As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope when you were called--one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:1-6 NIVOkay, we're not there yet. But really; after two thousand years wouldn't ya think we'd be close to getting it right? The Apostle Paul begins his instruction with a compelling enough challenge: ... live a life worthy of the calling you have received. I mean, that only seems fair. Yet, when I look at the excellence of that calling, the prospect of obeying the command is akin to staring up at Mount Everest and shuddering under the responsibility of climbing it. How must Moses have felt, standing at the seashore, water soaking his sandals, Israelites crowded behind him to the horizon, with every eye looking to him to save them from the Egyptian army in hot pursuit? I'm sure he must have thought, "Why me, Lord?" Please note, he didn't go dashing into the deep, desperately flailing at the water to make way for his people. He already had his instructions, but they seemed far too simple; just strike the water with his staff ... the staff God had already used in numerous miracles. Yet, at the moment it seemed so ordinary--no slithering, no flower buds, not even a fizzle of a lightening bolt. The thing in his hand seemed like just another chunk of wood. But God said to simply strike the water, so Moses lifted that nondescript stick over his head and swatted the Red Sea's surface with all the force he could muster. And you know what? It worked! Just as God said it would. Well, God didn't tell us to take our extended family across the Red Sea. He didn't even tell us to climb Mount Everest. He simply told us to live a life worthy of our calling. "Simply." Right! Never fear! God placed within His word several guidelines, statutes and principles that, if observed, will produce a life worthy of our calling. Guaranteed! ... What? You were expecting a list or something? No words of mine could ever furnish the Holy Spirit conviction and motivation to change, that immersion in His word will give the sincere seeker. But since you want a list, the very next Scripture verse shown above makes a grand start: Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Not exactly on the scale of Everest-climbing or sea-crossing, is it. Yet, anyone who has sincerely tried meeting those standards knows how simple they are not. The last verse printed above issues an overriding truth that stands directly opposed to everything in our fleshly experience: There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope when you were called--one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Unity, oneness, is humanly impossible. Everything within our flesh demands individualism, autonomy, primacy. Yet, the spiritual realm has only enough room for one Individual who is autonomous, and the head of all. In the space of six short Scripture verses we are once again faced with Mission: Impossible. Climbing all the tallest mountains on earth, and rowing across all its seas would be easier in the flesh than complying with these few requirements to live a life worthy of our calling. That's why Jesus said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. Only with Him, through the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit, spurring us and directing us onward toward Christlikeness, will we ever begin to "live a life worthy of our calling." If reconciliation with God and achieving Christlikeness were easy, Jesus wouldn't have had to endure the cross. Be eternally thankful that he did!