This week we will be studying 1 Thessalonians 4. The first thing that pops into everyone’s mind is the Rapture. However, the answer to the age old question, “What is God’s will for my life?” is answered prior to Paul expounding on the Rapture.
Paul challenges the Thessalonians to live holy lives for God. He reminds them of the things he had previously taught them.
“Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.” (1-2)
Many are concerned with knowing God’s specific will for their lives for the purpose of guiding their life decisions. The first step to knowing God’s unrevealed will is always to be sanctified (set apart) to God’s revealed will.
Here is Paul’s list for knowing God’s revealed will.
1) It is God’s will that we live in sexual purity (3-5)
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
2) It is God’s will that we do not defraud others. (6-7)
6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. 7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
- Defraud means to cheat or take advantage of another. (6a)
- The warning: “Lord is the avenger of all such” (6b)
- The calling: “Unto holiness” (7)
3) It is God’s will we do not despise others. (8)
8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit.
4) It is God’s will we love the brethren. (9-10)
9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. 10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;
5) It is God’s will we do not talk too much and stay out of other people’s business (11)
11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
6) It is God’s will we supply our own needs by honest work. We are not to sit on a hill awaiting Christ’s return. We are to be busy serving the Master and providing for our families and the Lord’s work. (11c-12)
12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
These are God’s revealed will. If we are doing these things, we will be concentrating more on the things of God rather than the things of the world. Thus we will be more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Think about these areas and why God included them in this list. Then try and place other Scripture passages to each area. Then we will begin to see how God thinks and how we need to think if we desire to know God’s specific will for our lives.
God’s specific will for our life is a life time endeavor.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001