By Tabitha Caplinger
“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.” – Ephesians 4:1 (NLT)
A while back, before we even started the series on Ephesians, I was reading through it personally and underlined this verse in my Bible. It has kind of become a theme verse for me. Diving deeper into Ephesians has only made it that more impactful.
Before we can walk (live a life worthy), we have to be called. We have to understand that our first calling, for each and every one of us, is to know God. And the more we know God, the more we know ourselves.
There is clarity in knowing yourself, in seeing yourself through the eyes of your Creator. There is a purpose that comes into view as we draw closer to Him and align our lives with His heart and His will and His Word.
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
He’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
give Him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child He loves that God corrects;
a father’s delight is behind all this.”
– Proverbs 3:5-12 MSG
We spend so much time trying to find the answers to life. Who am I? Why am I here? What am I supposed to do? Will any of it matter? The answer to each and every one of those questions is found in a life of surrendering to God. We come to know Him. We trust Him because He is faithful and good and gracious and worthy. We stop striving and stressing and start letting Him lead. We follow.
There is a beauty in relinquishing control, and just following. When we let go and submit to His way, there is freedom. Because He is a good God who wants to help us reach the purpose for which He created us. Because He is a loving God who only wants the best for us; abundant life, bones vibrating with life, joy, peace.
Surrendering and walking and following isn’t always easy. We want it to be. So we struggle against the hard things. In those moments, with shaky hands and blurry vision, we wonder if God is still good because He doesn’t feel good. We ask if He is still there because we feel abandoned. We question if He is loving because love suddenly feels like stretching and growing and that can be painful. But God IS good and He IS present and He IS loving.
We know because we look back at the last hard thing He brought us through and remember that He did bring us through it, and we were better for it. And we remind ourselves that He will bring us through this hard thing and, in time, we will look back and see that it was for our good; the bigger picture good of our whole life and eternity and those around us.
The loving and goodness and presence, those things are not sifted out of His actions, they are the basis of His character. When I know Him, I know that. So I work to know Him more.
Paul, in this letter to the church in Ephesus, and to us, is writing from prison, fully understanding the struggle of hard things that come with obedient surrender. He writes so that we will understand. In wisdom, He doesn’t begin with following, He begins with knowing.
That is where we must begin…with the knowing. We must know God; personally, deeply. Through the seeking, we will begin to see ourselves more clearly. We will better understand our need of Him. We will better understand our place in His church. We will better understand the purpose for which we were created. We will better discern His voice, calling us to Himself and to where He wants us to be.
We hope you’ve been enjoying this series on the book of Ephesians and that you are being impacted by its truth. We aren’t done yet! There is still so much left to unpack together. If you missed a week, or just want to refresh your memory on what we’ve learned so far, go watch the messages. You can also find the message notes on the app.
Want to become a contributor to the FCC blog? We are on the lookout to add to our writing team. If you are interested please send an email with a sample of your writing to Fawn Ellerbrook at Fellerbrook@faithcommunity.co. We ask that the sample be a minimum of 500 words and properly proofread. Please include your name and email address in the document.