Walk Worthy Plead: I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called. Ephesians 4:1
July 9, 2014
The Apostle Paul wrote, by the leading of the Spirit, most of the books in our New Testament. These many, God-inspired words, have been graciously preserved providing the necessary doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness for us today. But if Paul had to summarize his message and condense all of his exhortations into just a few words, (a little text message perhaps?), what do you think he would say?
May I make a suggestion?
As I read his words to the Colossians, I can almost feel his intense desire as he prayed unceasingly for them...
For this cause we also, since the day we (Paul and Timothy) heard it,
do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might
be filled with the knowledge of his will
in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,
being fruitful in every good work,
and increasing in the knowledge of God;
And can't you feel the longing of his heart, urging the Thessalonians, his dear "children in the Lord"?
As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged
every one of you, as a father doth his children,
...walk worthy of God,
who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
Or how about as he pleaded with the Ephesian believers?
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you
that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.
What might Paul's condensed "text message" be?
Live in a manner suitable for a person professing godliness (1 Timothy 2:10). Walk in a way that becometh the gospel of Christ (Phil. 1:27). Live appropriately bringing honour, not dishonour, to His name. Follow after and be occupied with Him. In other words...walk worthy.
But how about Paul himself? Was he urging us on as one who had "arrived" and was already holding high the "walking worthy" trophy? No. How I love his words in Romans 7. If we ever think we are alone in our struggles, read Paul's words. Although they are many, certainly not condensed, they give us such an insight into his personal life and are therefore such a comfort to us.
For we know that the law is spiritual,
but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.
For I do not understand my own actions.
For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
Now if I do what I do not want,
I agree with the law, that it is good.
So now it is no longer I who do it,
but sin that dwells within me.
For I know that nothing good dwells in me,
that is, in my flesh.
For I have the desire to do what is right,
but not the ability to carry it out.
For I do not do the good I want,
but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
Now if I do what I do not want
it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So I find it to be a law that
when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,
but I see in my members another law
waging war against the law of my mind
and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
Wretched man that I am!
Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So, then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind,
but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Romans 7:14-25 (ESV)
Talk about revealing your heart! Paul was not concerned about image. He didn't hide his inner struggles for fear of "what others might think". Thank-you Paul and Holy Spirit for recording these words for us. Thank-you for letting us see that Paul understood firsthand the "Flesh vs. Spirit" battle that we continue to experience today. And also, thank you for showing us that the Spirit didn't always win the battle in Paul's life either!
But through it all, what was Paul's desire for himself? What was his desire for others?
We will never be able to fully win the battle over our flesh while here on this earth but we can strive to ...walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him. (ESV)
Am I walking worthy of the Lord?
Am I fully pleasing to Him?
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus,
that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God,
so ye would abound more and more.
1 Thessalonians 4:1
May it be said of us as it was of Enoch, ... he had this testimony, that he pleased God (Hebrews 11:5).