God's Will For Your Life
What is God's will for your life? What, ultimately, does he want you to achieve? The Bible gives a fairly clear answer - "this is the will of God, your sanctification" (1 Thess 4:3, ESV). He wants you to grow and mature and become as much like Jesus Christ as you can. Everything else is a consequence or a 'working out' of that one goal.
Consider the following:
- Paul tells those in Rome that "all things work together for good" which is that we be "predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son." (Rom 8:29, ESV)
- He tells the Galations he was in the “anguish of childbirth until Christ was formed in them." (Gal 4:19, ESV)
- He tells the Ephesians that Christ gave himself up for the church, "that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word." (Eph 5:26, ESV)
- He tells the Philippians that he yearns and prays that their "love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment...and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ." (Phil 1:10, ESV)
- He tells the Colossions "Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me." (Col 1:28-29, ESV)
- Paul tells the Thessalonians simply, "..this is the will of God, your sanctification..." (1 Thess 4:3, ESV)
- In his second letter to the Thessalonians he says, "God chose you from the beginning to be saved through sanctification." (2 Thess 2:13, ESV)
- He tells Timothy "train yourself for godliness...as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come...for to this end we toil and strive..." (1 Tim 4:7–10, ESV)
- In his second letter to Timothy he tells him "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim 3:16–17, ESV)
- He tells Titus that "the grace of God has appeared...training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives" because Christ came to "redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works." (Titus 2:11–14, ESV)
- James says that trials are sent to produce steadfastness and that we are to "let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1:2–4, ESV)
One of the benefits of recognising sanctification as God's will for your life is during times of trial. If we know where we are going to we can better make sense of our journey, especially through difficulties.
If we think God's plan for our life is for us to be healthy, wealthy and comfortable, our suffering will not make sense. We will begin to question God's goodness. We will despair when things don't work out the way we wanted. We could become dangerously introspective, wondering what we need to do to earn God's favour again.
If the sinless Son of God had to learn and be perfected through suffering (Heb 5:7-9), so must we.
Rick Warren says:
God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than he is in making your life happy.