Have you ever heard someone bewail: “I just want to know God’s will for my life!”
Or have you ever overheard someone express, “I am seeking the will of the Lord.”
Or how about this one: “If I just knew what God’s will was for my life, I could finally ___________ (fill in the blank).”
Or has this been you?
Have you ever desperately sought God’s will?
Have you ever asked for the will of the Lord for an unmet need, desirous hope, or aspiring outcome?
Have you ever begged to know what God wanted you to do, so that you could have peace – and finally(!) – get moving in a certain, long-prayed-for direction?
Until one day.
My prayers for the will of God took a revolutionary turn when I read these words:
Be joyful always.
Give thanks in all circumstances,
For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
New International Version, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Said another way:
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
New Living Translation, 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
What is God’s will for you and for me?
- To be glad, to be joyful, and to thrive in our relationship with Christ, in our relationship with others, and with ourselves.
- To be near our Lord in prayer at all times of day and in all matters of circumstance.
- To be filled with gratitude for every, whopping-big-and-beautiful thing and every, tiny, insignificant thing we experience in life.
Being joyful, being prayerful, and being thankful are the virtues which direct our hearts in Christ. The will of God, His purposes, His desires, His good pleasures, and His determinations for us center upon making this choice of will as well.
Will we cherish, appreciate and live into the untold joy we have in Christ?
Will we embrace our God with continual, hope-filled prayers and recognize how dependent we really are upon Him?
Lastly, will we show our gratitude to our God for every circumstance in life? Even the hard stuff?
You see, this will of God stuff is simple. There is no mystery to it. God’s will invites us near to revel in His joy, be graced by His Presence, and experience life as it comes with Him. It’s no different for those of us who are parents, is it? We want our kids to be joyful. We encourage our kids to have an intimate and engaging relationship with God and Jesus Christ. And what parent doesn’t appreciate when their kids are thankful and appreciative for what they have in life? Isn’t this our will for them, too?
The dilemma we face, however, is that we are continually looking ahead in life. We have a ‘what’s next?’ mentality. Once we achieve something, we are on to the next thing, and then the next, and the next. There’s nothing wrong with a growth mindset. Yet, if we focus so much on some future aim or achievement and, then, despair because of how dissatisfied we are with the here-and-now, we miss out on the miraculous joy and wonder of the people, the places, and the times that we have been given by our God.
Think about it.
Are you experiencing joy in your present moment and relishing in-the-now with Christ?
Are you spending more time thinking about – maybe even obsessing over -something you want to happen as you seek the will of God for this person, place, or thing?
Are you still wondering about and seeking the will of God for your relationships, your work place, and/or your dreams and aspirations – because you just want to know what’s next and are desperate for something different?
If yes, then take a moment.
Stop and breathe.
For prayer is the breath of our spiritual life, isn’t it?
Pray for the Lord Himself to bring you to a place where you can receive and experience the fullness of His life-giving joy.
Offer a prayer of thanks for this place of now.
It’s all part of the Lord’s will for you – me, too(!) – and believe that there is hope, promise and purpose in this moment.
How does that sit with you?
Do you see how amazingly refreshing it is to embrace the Lord’s will as you connect with His purposes of joy, prayer, and gratitude in Christ?
I promise you one thing. If you begin seeking the Lord for His will in this way, you will experience His joy and breath-taking peace. Contentment will come.
Read the Lord’s will and purpose for you again: