Verse: Ephesians 4:1
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
People love to tell us that we should “live our best life.” I wonder what Paul would say (or Jesus for that matter) if they heard that?
Jesus tells a famous story in Matthew 25 of a man who gives three large sums of money to three people and tells them to invest it. Two of them work hard to make more money with it, but one buries the treasure. When he returns he says to the two, “well done good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23). The “best life” was a life of faithfully serving God with what God had given them!
That story is what I think of when I read this verse written by Paul several years later. What would it look like for you to live a life worthy of the call of God that you have received? What would it look like if that’s what you meant when you “lived your best life?”
What keeps us from living that life? I can think of a few things right away that I have struggled with:
Insecurity: it is all too easy to disbelieve the part of this verse that promises us that we have received a calling. God has a purpose and a plan for you and me. And he has invested gifts and his Spirit into our lives. But we can forget this. We can focus instead on what we don’t have rather than on what we do have. When in reality, when what we do have is the Holy Spirit, then what we don’t have doesn’t really matter!
Fear: This is what drove the man in the story Jesus told. He was afraid, so he hid his treasure. Don’t we do that? We are afraid so we hide our gifts that God has given us. We are afraid so we don’t take risks for the plans and dreams of God in our lives. We are afraid and so we don’t get out of our comfort zone and minister to those around us.
Distraction: One of my favorite authors said that we are being “distracted into spiritual oblivion.” Every couple seconds our devices are working to distract us. The people who make these devices, and the apps on them, make money off our distraction. It is in their best interest to keep grabbing our attention. The problem is, we can’t have attention in more than one place (at least I know I can’t!). So what is all that distraction keeping you from? What times of prayer are cut short? What times of daydreaming awesome new ideas for God get thwarted? What conversations with others who you could be ministering to are ended because of a….notification?
This verse is equal parts challenging and exciting for me. It makes me want to get up in the morning. I truly believe the Bible teaches that we all are part of God’s grand story to redeem all things. And all who choose to follow him have a part in that plan. So don’t let insecurity, fear, or distraction keep you from living your best life: a life that is worthy of that call of God. When the end of all things come, I want to have run after that call with all my heart, so that God can say “well done, my good and faithful servant.”
God I pray that you would continue to capture my heart and my imagination for following you with my life.
Author: Christian Dunn