom’s sake.
Father, I ask that you help us understand just how important this is to you. It is not optional, but important. Teach us how to walk worthy of your calling, for what is important to you we choose to make important to us. In Jesus’ Name, amen.