Have you ever felt like God's will was this mysterious, elusive thing that you could never quite figure out? I've had those moments more than I can count. You just can't quite get what it is that He wants you to do, what He's seeing that you're not. After reading 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, I have an amazing new perspective on God's will. And even though it's still mysterious, God's will doesn't seem quite so elusive, so unattainable now.
Did you catch that? Three very SPECIFIC details of God's will are laid out for us very plainly in this passage. All three are ACTIONS. Rejoice. Pray. Give thanks. This plan seems so simple, but WHY is it so hard for us to truly LIVE this way?Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is GOD'S WILL for you in Christ Jesus. (emphasis added)
If you're like me, I LOVE lists. I make "to do" lists at least twice a day. So I jumped on the fact that this list (Rejoice. Pray. Give thanks.) is preceded by another list that gives even more insight into God's will for our lives. I like to think of this whole passage as God's "to do" list for me. Not to gain any merit or favor with Him, but as a guide, a sort of Biblical Mapquest for doing His will. This amazing list is found in verses 14 and 15:
Whoa! So THIS is it! This is God's will for me -- and for you. Can you even IMAGINE what would happen if we truly lived this out every day? It would completely, radically change our world and the world of those around us!Encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
All of a sudden, God's will seems to be about much more than just "What car should I buy?" or "What job should I take?" or "Should I rent or purchase a home?" and much more about how we DO LIFE every single day.
Father, help me to not only want to KNOW your will, but to DO your will. Actively. Radically. Completely.