For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12)
How heavy this command that we walk in a manner worthy of God. Stop and consider his divine perfection, there is nothing to equal him! We would say it is unworthy of kings to dress in rags, but here we are in our rags, in the tattered garments of our actions, offering ourselves to God as though anything we do could be worthy of him.
But thus saith the Scriptures: walk in a manner worthy of God. God does not instruct his people to do the impossible. We cannot shake our heads and slouch our shoulders and mumble that we are unable to obey.
In Philippians 2:13 we learn how we can walk in a manner worthy of God: …it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Saint Augustine once prayed, “O God, command what you will, and grant that which you command!” The good we do is God at work within us. Knowing this, we realize that to walk in a manner worthy of God is to walk in such a way that our walking is God walking through us. His arm moves my arm. His power sends my feet across the earth.
Still, we must walk. We must move our feet and set our eyes on the hills he has called us to ascend. We must avoid the snares of the tempter, flee from sexual temptation, abandon consuming greed, put aside the ways of the world. We must stretch out our hands to the poor, open our mouths to the lost, lift up the eyes of the downcast, set straight the path of a wayward brother.
On the day of Christ’s appearing we will be found worthy but we will know it was not we ourselves who performed such deeds but it was Christ, formed within us, who carried out the works of righteousness through us.