“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” —Ephesians 4:1
We are called to live a worthy life. A life that is worthy of the Lord, worthy of the call and worthy of the Gospel. But what exactly does that entail? And is it achievable?
Living the worthy life is living a life that brings honour to Jesus. It is about giving Him all the glory. It is Him that is worthy, not us. To “walk worthy of the Lord” means to walk in a way that is of value and esteeming to Him. It is what the Lord deserves from us, not what we deserve from Him. It means living in a way that befits the glorious nature of God, the Gospel and the call of God on each of our lives.
In Colossians Paul expounds a little more as to what a worthy walk means. To walk worthy of the Lord, is to please Him.
“That you might live in a manner worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way” (Colossians 1:10)
Continuing on this trail then, we are now faced with the question of how can we please the Lord? Once again, the answer lies in Scripture. In Hebrews 11:6 it says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” So the call to walk “worthy of the Lord” begins as a call to walk by faith. Faith takes the focus off ourselves, our abilities and own strength and places it on Jesus. Faith agrees with the premise that it is God who is of infinite worth and honour and it is to Him that we must look for our help and our satisfaction. In other words, it is to Him that we put all our trust, hope and confidence.
As Christians our lives should honour and please God, just as Jesus’ life on earth did. When Jesus walked the earth amongst us God declared one two notable occasions that He was pleased with His Son – at His Baptism and at the Transfiguration. Jesus lived as fully man, with the same limitations that we have and His life was pleasing to God. He lived in submission to the will of the Father. That is, He put God’s Kingdom and priorities above His own needs.
Colossians 1:10 goes on to add “bearing fruit” as being one of the ways to walk worthy. When the fruits of the Holy Spirit are evident in our lives we reveal God to others and give Him glory. We are called to live a transformed life – one that sets us apart. The demonstration of the love, joy, peace etc when circumstances would suggest otherwise is a transformed life. As it says in Micah we are called to “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.’ (Micah 6:8). What we do and how we respond to life’s situations should reflect our faith and reveal Christ in us.
Living a life of honour means taking a different perspective on life. It means looking at the circumstances in our lives for the bigger picture – what could God be using what is going on in our lives? Is it for our personal growth and development (Spiritual and character)? Or perhaps to enable others to feel and experience God and His love through us.
Furthermore, to bring honour to God we need to accept who He created us to be, and be true to the call He has placed on our lives. For each of us He has a plan, a destiny and a purpose, unique to us. As Elisabeth Elliot once wrote “I have accepted God’s idea of me, and my whole life is an offering back to Him of all that I am and all that He wants me to be.”
Now that is a worthy life!