The Worthy

“To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
“To this end we pray for you always…” Paul’s ceaseless praying was not pointless. He had an end in mind. He prayed not only for people to be converts, but to be worthy, living lives
“…that God will count you worthy of your calling…”  For believers to be counted worthy of their “calling” they must be counted among those who glorify The Father now, not later.
“…and fulfill ever desire for goodness and the work of faith with power.” Transformed conduct is produced by Christ-like character. Christ’s character can be traced to His handprints all over the heart of a true believer. True beliefs influence genuine behavior. Don’t let your talking about God, outdistanced your walking with God.
“You do what you believe. The rest is religious talk.” Peter Lord
Paul prayed for believers to reveal the evidence of Christ in them with a “…desire for goodness and work of faith in power.” The fruit of goodness is rooted in the Spirit of God. The work of faith is an expression of God’s power. You need both or you will be good for nothing.
 Paul prayed for believers, “So that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified in you, and you in Him…” Never pray for any other reason. Ceaseless praying is pointless praying if it does not desire the glorifying of the name of Jesus.
The call of God has two dimensions. He calls you out of an old way of life and towards a new life in Christ. Both take place in the present tense, not a future tense. Children of God express His call on their lives best when they listen to His Son. When they pray, they hear His voice, and follow His lead, and they glorify their Father right now.
Legitimate children of God don’t delay their obedience until the return of Jesus. When they pray in His name, the respond to God’s call on their lives. They hear His invitation to join Him, and they obey Him. Prayer provides access to His amazing grace, and brings glory to their Father now. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice.”  His sheep never wander very far away from prayer.
First Century Christians held no vast political influence and wielded little financial clout in their day. For the most part conventional Roman wisdom disenfranchised and discounted them as deluded members of a new cult. It was assumed they would not pass the test of time. In the eyes of the world they had little political or financial power, but in God’s Kingdom, spiritual dynamite comes in small packages.
Their power was a result of the favor of God. His grace was their source of goodness and their works of faith. His grace provided His power, precisely because they did not seek the approval of men, but the approval of God. Their desire for the goodness of God set them apart for favor from God. Their works of faith made a difference.
Powerful prayer always makes a difference in any heart in any generation, humble enough to yield to God’s direction, protection and correction.
“I don’t pray because I am holy. I pray because I am not.” Doug Small
First Century believers appeared in a global garbage can, as the gardenias of God’s grace They were persecuted, not because they didn’t count to God, but because their fragrance could not be discounted by their enemies. They were worthy to be counted by God, because they were willing to suffer, at the hands of unreasonable men. They were worthy, indeed.
The appeal of the culture lost its grip on the early believers. Sickened by the bankrupt spiritual climate of the prevailing world religions, they were attracted to Jesus by the fresh breath of The Spirit of God. Paul prayed for them so they would not blend in or fit in where they once felt at home.  
The early believes were counted worthy because they turned their backs on an old way of life. They breathed in the new life in Christ like a drowning man bursting out of deep water, gasping for air.  Paul prayed they would not dive back into a culture that had tried to drown the life out of them.  He prayed they would be determined to breathe deep, daily and often the fresh air of God’s grace.
NOTE TO SELF: Transformed behavior must mark your life as a rescued, grace driven believer. Prayer causes you to stick out like a sore thumb. Expect the contemporary culture, and church to hammer your thumb for it again and again. Don’t take it personally. The First Century believers experienced the same thing, Their “desire for goodness and the work of faith in power” changed their lives and transformed the culture.  Pray for The Father to do no less in you, and to count you worthy of His grace to desire His goodness, and perform works of faith with His power.  TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!