Have you ever seen the movie, The Princess Diaries?
If you haven’t, you should (but not now because you need to finish this chapter). In the meantime, I’ll tell you about it.
The Princess Diaries focuses on the life of Mia Thermopolis, a teenage girl living with her mother in San Francisco. When we first meet Mia, she’s a bit shy, very afraid, and well, a bit on the unpopular side. Perhaps she describes herself best when she says that “Her goal in life is to be invisible.”
Unfortunately for Mia, this aspiration is blown to smithereens when her grandmother, Queen Clarisse Renaldi, arrives with the news that Mia is a princess. Due to an unforeseen turn of events, Mia can no longer wait until she is an adult to assume her title and responsibilities (as was the original plan). She needed to begin stepping into her calling immediately.
As you can imagine, this was quite a shock for a young girl. One day she was just an average, ordinary teenager trying to pass gym class and the next she is expected to rule a country!
Oh, and there’s one more thing—-before she can actually step into her role, Mia has to take “princess lessons.” She needs to learn how to think, act, speak, and present herself as a royal. After all, she is being given a great responsibility. Before she can be who she was born to be, she needed to learn how to “live a life worthy of her calling.”
The same is true for us.
When you and I accept God’s offer of salvation, it wasn’t just a “get into Heaven free card”. It was so much more. As it says in John 1:12, we were literally adopted into the family of God. What an amazing privilege!
Yet as 1 John 5:1-15 explains, with this awesome privilege comes responsibility. Just like Mia couldn’t accept the title of “princess” and continue living however she chose, so when we become a part of God’s family, we need to begin learning to live as children of God.
Why is this so important?
This question is answered in our original verse, Philippians 2:13:
”For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
Here is a beautiful truth: God has a plan and a purpose for your life. From the day you were born, God had a design for your life that only you can fulfill. There are people He wants you to help, lives He wants you to reach, and a purpose that He wants you to do. From the day of your conception, He has been looking forward to the day when you will fulfill that plan.
When you gave your life to Jesus and accepted His offer of salvation, that was the first step on the path to fulfilling His purpose for your life. But it was only the beginning. The next steps are allowing Him day by day to make you into a new creation, to teach you how to live by His Word and according to His kingdom rules, and to mold you and shape you into the image of His Son Jesus Christ.
If you will allow Him to take you through this process, then He will prepare you to step into the complete plan and purpose that He has for your life. However, just like Mia had to submit to “princess lessons” before she could become a queen, it is absolutely necessary that we submit to living a life worthy of our calling before we can step into all that God has for us.
It really is our choice.
Sadly, it’s a choice that far too many people reject.
Instead, they come to Jesus but they don’t want to learn God’s Ways and submit to God’s Laws. They want to carry the family name and reap the benefits of being part of the family, but they are unwilling to live a life worthy of their calling.
Sadly, because they are unwilling to let the Holy Spirit work in their hearts, forsake their sin and develop the character traits that God wants to develop in their lives, God is unable to give them the responsibilities that would accompany fully stepping into their purpose and calling. It’s not that God takes away His calling or purpose. Instead, these people abdicate their purpose and calling because they are unwilling to accept the responsibility.
To me, this is one of the saddest stories ever….when God offers someone the world and they say, “No thanks, I’d rather stay the way I am.” Yet, I’ve seen it over and over again.
Thankfully, this is not the way it has to be. Instead, each one of us can make the choice that Mia made and submit to the Holy Spirit’s work of making us into the people we need to be to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives.
How do we do this?
2 Timothy 3:15-17 says, “There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.” (The Message)
The first step in living a life worthy of your calling is making the choice to read God’s Word and learn what is says. In a world where everything is acceptable and truth is relative, our chief tool in learning God’s ways is knowing His Word. The Bible clearly defines what God considers righteous living and what God considers sinful living.
I love the way the Message states the last part of this verse:
“Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.”
It’s right there! It is only through God’s Word that the Holy Spirit can shape us to fulfill the plans and purposes that God has for our lives. If we are going to live pure and blameless lives before God, we need to find out what the Bible says and apply it to our daily lives.
Ultimately, the choice is up to each of us: are we going to let the Word of God shape us into the people God wants us to be?
As you answer this question remember that God isn’t giving you these guidelines to restrict you. Rather, He is developing you. He is preparing you.
Just like Queen Clarisse mentored Mia so that she could step into the destiny she was born to fulfill, so God’s Word is making you into the woman who will fulfill God’s plan and purpose for her life. That’s why living a life worthy of your calling should be your passion.