It’s funny to watch puppies with muzzles…
They don’t look happy at all, poor little things. But the muzzle teaches them a very important lesson… how to stop barking and biting all the time!
My point? Oh, there is a point… I promise (:
Are you ready for letter 6 and 7 of F-E-L-L-O-W-S-H-I-P?
Previously we saw F (Fear of the Lord), E (Endurance) L (Love), L (Light of Glory), and O (One Thing). Let’s now continue to explore this 10 letter acronym…
We also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power – 2 Thes. 1:11
What is Paul talking about? How can you be “worthy” of this calling?
For starters, to walk “worthy” before the Lord does not mean you have to EARN God’s forgiveness, love, approval, etc.
That “earn it” approach goes against a fundamental New Covenant teaching: Justification. So Paul—the pioneer of New Covenant doctrine—is not talking about that.
Rather, to be worthy of the calling means: to have a “worthy response” toward God—the One that equip us—to walk in the fullness of our calling.
Many believers come up short of what God has invited them to walk in, due to half-hearted choices. But this is really a sensitive matter. Because only YOU really know… what God has invited you to walk in.
Sure, people (leaders, family, etc) may have opinions of what you should be doing with your life, but it’s normally “what you should be doing according to their agenda”. So, they push you one way or another. But Jesus said, “my sheep hear my voice and they follow me” (Jn. 10:27). So, only God and you know (for sure), what you should be doing with your life.
But Paul means way more than direction or guidance. I believe He’s primarily referring to the response of our hearts—our daily choices.
For example, you and I choose (every day) to love the Lord with all our hearts or not. We choose to walk in holiness or not.
And we choose to secretly (or publicly) engage in SIN or not.
Walking worthy of the calling is a lifestyle—it’s a constant decision—a determination to choose God and the Kingdom of Heaven. A relentless intention to walk in His ways, deny sinful desires and pursue righteousness.
But it’s more than holiness… it’s walking hungry… yearning for the presence of the Lord, contending for the fullness of God in our lives.
The following verses amplify the concept:
“That you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man—Lk. 21:36 – Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be pre-served blameless at the coming of our Lord—1 Thes. 5:23 – That He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God—1 Thes. 3:13,15 – Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me—Ps. 51:10 – Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties—Ps. 139:23 – I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman?—Job 31:1
Here’s a sample prayer:
“Father, strengthen my inner man to walk in faith and obedience, to be worthy of the calling and escape all compromise. Grant me the grace to pursue the highest things You have called me to. Help me to choose holiness, to walk blamelessly (in body, soul and spirit), in Jesus Name I pray”
And now, the famous letter seven…
How is your tongue doing?
I know. That’s a direct question.
And here are two more: Is your tongue blessing or cursing? Are your words constantly birthing life or death?
Check this out…
If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body—Jas. 3:2 – Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit… Let it not even be named among you… neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting—Eph. 4:29–30, 5:4 – Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight—Ps. 19:14 – Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips—Ps. 141:3 – I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle—Ps. 39:1
When your speech comes under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, your entire inner man also comes under His leadership (James 3:2).
Paul repeatedly exhorted the saints to avoid speaking corrupt words. To stop grieving the Holy Spirit by filthy or foolish speech (Eph. 4:29–30; 5:4).
Speech was also on David’s “prayer list,” he asked the Lord to help him control the words of his mouth, so they would be pleasing to God (Ps. 19:14). What’s more, David purposed not to sin with his speech. He asked the Lord to set “a guard” over his mouth (Ps. 17:3; 141:3).
There is so much to talk about the power of our words… but I think you already know, you have heard before…
How your words can help you or damage you. How your speech can bless or curse others. And guess what?
We are all guilty!
Careless and sinful speech is the most popular sin in the body of Christ. You thought adultery was #1? Sorry to disappoint, but no (that one takes a bit more of planning). But WORDS are so easy to utter… the wrong way.
We all need serious help…
Even if you are shy and don’t talk to much. You are speaking to yourself (all day long). Both you and I, have a never-ending conversation with ourselves. We’re continually formulating questions and making judgments (about us and others).
So, our speech goes both ways: externally and internally. And the sobering reality is… our words can bless us or kill us… both ways.
Can you agree that, we all need help with this?
Here’s a sample prayer:
“Father, set a guard over my lips and help me to speak only words that are pleasing to You. Free me from defensive, angry, and foolish speech. Keep me from quenching the Holy Spirit with my words. Help me Lord, even with the conversations I constantly have with myself. I set my heart not to sin with my speech, to sustain unbroken communion with You. In Jesus Name I pray.”
What are your thoughts about this? I know you have some (: