“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Who hasn’t used the phrase “The will of God” loosely, without thinking definitively what that is? We probably confuse “the will of God”, which is spiritual and general for all, with the plan of God, which is physical and specific for each. The Bible however defines several directives that are “the will of God”, like giving thanks “in everything”. This doesn’t say that we are to give thanks FOR everything, but rather IN everything. Since nothing happens to the child of God without God allowing it, His will is that we be thankful in the midst of everything! By comparing the following cross-references we see that “the will of God” is directly connected with the “word of God”!
· “For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” Mark 3:35
· “And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.” Luke 8:21
As any good parent; God wants for His children to love him, trust him, obey him, speak to him, work for him, tell others about him, and yes, even thank him. As we observe this Thanksgiving holiday, we see that it is God’s will that we give him thanks. Giving thanks is a learned trait though, just as we train our children to say “thank you” when someone gives them something. Another thing that is the direct will of God is our “sanctification”.
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:” 1 Thessalonians 4:3
“Sanctification” simply means “set apart”, and in a spiritual sense, set apart or separated unto God. Just as a bird sanctuary is to set apart or separate certain birds for a particular reason/s, God desires His people to be sanctified and holy, for he is holy (1 Peter 1:16)! Sanctification is a process and giving thanks is a part of that growing process. To be thankful, or full of thanks, stems from one who has be given a gift; the ultimate gift being “eternal life” (Romans 6:23). Salvation is the event / gift that starts the sanctification process, much like birth is an event that is followed by growth.
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
We see here another item that is the direct “will of God”, and that is that “The Lord is…not willing that any should perish”, he doesn’t want one person to go to hell! Friend, this means that if you are reading this and have never repented unto salvation, you are outside of “the will of God”. Your need is to bend the pride-stiffened neck, bow the religious knee, and repent with the sinful soul to be saved. It’s only when we “come to repentance” that we can “come unto the knowledge of the truth”! You can’t have the latter without doing the former; I pray that each of you experiences true thanksgiving this year! You will never find God’s plan for your life, until you submit to God’s will for your life.
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:3, 4