Called by Name
“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.” Ephesians 4:1 NASB
Having personally been incarcerated, when I read the word prisoner, it reminds me of the total submission one must make toward those who hold the keys to all the locks. Everything is on the officer’s time and say. When we ate, what we ate, when we slept, when we got up, what we wore, and even where we could walk was up to the authority of those who watched over us. If a Corrections Officer said, “Young Man, tuck that shirt in and shut your mouth…” you tucked your shirt in and shut your mouth. If a corrections officer told you to strip naked, squat and cough after they allowed you to see your family in a visitation room, well, you did so and were grateful you got to see your family.
In Ephesians 4:1, Paul is calling himself a prisoner, a captive, someone that is bound in Christ. However, this is not by force or a bad decision but by the conviction of his spirit and a personal decision to follow Jesus. This is huge to me and something that I think each of us needs to consider from the lens of what being a prisoner is like. In two words, being a prisoner is total submission.
In today’s prison system, you can choose not to submit to the authority of the officers, and you’ll go to the hole, they’ll feed you loaf which is the most awful thing you have ever tasted, and you’ll be cut off from everyone and everything. I did five months in the hole at age fifteen, and then later did seven months in the hole at 16. In the last few months I have come to view Hell as an eternal stint in a windowless isolation cell. Talk about weeping and gnashing of teeth. Definitely not where I want to spend eternity.
Yet, to avoid all of that in the prison system, all that had to be done was follow the rules and do what was expected. Isn’t that the same thing as walking in a manner with which we are worthy to be called? Now, I am not saying let’s be legalists and ignore Grace. However, based on what Paul is saying here, we should live like Christ expects us to live in the love and mercy He has shown us. We should live our lives in a manner that shows we are worthy of His divine invitation to be called sons and daughters, as well as embrace the salvation He has provided us. Not out of fear or force like the penal systems of the world, but out of love and the realization that He has called us by name, and we have received the surname of adopted children of God. Rather than state numbers forced onto a felon, we have essentially received the surname: Godchild!
If Godchild were the last name on your license, how would you act? How would your Father expect you to act? If you grew up knowing that Godchild was on your birth certificate and that you were an adopted child of God, who loved you and that your own Family had laid their life down for you so that you could live…would that not convict you to live in a manner worthy of such a last name?
Until Next Time,