Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016: Walking Worthy of My Calling

 "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called..." (Ephesians 4:1)

There are certain days that seem to prompt us to reflect more than usual on our life and the direction we are going and/or would like to go. Birthdays are like that and, of course, New Year's Day. In the waning days of 2015, people around the world are coming up with any number of resolutions that they are determined to stick with in the next year - resolutions to do more, resolutions to do less, resolutions to get healthy or finally start on a dream or maybe just appreciate life more each day. Across the world, there are Christians determined to take a stronger stand for their Lord this year, to more fully reflect the beauty of His glory in their lives. Across the world, people are taking note of where they have been, where they are, and where they want to be, and they are making plans to get there in this next year.

I have never been good with New Year's resolutions. I always start well, with sincere intentions to "actually stick with it this year," and yet that determination always seems to dwindle away in a matter of months, if not weeks or even days. In a lot of cases, this hasn't been such a big deal. It doesn't matter in the long run, after all, if I never do finish that novel or lose those extra few pounds or learn that new language. But I am ashamed to say that my track record with spiritual resolutions has not fared much better than any of the others. While I can honestly say that I have seen a good amount of spiritual growth in myself over the last few years, I know that I would be so much further along the right path if I had not had so many stops and starts and the bouts of discouragement that will inevitably come when you live your spiritual life this way.

So this year I am trying something new. Instead of the individual specific resolutions, I am resolving myself to a way of life, the way of life that God has always prescribed for me actually - walking worthy of my calling. This is not some appeal to an inherent destiny, but a determination to live the life God has called me to.

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Jesus has called me (and called you) to a life of humble service, a life that offers contentment and rest through trust in His care, His work, and His way. He has called me to lay aside all the sins and cares and worries that I have allowed myself to be weighed down by and to take up His yoke instead. Responding to and walking worthy of the call of my Lord and Savior means:
  • Putting off my yoke of anxiety and putting on His yoke of trust in His desire and ability to provide (Matthew 6:25-34).
  • Putting off my yoke of flawed time management and putting on His yoke of redeeming the time I am given (Ephesians 5:15-16).
  • Putting off my yoke of lending my ear to the world's wisdom and putting on His yoke of letting the word of God guide my every thought, word, and action (Psalm 119:11, 105).
  • Putting off my yoke of selfishness and putting on His yoke of whole-hearted service to my family (Proverbs 31:10-31). 
  • Putting off my yoke of excuses and putting on His yoke of diligent action for the sake of His church (Ephesians 4:11-16).
  • Putting off my yoke of keeping to myself and putting on His yoke of sacrificing for the sake of others (Luke 10:25-37).
  • Putting off my yoke of fear and putting on His yoke of full use of the skills and opportunities He has given me (Matthew 25:14-30).
And even as I type out this list, I know that there is SO MUCH MORE than could and should go on it. Walking worthy of the Lord's call will touch and even transform every single area of your life:

 "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Colossians 3:17).

So this is my resolution for 2016 - to walk worthy of the calling to which I have been called. When I achieve this, then the Spirit says in both Colossians 1:10 and 1 Thessalonians 2:12 that I will be walking worthy of my God, who sent forth the call. How could I possibly hope to achieve anything higher than that in 2016? I pray you'll also dedicate yourself to walking worthy of God and the call He has issued forth for you in this coming year.

Thanks for stopping by!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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