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 longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Why should anyone listen to what Paul had to say? Here he was writing all these letters to various churches and individuals, teaching doctrine, getting so involved in everyone’s business. He had authority as a man of God, an apostle called by Christ and given a mission to preach and start churches, to proclaim these messages, but that didn’t mean anyone had to listen. But perhaps what compelled people to listen was the fact that he lived out what he was saying to them.
Paul’s vocation, in a sense, was a prisoner of the Lord. Before he was ever sent to a Roman jail for the cause of Christ, he became a prisoner to Jesus, bound to Him and bound by God’s calling upon his life. Paul no longer lived for himself. He’d given up his freedom to be in Christ, to immerse himself fully in his Lord and service to Him. He daily died to self so that Jesus would have his best. He was constrained by his love for his Savior to give up everything about himself that was required. And surely his example had an impact on people.
And the truth is that all who are saved are called by God to live a certain kind of life, both following His specific and general will for each of us. It is our responsibility to live the right way. We are to walk in that calling in a worthy manner, as is becoming a saint of God. Following Jesus is not only about what we do, but who we are, the characteristics that are demonstrated in our lives.
We are called to be lowly, but in doing so, we take the high road and seek to live above reproach. We walk in meekness like Jesus did, humble and obedient. And that is seasoned with longsuffering, a kind patience that endures, showing others the love and grace that Christ shows to us. Our treatment of others is to mirror Christ’s treatment of us. We are representing Him, and our actions must align with that. We live in that unity of Spirit, bound in peace with God and fellow believers who bear the Holy Spirit’s mark on their lives. So may we endeavor to live out a genuine and faithful Christianity both inside and outside the church, and may we, with Paul, be prisoners of the Lord.