A co-worker of mine asked me the other day “How do you know what God’s will is for your life?” Wow, that’s quite a question isn’t it? I mean isn’t that what we would all love to know?
Immediately 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 came to me which tells us, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Sounds pretty clear doesn’t it?
Most of us at some point or the other have this idea in our mind that God has this certain path he wants us to walk like this particular job, house, spouse, school, church etc. What I noticed about this verse though is it really doesn’t address these things at all but rather it points to our inner life: rejoice, pray and give thanks. So, if we are rejoicing, praying and thankful it doesn’t really matter what job, house, school or church we’re attending. Now don’t misunderstand me. I think God does have a certain path for each of us to trod, but I think the litmus test of whether or not we’re on it isn’t so much found on a map but in asking ourselves the question am I rejoicing, praying and thankful where I’m at?
When we talk of praying without ceasing obviously we’re not saying we have to be on our knees with our eyes closed. I think praying without ceasing means we live with a conscious awareness of God’s presence in our lives. We do nothing out from ourselves rather we’re making decisions all the time based on the understanding that the Spirit of God is present and active in our lives and he is leading and moving us in the proper direction. As we walk in the Spirit by faith we are trusting that God is leading us whether it feels like it or not.
In the same way many people stress themselves over their place in the body of Christ, but the Bible tells us “God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.” So it’s his job to place us and our job is to rejoice, pray and be thankful. I truly believe if we are operating in the Spirit as much as we know how he will get us where he wants us.
In Matthew 13:11-12 Jesus told his disciples it had been given to them to understand the mysteries of the kingdom. He said, “For whoever has (understanding), to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” As we walk in what we do know of God’s will he will open doors and guide us as we go. The problem most of us have is we want him to draw us a map and highlight the path he wants for us, but faith doesn’t work that way. We are told to walk by faith not by sight so sometimes we’re just making a move based on what we do know at the time and trusting God will tell us when it’s time to change direction.