There seems to be a lot of concern these days of Christians trying to work out what God’s will for them is. It’s as if God has something special for each one of us to do for him, but the problem is that we have to figure it out. We read books and hear lessons about discovering God’s will for us.
This way of thinking has given me concern for a couple of reasons. First – what if I never figure out what God’s will for me is? Does this mean that I’m a failed Christian and doomed for eternity? Second – I cannot find this way of thinking anywhere in the New Testament.
What I do find is several places where the New Testament writers talk about God’s will for us. Rather than talking about something specific and exclusive for you or for me, it talks about how we should be living as Christians.
“Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the undisciplined, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient toward all. See that no one pays back evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all. Always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not extinguish the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt. But examine all things; hold fast to what is good. Stay away from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:13-22 NET).
So what is God’s will for me? Live at peace, encourage those who are weak, be patient with everyone, pursue good, always rejoice, constantly pray, give thanks always, do not extinguish the Spirit, hold fast what is good, and stay away from every form of evil. And what is God’s will for you? It would be the same thing.
For some reason we seem to want to do spectacular things for the Lord, when what God calls us to do is very simple: he wants us to live faithful lives as Christians.
If we do this, then we will have fulfilled God’s will for us.
Readings for next week:
6 April – Galatians 1
7 April – Galatians 2
8 April – Galatians 3
9 April – Galatians 4
10 April – Galatians 5