1 Thessalonians 4

If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, chances are you’ve spent some time pondering the answer to this question: “What is God’s will for my life?” The question is a good one—after all, we want to be in the center of God’s will, living in obedience to to his good and perfect plan for our lives. But when we dwell too long on that question, it can become paralyzing; we get so fixed on making sure we find God’s will for our lives that we don’t do anything else until we feel we’ve got a good grasp on what his will might be.

In 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul frees us from the “paralysis by analysis” that comes from fixating on finding God’s will for our lives. Paul actually states it plainly: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (v. 3). Put another way, God’s will for your life is that you would look more and more like Jesus with each passing day.

Maybe you do need to wait for clearer discernment of God’s will for a specific decision or direction in your life—fair enough. Just remember that, even in your waiting, God has already revealed his “good and acceptable and perfect” will (Romans 12:2) at least in part: that you would grow in holiness, “without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

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