Ephesians 4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
What constitutes a life worthy of our calling as a Christian? What does such a life look like? Is it a given that when we accept Jesus as our Lord we will live such a life? Or, following being born again, are we required to play a vital role in its development? Further, is the life to be lived a progressive thing – that it becomes more consistent with Scripture with the passing of time?
There are sinful behaviors we are set free from the moment we are born again. Other things He deals with over time. I’m reminded of stories of the coal miners in the great Welsh revival a century ago. These men and women had their lives radically transformed. Drunkenness, stealing, cursing and other offences grew less. It is told that the miner’s pit ponies became a problem. The ponies were so used to being cursed and sworn at that they just didn’t understand when orders were given in kind, clean words!
The question then becomes what happens in our lives as the months and years and decades roll by? Although the transformation in the miners’ lives was miraculous, it was akin to the Israelites leaving Egypt. They were set free in order to become the people God wanted them to become.
Living a life worthy of our calling involves who we are and what we do. It involves having a heart desire to love and please God which flows out of our rich awareness of His love for us and our gratitude for His love. It entails being vigilant regarding our character, our thoughts, our intentions, motivations, attitudes and how we communicate with others. These are the things that the Holy Spirit will continually address, help us maintain and transform over our lifetime. They profoundly impact the quality of what we do and why we do it.
That desired quality is well illustrated by the experience of looking for good fruit in a market where the vendor will allow you to sample the fruit. There is appearance, ripeness, texture and flavor. It’s not a matter of the fruit just looking good and feeling right to the touch. It must pass the taste test. What a joy it is to bite into eye-appealing fruit that is ripe and sweet to the taste. It’s like ‘a party in your mouth’ – to quote a dear friend of ours. That is the experience we and others around us will have as we walk worthy of our Lord and His calling upon our lives.