Sunday, May 20, 2012

God's Will for Your Life

God's Will for Your Life
May 21, 2012
1 Thess 5:18  ". . . give thanks in all circumstances;  for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

Christians have been trying to decipher the Lord's will for their lives since the beginning of time.  You've undoubtedly had this same internal debate over your own life, trying to decide what it is the Lord would have you do with your future.  We fret and worry that we've got it right or wrong, hoping we won't make a big mistake, never truly content that we're functioning in the Lord's plan for our lives.  Surely the Lord has a specific design for us and it must be our job to figure it out!  If only He would tell us in a clearly written fashion, unique and tailored just for us.  Life would be so much easier if we just knew what we were supposed to be doing for the Lord every single day.

Actually, the Bible does give us a clear message on what the Lord desires for our lives and the specific work we are supposed to be doing for Him each day.  In a letter to one of the first few church plants, Paul spells it out for the Christians in simplistic words.  He said that it is the Lord's will that they be thankful in every area of life.  This is how it is written in our Bible, at least.  But you must read Paul's words in their entirety to understand it fully.  Reading the few verses before it, it all paraphrases like this: find something to be glad about each day, and whatever you do, pray every chance and opportunity you get, no matter what.  Throughout it all, be grateful and thankful, even if it seems uncomfortable or undesirable. 

This does not sound like a winning formula for the Lord's will for our lives, however, if you examine Scripture closely it is more specific than you think.  If you can submit to the fact that the Lord is sovereign and in control, you can trust that He will work everything out for His own ends, however He sees fit.  If this is the case, then all you have to do is follow His leading every day and He will present you with opportunity.  Scripture says that the Lord lights up your steps for you, but it never suggests that He will illuminate your entire road ahead.  For some reason the Lord does not give us the complete picture of our lives, only the leading for today.  The Bible says you will hear a voice inside of you when presented with an opportunity, the right direction will only be there, though, if you are following Paul's instructions: be glad, pray, and thankful.  All the fine details are irrelevant and up to the Lord anyway. 

Notice that the Lord's instructions through Paul are for the immediate, the right now, today.  We sometimes think the Lord's will for our lives is in the future and negate the fact that His will is in present terms only.  The Lord's will for you is to be glad, to pray, and to be thankful through what He brings for you today.  The circumstances that happen today ARE the Lord's will for your life, but you have the choice in how you react to it.  Are you going to search for a hidden meaning and a future cause, or are you going to submit to the Lord, be glad, pray, and thankful?  Tomorrow is a new opportunity to be in the Lord's will.  Decide how you will respond with what He brings your way for today.  My suggestion is to be glad, to pray, and to be thankful as that IS His will for your life today and every day. He will work everything else out.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Ps 119:105, Is 30:21, 1 Thess 5:16-18, 2 John 1:4

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