Hello, people of the internet! Welcome back to my blog!
Today, Alex wrote a guest post on my blog all about knowing God’s will for our lives!
God’s Will For My Life Is…
By: Alex Valdes
“1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; 2 for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord [is] the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects [this] does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.” – (1Th 4:1-8 NKJV)
What is God’s will for your life?
We all have to deal with this question at some point in our lives. Even as a kid, this question would pop up in my life, usually accompanied by a host of other questions (where would I work, who would I marry, etc…). Just recently, I had to grapple with this question again. I experienced, for the first time in my life, what it means to be in love. I entered into a courting relationship with a young lady earlier this year and it was a marvelous experience; but, as we became closer and started getting to really know each other, there were conflicts of interest and ideas that eventually led to us ending the courtship and agreeing to just be friends.
It has been difficult, to say the least. I don’t think I have ever cried so much or questioned everything in my life so much as I have done so these past few weeks. I have questioned what I am doing at school, my plans for the future, the fact that I am single again and in my early twenties. My mind has played with me on my whole stance of what it means to be a Christian man in a fallen world. Satan has attacked me over and over about my commitment to chastity, my convictions on how Godly relationships should be, and a host of other convictions and beliefs. What has bothered me the most has been: what is God’s will for my life right now? If not marriage to a good woman, settling down, and starting a family, then what?
As I expressed myself to a Pastor friend of mine about all of this, he gave me some passages to study and meditate on that he believed would help me see my life from God’s perspective. One of those passages was 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8. This passage has changed my entire outlook on my life, particularly the first part of verse three, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification”. When I read this, I immediately was brought to tears: God’s will for my life is so clear! There is no deep questioning or no gray area! His will for my life is my sanctification!
Now, what is sanctification? Well, the verb form of the word in the Greek means to render clean in a moral sense, to purify, sanctify (as used in Ephesians 5:26-27). It is a verb that means to purify something or clean something. The word “sanctification” in 1 Thessalonians 4 is that verb in its the noun form. It means the resultant state of, or the behavior befitting, those who are sanctified. Also, sanctification is accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives(Romans 15:16; 2Thess 2:13; 1Peter 1:2). Sanctification is a work being done on the inside that will be seen through our behavior on the outside. Gold isn’t purified by just scrubbing it with soap and water. It is melted down and through a multi-step process, the dross and impurities are removed before the final product is presented as pure gold. God is working in our lives to separate us to Himself. Cleaning us, purifying us, making us into the image of Christ.
The fact that it is the “will of God” is significant because the word “will” means “what one wishes or has determined shall be done”. God has determined that you be set apart from the worldliness we are submerged in, set apart from our sinful nature, set apart from anything that is not holy, righteous, and pure. God wants us for Himself! How marvelous is that?
It gets better: God outlines His will for us in detail!
Here is what the rest of the passage outlines for us:
- We should “abstain from sexual immorality”(v. 3)
- We should “know how to possess” our “vessel(s) in sanctification and honor” (v. 4).
- We should not “possess” our “vessels” in “passion of lust” like those “who do not know God” (v.5).
- We should not “take advantage of and defraud” our “brother(s)(and sisters!) in this matter” (v.6).
- We should not “defraud” because “the Lord [is] the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified” (v.6).
- We must understand that “God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.” (v.7).
- We must also understand that “he who rejects [this] does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.” (v.8).
There is so much in this one passage alone that it could take up about 100 pages to completely explain in absolute detail. But what I hope you can take away from this is that God’s will for your life is not hidden nor is it actively evading you as you frantically search for it. It is as plain as day and it is glorious. He wants you for Himself to do what He has planned for you. What we must understand is that we must yield to the work of the Holy Spirit as He works to sanctify, or finish the work God started at Calvary and in our hearts. He will finish you and purify you from all things unholy, unrighteous, and impure. The only thing we need to do is simply submit to Him.
This may look different for each individual. We all have our own contexts we live in with various trials and tribulations. I don’t know when the next courtship will happen, where it will take place, or who it will be with, but I know that if I ever feel the need to question God’s will for my life, I can go directly to this passage and remind myself of God’s glorious plan for my life: That I am to be set apart unto Him.
(This is the simpler version of this post. If you’re interested in delving more into the Theology and Technical parts of these verses, click this link to read Alex’s full version. Trust me, it’s fascinating.)