The values we embrace determine the behavior we exhibit. Paul challenged the believers in Ephesus to lead a life worthy of [their] calling (Eph. 4:1). Following are suggested indicators as to what worthy behavior looks like:
GROW: A life that is being transformed into Christlikeness: Slowly, deeply, and incrementally, the Spirit of God is changing this persons thinking (and consequently his behavior) to conform to the very character and image of God. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind…Weare being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 3:18 – Selected) Instead of stagnation, there is growth. The mind-set , the tone, the pattern, the decisions, and yes, the behavioral patterns increasingly reflect the very life of Jesus. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived. (I Jn. 2:6 Msg.) QUESTION: What would those closest to you conclude? That you, by your attitudes and actions are increasingly reflecting the Lord Jesus, or that you are stagnating, and thus reverting back to your old self?
REST: A life that is resting on the character and promises of God: Such a person is liberated by faith, rather than immobilized by fear: "If you hold to my teachingyou will know the truth, and the truth will set you freeBut my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. (Heb. 10:38,39; Jn. 8:31,32 – Selected) This is a person who feeds on and internalizes Gods word at a level where it becomes a part of his DNA. He knows what God promises and is appropriating it into his life. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Heb. 6:12) Consequently, there is a quiet center and sense of rest about him. QUESTION: At your core, are you learning to trust in Gods promises, or are you fearfully immobilized by the unknown?
FOCUS: A life that is focused on knowing and surrendering to God, rather than on pursuing the shabby and fading props of the secular world: This is a single minded person whose heart is turned to God and has turned away from the lusts and pride proffered in Satans domain. Such a life is characterized by integrity and holy behavior. Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in GodAs obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do… (Col. 3:1-3; I Pet. 1:14, 15; – Selected) QUESTION: In your heart of hearts, just where is your primary point of focus? On the secular or spiritual? On the temporal or on the eternal?
EMPOWER: A life that is sanctioned and directed by the Holy Spirit: Such a person naturally exhibits the Spirits fruit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal. 5:22,23) This person is learning how to allow the Spirit to strengthen and guide him as he relates to the uncelebrated daily tedium of life. Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful natureThrough Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and deathThose who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Gal. 5:16; Rom. 8:2, 14 Selected) QUESTION: Are you grinding out the Christian life on your own strength, or are you learning to allow the life of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit to live through you?
SERVE: A life that is given to ministering to others rather than on gaining for ones self: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of othersFor Christ’s love compels us, because we are convincedthat those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised againGreater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (Phil. 2:3, 4; 2 Cor. 14,15; Jn. 15:13; – Selected) QUESTION: Are you giving your life away for Gods glory, or are you selfishly holding it to yourself?