(multiple references) “…Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children…Walk as children of light…and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord….Look carefully then how you walk-not as unwise but as wise–…Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is…) Eph 5:1; 8b-10; 15; 17.
The first part of Ephesians 5 looks like it is wholly directed to the folks who should be looking in the mirror. There seems to be a number of “watch-outs” scattered between verse 1 and verse 21. In typical Paul manner, these watch-outs are gently hammered to the reader.
“I therefore, a prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling to which you have been called…” (Eph 4:1)
As a new Christian I gravitated to the “picture” scriptures; references that caused my imagination to soar. I imagined fighting with the “whole armor”, wielding the Sword of the Spirit, warring against the spiritual opponents found in the heavenly places. Walking worthy of the Calling? That was only a part of the whole deal, kind of like being a Knight of the Round Table. I remember when I learned about Star Wars and Jedi and oh, my goodness–I had a visual that was way better that Arthur and Excalibur.
After a while these scriptures percolated up through my heart and into my mind. I started wondering what these meant. I heard “preaching the Gospel to (myself)”…somehow these “worthy walking” references started to make some sense. It came slowly and, candidly, I am still working out this part of my salvation (albeit with fear and trembling).
It helps to separate Justification-worthy from Imitating Jesus-worthy in my mind. Persevering to the End I am Worthy for Salvation only through the Atonement. Day to day stuff? It became very clear I have to pursue Christ to the end of my days. Therefore-Discerning what is pleasing to the Lord begets Imitating which helps Walking as children of Light. Understanding what the Will of the Lord is keeps me wise and not foolish (which I habitually translate as stupid-helps me talk the Gospel to myself clearly).
As Christians, we have been called to a holy calling, reverential calling. It should humble me and in exact parallel cause me to shout in triumph. Walking worthy of the Calling is sobering, causes me to reflect frequently. It is a fiercely joyful calling. It means putting my nose to the grindstone every day in the Name of Jesus, looking to (with the active participation of the Holy Spirit) change my ways in every way, to reveal my heart, and do those things (especially the little things of the heart and mind) that would be pleasing to the Lord. I gotta want to do that though, huh? Effort, always effort.
Lord God-You tell me to pray the Will of You and You are pleased to answer my prayer. Sure beats praying for stuff that I am inclined to think You snicker at. Please keep me focused on You in every way possible-in my waking moments, in my sleeping moments. Teach me (empower me) to pray without ceasing (however that trick is accomplished). Above all: I want to walk all my days worthy of the calling You have called me to. AMEN.