These days there seem to be a lot of voices calling us to stretch out, break the norm, live out some phenomenally bigger-than-life great purpose; to be something special. Discover God’s will for our lives.
I wonder about that. How is it that you can (as a recruitment commercial for the US Army used to say) “be all that you can be” in a way that is pleasing to God? And what does “all that you can be” really mean, anyway? “All that you can be” for whom? For yourself? For the whole world?
Its easy to forget that as we work to “be all that we can be” apart from God we quickly run afoul of a lot of things. What we can be apart from God’s providence and design leads us to thinking that we each must be cooks, and then we have the situation where “too many cooks spoil the broth.” We want power and position, and so does everyone else. When we don’t get it, we fall into the trap of simplistically and wrongly dividing the world into oppressors and oppressed. Then people just get mad at each other.
What is God’s will for your life? Look at Paul’s letters – and especially 1Thessalonians 4:1-3. God’s will for your life is your sanctification. He wants you to spend your life and your energy turning into His child. Doing what you do according to His Word, and first for the sake of Christ – giving and serving according to the Father as Christ did for you. Receiving the gifts that He has given and continues to give with gratitude and humility, and using them as His instrument to bless your neighbor. The details are fluff.
Even the greatest king of Israel, David, received blessings from God with humility, not pride and arrogance (read 2 Samuel 7:18-29). David was joyful in this passage not because of the things that were “his” or the power that was “his,” but because God renewed His promises to the whole world and told David how they would be fulfilled. David was given the privilege of being a part of God’s plan to make it so. It was when he turned away from receiving these gifts and toward himself and his own purposes that the Word and the Spirit of God left him, and he was in trouble. (2 Samuel 11)
God’s will is accomplished mostly in the mundane things of life. Whether you’re changing dirty diapers or running a massive cattle operation or teaching the young among us or serving food to those in need, you are giving only what you have received and blessing those who our Lord has put near you. It is He who will place your work before you; it is He who will then establish the work of your hands (Psalm 90:16-17) for His eternal purposes. His will for your life is your sanctification; that you grow as His own dear child.
Christ has already taken care of the rest.
- Pastor Meyer