walk in the word
1Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3For this is the will of God, your sanctification . . . — 1 thessalonians 4:1-3
As a pastor, I often hear questions about God’s will. “What does God want me to do?” is the most common. But there are others: “Where does God want me to live?” “Who does God want me to marry?”
This may come as a surprise to you, but the Bible doesn’t spend any time on that stuff. God’s focus isn’t so much on the externals; He wants to change the inner you. He says, if I can change you into the person I want you to be, you’ll know where you’re supposed to go, and you’ll know who you’re supposed to marry, and you’ll know where you’re supposed to work.
God’s will is 98% about who you are. Don’t believe me? Need some evidence? Check out the words of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4. You can’t get much clearer than that!
The word “sanctification” comes from a root word that means “to make holy.” Sanctification is the process by which God takes sinful people and makes them holy. Holy is a great word; it means “set apart” or “distinct.” It means “different from the sinful world around us.” “This is the will of God, your sanctification. . . ” That’s what God is doing — He’s trying to sanctify or change you.
Next time you wonder about what you are seeing or experiencing and struggle to know what God could be up to, just say to yourself, “He’s changing me,” and you’ll be right. Next time disappointments or heartaches come, try to recognize that God Himself is holding the hammer and chisel.
But why? Why is He so stuck on this matter of change? Here’s the hard truth that sets people free: God’s bottom line doesn’t have anything to do with you or me or any human being. This whole universe is not about us; it’s about Him. God does not exist to fulfill our purposes; we exist to fulfill His purposes. The reason why you are here is because God wants to demonstrate His power and splendor through your life. He wants to get you to the place where, no matter what happens to you or what you go through, you trust Him and follow Him and are committed wholly to His goodness. So He’s coming after you and He’s trying to change you. Let Him do His work in you, and watch Him display His awesomeness through you.
Prayer: Almighty Father, thank You for reminding me about why I am on this earth. When I take the time to reflect on who You are, and what You are doing in my life, and the purposes You have for my life, I sit in awe. Help me to “be still” while You make me into what You need me to be for Your glory and plan. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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