After 3 chapters of explaining who we are because of what God has done Paul takes us into the second half of his letter.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1)
Whatever the circumstance of your life it is never a waste of time. When your cause is to proclaim Christ and when your mission in life is to love God and love others then you never get to the place of thinking ‘it doesn’t matter anymore.’
This is the second time (see 3:1) that Paul realises that there is no place he can go where God isn’t. I am a prisoner for the Lord.
Don’t limit God’s presence to ‘sacred’ spaces.
My heart has been in Africa for 20 years and I am blessed to have friends there. There have been many times when I thought I was entering a non-sacred place only to discover I was about to discover something beautiful of the Lord’s presence. I found Him with the amputees of Sierra Leone; the persecuted of northern Nigeria and Burkina Faso; the raped of DRC; the prisons of Niger; the HIV stories of Eswatini; the famine of many nations; the slums of Kenya; the graves of Zimbabwe; the orphans of Malawi; the list just goes on.
I love the ESV of this verse. It uses the word ‘walk’ which moves me more than the word ‘live’ of the NIV.
The friends of Africa have learnt to walk it out.
And you, in your ‘prison’, in your sadness, illness, disappointment, loneliness, every family has a skeleton, must learn to walk out the Christian life. Paul will lead on what those next steps of walking involve. But for now meditate for a moment on how you must walk in the dirt of life.
What does that mean for you?
Paul was walking it out in prison? Where do you have to walk it out?
We have been locked down with the covid-19 crisis and learnt how to walk it out as Churches. Coming out of lockdown many of us will still find that containment exists in some area of our lives. Life is dirty at times.
The prison can stop you temporarily but you are the only one who can do it permanently.
Walk it out.