(“The Weekly Walk” from Walk in the Word)
You ought to live . . . to please God . . . For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification.
– 1 Thessalonians 4:1-3
As a pastor, I often hear questions about God’s will. “What does God want me to do?” is the most common, but there are others: “Where does God want me to live?” “Who does God want me to marry?” “What job does God want me to take?”
This may come as a surprise to you, but the Bible doesn’t spend any time on that stuff. God’s focus isn’t so much on the externals; He wants to change the inner you.
God’s will is 98 percent about who you are. Need evidence? Check out 1 Thessalonians 4:1-3: “You ought to live . . . to please God. . . . For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification.”
The word “sanctification” comes from a root word that means “to make holy.” Sanctification is the process by which God takes sinful people and makes them holy. (It’s not really as churchy as it sounds.) Holy is a great word; it means “set apart” or “distinct.” It means “different from the sinful world around us.” It means being like God.
Next time you are struggling to know what God could be doing, just say to yourself, “He’s changing me,” and you’ll be right. Next time disappointments or heartaches come, try to recognize that God Himself is holding the hammer and chisel.
But why? Here’s the hard truth that sets people free: God does not exist to fulfill our purposes; we exist to fulfill His purposes. You and I are here because God wants to demonstrate His power and splendor through our lives, and if you realize that you are not doing that very well, then you truly understand why He wants to change you. He wants to get you to the place where no matter what happens to you or what you go through, you trust Him and follow Him and are committed wholly to His goodness. And so He’s coming after you, and He’s trying to change you. Let Him do His work in you, and watch Him display His awesomeness through you.