“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
It is a special thing to be called of God! All of us who are believers have experienced that calling, that moment, when we hear the voice of God drawing us to Himself. “He can speak audibly,” my friend, Pastor Johnny Pope once said, “but He usually speaks louder than that!” And He does, doesn’t He? He speaks to our heart and our spirit as His Spirit takes the Word of God and brings conviction to us. We hear His voice and understand our need and as we turn to Him in faith He forgives our sins and gives to us eternal life. It is a wonderful thing to be called to salvation.
It is also a wonderful thing to be called of God to live differently now that we are His children. Paul speaks of that calling in the verse I just quoted above. Recently I examined those verse and found them quite convicting. They include five words to help us measure our need of personal revival.
- Lowliness, or humility. Here is an important word. Humility! The opposite of pride. We know that God resists us when we are proud but gives us grace when we are humble (James 4:8). We know that pride leads to contention (Proverbs 13:10). When we are disagreeable and always arguing our point and intensely defending our positions we are the exact opposite of humble. We are proud. God, according to Solomon hates a proud look (Proverbs 6:16-17)! Convicting huh? Doesn’t humility come when we remember our condition before grace came into our lives and changes us forever? It comes when we recognize our position because of that grace. It comes when we realize our potential through that grace working in our lives and conforming us to the image of Jesus Christ. Humility! That is the word and lets start there and examine our lives.
- Meekness or gentleness. Here is a word that is especially Christlike isn’t it? A gentle dad and mom are incredibly Christlike. A gentle husband and wife are too. When we respond gently to life’s silliness and inconveniences and people’s oddities we are like Christ. Would gentleness describe you?
- Long-suffering or patient. Here is another word that is especially Christlike isn’t it? Patient! When we are willing to respond to our spouse with long-suffering we are walking worthy of our God-called vocation. The same is true when we respond that way to our children or to our parents. Or to inconveniences. Or to one who always rubs us the wrong way. After all, this is how our Savior responds to our failures and sins. He patiently rebukes us and corrects us and helps us to get back onto the right track. Would you describe yourself as patient? A lack in this area is yet another way to reveal our need of personal revival.
- Love. Paul says that we are to “forbear one another in love.” That means that we are to “tolerate” one another. It means we are to “put-up’ with one another. This is not a sarcastic or negative idea at all. It is an instruction to be super loyal in the way we love people. To refuse to allow anything to stop us from living a life characterized by love. After all, our Savior said that men would know we are His disciples “if we have love one to another” (John 13:35). Is your life characterized by love? Is your relationship to your spouse? to your parents? to your children? What does this word say about your need of personal revival? That is a good measuring stick. There is one more word for us to consider!
- Peace. We are to “endeavor” to live a life of peace! To keep peace. To keep unity. Most of us do not live lives of peace. We are busier than we ought to be. We surround ourselves with noise and distractions and time-consuming activities. We are often “edgy” and easily bothered. We are quick to offer sharp words and short responses. We become easily impatient. Too few of us know very little about genuine peace. And yet, our “peace,” or lack thereof, is one of the measuring sticks of whether or not we are in need of personal revival.
So, how are you doing? Are you living a life of humility, gentleness, patience, love, and peace? Do you need revival? If so, take some time for prayer. Confess your failure as sin. Ask the Spirit of God to begin a work of leading you to personal revival. It is God’s plan for you to live a life like this, so rest assured that He will help you to live it if you will come to Him and ask! You will be glad you did.
Thanks for reading,
Evangelist Dave Young