Called to Unity
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3, ESV)
I’ve had the joy these past few days of delving into the rich words of Ephesians. Chapters 3 and 4 were especially moving. Several years ago, I came across the same passages while wrestling with the idea of calling. People around me were “calling” other believers to very specific lifestyles of obedience to Christ and I was struggling to figure out how to navigate some of those blurry lines between personal “call” and general obedience.
Ephesians 4:1-3 was a convicting balm to my conflicted soul with its clear reminder that while we each have specific gifts (Eph 4:11-3) there is a broader call to follow Christ humbly and gently, seeking unity. It convicted me of a narrowed focus on things related to my personal calling that led to pride and impatience in my interactions with others when they didn’t value what I thought of as important.
I’m in a similar spot these days—frustrated with what I see as shortcomings in the Church and other believers and too often thinking and acting out of pride and judgment rather than humility and loving forbearance. The heart of God shining through this short epistle has stirred me deeply once again and I would like to offer a prayer for myself and for us as we strive to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we’ve been called”:
Lord, Your plan to reveal your wisdom through Your Church is both mysterious and miraculous (Eph 3:10-11) As we enter a new year, may we not hesitate to approach You in the freedom Christ has won for us. (Eph 3:12) May Christ dwell more and more within us, may we be rooted deeper and deeper in your love, may we be filled ever fuller with the fullness of God. (Eph 3:14-19). Lord we are one body—Your body. Give us humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, love. (Eph 4:1-4) May we accept the gifts and responsibilities You’ve given us with gratitude, serving one another in love and pursuing peace, unity and fullness in Christ. (Eph 4:3,11-16)
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Eph 3: 20-21.
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…” (Ephesians 4:11-13, ESV)
- What is God saying to you to affirm your personal calling? About how He desires to use you in building up His body?
- Read Eph 3:1-4:16 and respond to God with your own prayer.