Sometimes I wonder what God’s will is for my life. I have so many questions that remain unanswered, and I wonder when the Lord is going to take the time to fill me in on the details.
It occurs to me that God may not be interested in providing me with all of the answers that I’m seeking l. I suspect that He’s less concerned about my understanding of the particulars, and prefers to focus my attention on how I’m going about living it out on a day-to-day basis.
That’s where this passage from 1 Thessalonians 5 comes in:
It seems to me that – no matter what is going on – the Lord wants me to follow these steps. Put another way, this passage appears to be a prescription of sorts on how to live the Christian life.
- Rejoice always. Now that’s a challenge. Everything in our world seems to mitigate against this command; however, it must be possible to do this – otherwise, the Bible would not direct us to lead our lives in this way. Joy is a choice.
- Delight in your faith. To me, this concept speaks of a genuine pleasure and satisfaction that comes from an ever-deepening relationship with the Lord.
- Be unceasing and persistent in prayer. There’s no such thing as a “special occasion prayer” where God is concerned; He doesn’t hear you any more clearly in church then He does when you are at home. By His own directive, we are able to approach the Lord at any time, in any place, and He hears us. What matters to Him is that we bring our cares and concerns to Him first.
- In every situation… be thankful. This doesn’t mean that we have to be thankful for everything that happens to us, but it is always possible to find something about which to give thanks to God, because He is good. This is the overarching purpose of Daily Thankful.
- Continually give thanks to God. This speaks of consistency and repetition. Our gratitude to God should be a habit that we seek to cultivate by regular practice and discipline. Of course, I don’t want to get legalistic about it; God appreciates our sincere thanks, rather than some external religious exercise we’re going through in a woefully misguided effort to curry His favor.
- For this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. And there it is! If you want to know God’s will for your life, it’s plainly stated in this passage. God wants us to be thankful to Him in all things, and to cultivate a regular habit of sincere gratitude. He also wants us to turn to Him first with our cares and concerns. If we do these things, then we are functioning smack-dab in the middle of the will of God.
I am thankful that the Bible speaks very clearly about these principles. I understand that “clearly” does not always mean ease, but I can now say that I understand God’s general will for my life. I don’t pretend to know the details of God’s specific will – He may elect to reveal some things to me, and other times He may not. I suppose the point isn’t for me to know these things (and if you doubt what I’m saying, turn the story of Job), but to instead increase my understanding and reliance on the Lord, and see Him as the only true Source in my life.
So there’s the prescription. I suppose it’s my choice whether not to take it, each day of my life. What will your choice be?
Dear God, thank You for providing a clear and exact prescription for how you want me to live. While I desire to know the details, help me to accept that You may not always reveal these things to me. Honestly, even equipped with such information, I still wouldn’t understand Your sovereign purposes.
Help me to seek a life of the biblical contentment. Remind me that the biblical contentment requires complete and total reliance upon You. The way for me to get there is by following Your prescription, as laid out in 1 Thessalonians 5. Give me the wisdom and discernment to follow Your guidance each day, and to leave everything else in Your hands. In Your name I pray, Amen.