May 27, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:1-3
Paul emphasizes our need to "walk worthy" and to walk "circumspectly" before others, so, to whatever vocation we have been called, our lives will be a consistent witness to the love and grace of our Lord. So often, in our desire to excel and spiritually achieve, we find ourselves striving and struggling to make things happen. Then comes an encounter with God that changes the focus of our lives. The Holy Spirit makes it clear that if anything is going to be accomplished in living a triumphant life, in having a fruitful ministry, in giving an effective testimony that will count for eternity...the Holy Spirit must do that work through us. We cannot initiate, sustain, or make our lives spiritually effective apart from the Spirit of God reigning sovereign in our life.
Dr. Raymond Edman, in his book "They Found the Secret," writes of Hudson Taylor, the great missionary that opened China to the gospel. He labored for years, frustrated with the many administrative details, organizational problems, language barriers, and the burden of reaching the lost of China with the gospel. One day he received a letter from a friend and fellow missionary. He, too, had gone through the trying experiences of striving and struggling. His friend encouraged him to "turn his life and ministry over to the Lord and let God do His work through him." He cried out to the Lord, "I see it now!" It's not by striving after faith, but by resting in the faithful One. It's letting Christ "work in me" to do His will, trusting Him for present power, living in the conscious joy of a complete salvation. Living in the realization of His unfathomable fullness of my life in His hands. It was no longer Hudson Taylor striving and struggling to make things happen, it was "Christ in him" that makes it all effective, through the free and full working of the Holy Spirit. Life was never the same after that! Three things characterized Hudson Taylor's life after his encounter with God. His walk was a "walk of faith," where there was complete dependence upon God for everything. It was a "walk after the Spirit," where there was daily submission to His sovereign control. And finally, he sought to appropriate the resources of God's grace that were his in Christ. He began to put into practice the essence of his faith.
When we so walk, Paul says four things will be evident: We will walk in LOWLINESS, an attitude of humility and submission to God. We will walk in MEEKNESS, which implies controlled strength; our attitude will be under His control as we are encountering the most demanding circumstances. Our walk will be marked with LONGSUFFERING; we will patiently endure without irritation, even when we are treated wrong. We do not surrender to circumstances or yield to despondency. FORBEARING ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE will characterize our walk as we lovingly respond to all that is disagreeable in others. Only as we "walk worthy," letting Christ fill our cup to overflowing, will His life "spill out" to others to be an encouragement, a blessing, and a challenge! Oh, fill me anew with Your holy presence that my life will reflect the virtues of the Lord of my life!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-05-27
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