God’s will. What is God’s will for my life? Should I do this? Or that? Who hasn’t asked those questions before? It seems like handwriting on the wall or, at the very least, an e-mail would be most appreciated at the difficult junctures of life.
It is my belief that “God’s will” isn’t as restrictive as I once imagined. As a matter of fact, there are very few things that fall outside of God’s will. His desire for my life is that it is rich and satisfying (see John 10:10) and that happens in many ways. Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians gives two clues concerning God’s will for our lives.
Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.1 Thessalonians 4:1-3
To be holy is to be set apart. Just as we set apart clothing for certain purposes, so our lives are set apart for a special purpose. Nothing is more irritating to me than when I carelessly undertake a task in my Sunday-going-to-meeting clothes. You know, arriving home from a special occasion and I see some task that needs doing. Changing clothes is too time consuming so I get at it in my best clothes. Then there is dirt, mud, grease, rips – whatever I encounter and my set apart clothes are no longer special.
This admonition to holiness is specifically in regard to the way we express our sexuality. As followers of Jesus, we are commanded to control our bodies. It is God’s will for you to be set apart in this way. The seriousness of this message is emphasized in verses 7 and 8…
God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.1 Thessalonians 4:7-8
The admonition to holiness and purity in our sexuality isn’t popular. But then, no one ever said following Jesus would be the popular thing to do. God’s plan for sexuality is to bring fullness and joy. If this isn’t your experience, I encourage you to find your Timothy and talk it out. There is hope and freedom, even in this!