Friday, September 18, 2015

In Christ… God’s Will

           One of the most powerful questions of life is “What is God’s will for me?” Theologians through the centuries have pointed out that God has both a general will for people and a specific will for individuals. It has been my experience that if I am sitting around waiting for God’s specific will to be revealed to me, it will be a long wait; but if I am working on living out God’s general will, then his specific will is revealed in the middle of that obedience.

            Paul wrote to the Christians in the city of Thessalonica to encourage them to open their hearts and lives fully to God’s will. He gives them helpful guidance concerning that it looks like to walk in God’s will.

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:14-24)

            God’s will involves our relationships with one another. Paul reminds these Christians that they are now family because of their common commitment to Jesus Christ. As a spiritual family they are to support one another through warning, encouraging, helping and being patient with each other. This commitment to one another demands a willingness to be involved in daily life with each other, not just to see each other for an hour on the weekend.

            God’s will involves our relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Our deepest questions in life focus on being loved and being competent to love and help others. When we come to understand that God is our Father who has a deep love for us and who works for our benefit then we can trust him enough to begin to live in obedience to his commands. That obedience changes the way we experience life – we have a peace and a confidence that does not exist apart from knowing that God treasures us. Knowing that God loves us frees us to develop in our spiritual life – we can grow up to become like our older brother Jesus!

            God’s will depends more on God’s faithfulness than our strength! Paul knew that judgment day was coming, but he also knew that he did not have to stand in judgment with only his strength to rely upon, rather he could stand sanctified and blameless because of the amazing faithfulness of God!

            “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it!”

- Kenny Payne  

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