Do you desire to seek and know God’s Will? Here are three more steps He outlines in his Word.
In my last post, I highlighted three things that God desires for us and/or expects of us as part of His Will. To recap, they are:
- To be Saved: see 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9
- To be Spirit-Filled: see Ephesians 5:17-18
- To be Sanctified: see 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6
There are three more desires He has for us, as outlined in His Word. He wants us to be:
4. Submissive–God commands us to submit to those in authority. In 1 Peter 2:13-15, we are commanded to “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.” It makes sense that He would expect this when He is the one who gives our rulers their authority (see Romans 13:1). The caveat is that their authority does not supercede His. In other words, we are not to obey those rulers when they ask or command us to do something that would violate God’s laws.
5. Suffering (for Christ)–1 Peter 3:17 tells us it is better to suffer for doing good, if it is God’s Will, than for doing evil. He explains in the next verse that Christ also suffered at the hands of unjust people. Earlier in his letter, in 2:20, he explains it a bit more by saying that if we are being subjected to punishment and suffering for sinning, (e.g. breaking a law) and enduring it, that’s not a big deal. We deserve to be punished for our crimes. But if we are being subjected to punishment and suffering for doing nothing wrong (e.g. sharing the Gospel) and still endure it patiently, then God will bless that. So, suffering for Christ is not a given, but the reality is that if we are saved, spirit-filled, working towards sanctification and submissive to God before men, we most likely will experience suffering. And we are to acknowledge it as being part of God’s Will and endure it patiently. (I know… easier said than done.)
6. Saying ‘Thanks’–Finally, we are to give thanks in all circumstances. Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thess. 5:18) Again, easier said than done. First, we are commanded to endure suffering patiently. Then, we are told to be thankful for every circumstance we find ourselves in–including suffering! To be candid, this is probably the hardest one for me. One that I need to be reminded of and work on every day.
I hope this has been an encouragement for you. And I’m sure you know that I am not perfect at any of these things. In fact, most days I cannot check each box as “Done”. But it has been helpful to put them in my planner and review them each day and pray over them. It’s a process and a journey and a day-by-day struggle. I encourage you to strive for these, too. Start by picking one each day or week to focus on and meditate on. God will honor that and draw you closer to Him, which will empower you to get a little deeper in your understanding of it and a little better in your execution of it. Thanks for reading. Be blessed.
For your advantage,