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)
There is a fruit of the Spirit that I struggle to embrace . . . gentleness. I would say it’s the one thing stopping me from reaching perfection. Hmmm, perhaps I struggle with humility as well. Oh bother! I want my sanctification to be done already . . . I’ve been asking the Lord to hurry up and complete His work in me so that I can be useable! Wow, patience may be a bit of an issue it seems too. I guess I should sit back and wait for all my spiritual fruits to get in a row . . .
So many of us are waiting to ‘get our acts together’ or to reach some vague level of spiritual perfection before we feel that we can be used by Him and engage ourselves in His call for us. Or, worse than that, we stand back and judge others for being in ministry who we deem are not yet ‘ready’ and shake our heads while we click and clack our tongues.
I love that we are called. For me – someone who dreads the phone – I much prefer when someone calls me as it forces me to answer. If it were up to me to dial, I can procrastinate or argue with myself that the person doesn’t want to hear from me. But how easy is it to hit ‘answer’ or ‘accept’ instead!
So here’s the thing. He is calling you. He is calling me. It’s nothing that we have done or achieved that engages us into service – He is the one that is in control! Which is why we should walk humbly, with gentleness, having patience that He will lead us in our call in His time . . . freeing us from flogging ourselves for messing up or patting ourselves on the back and taking prideful credit for whatever He is doing.
Father, forgive us for ignoring You. Help us when we hear Your voice to humbly accept Your call, trusting in Your perfect timing to bring forth whatever You have designed in our life. Keep us from making excuses or for comparing ourselves with others. Thank You for choosing to engage us in Your Kingdom. Amen!