Living the will of God
Christians often ask themselves the question-What is the will of God for my life? Although every person has been created for a specific calling in line with their giftings, skill set, personality type, life experiences and their time in history, this month's blog looks at the general calling for each follower of Christ as outlined in the scripture from 1Thessalonians 5:16-18 and suggest that Christians need to live the will of God. From my own experience of these verses throughout the various seasons of my life, I have found these 3 principles an imperative foundation to keep bringing me back to following Him each day, regardless of whether I am actually aware of where I am specifically going or not.
1. Rejoice always
I try to begin each day by saying these words out loud:
"This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24
I say this whether or not I feel like it. By declaring this truth straight from scripture, I am aligning my spirit with His. I am making a conscience choice to rejoice. To rejoice is to: 'feel or show great joy' but to rejoice IN something/someone is to 'draw attention to the object of your rejoicing'. This is a powerful concept. I am making the choice for my spirit to draw attention to Him and the day He has given me. This day- today, is one of His gifts to me.
I have needed to work hard on this rejoicing concept and I am far from perfect at it. I am by nature a melancholic person whose natural bent is to see the negative in things. I am quite serious and a deep thinker. I laugh when something strikes me as funny but won't laugh for the sake of it. I also worry too much. But the Lord has gently reminded me MANY times that JOY is one of His beautiful gifts to me and that I so often allow Satan to rob me of this gift by listening to his lies and his reminders of my past and my present failings. But my joy is not his to take. I have needed to claim back my joy on many occasions. But Satan can't get all the blame. I make the choice to worry more than to trust. That too steals my joy. Another scripture that helps me is from Nehemiah 8:10 and features in my second book "Caught in the Middle".
"The joy of the Lord is my strength."
This is certainly true. "A merry heart is good like medicine but a broken spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22
It is also helpful to remember this:
Unfortunately we live in a very selfish world where the emphasis is on me, me, me. Truly joyful people are Christ centred and others focused before themselves and then trust God to look after them. "He who refreshes others, will himself be refreshed." Prov. 11:25.
2. Pray without ceasing
*Prayer is powerful. It is the main way we communicate with God. When we pray, we take the focus off of ourselves and back onto Him. So, the more we pray, the more our focus shifts then stays on the Lord.
*Prayer is a weapon. When a Christian prays, they strengthen the heavenly armies in their war against the enemy and his demons. "The prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective." James 5:16
I have read that Satan tries to limit your praying because he knows your praying will limit him! Sometimes my husband and I need remind each other to talk and worry less and pray more!
*Prayers are answered. The Lord may not answer the way you might like, but He always answers. The Bible says that the Lord's ears are open to our cries. He hears and delivers us out of our troubles.
In my first book "My Two Houses", I show the simple and effective prayer that I have taught my children.
"The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you and give you peace."
This prayer is one of many in scripture that can be memorized and spoken often as a part of your prayer life. I also write some of my prayers and keep them to re use as often as I need. Praying scripture directly from the Word is also powerful and effective.
3. Be thankful in all things
Living in a state of thankfulness, grateful for all the Lord has done for me and blessed me with needs to be foremost in my thoughts. Whenever I find myself complaining or grumbling, I quickly remember the verse that simply states "Do ALL things WITHOUT complaining or arguing. Phil.2:14
I've read that grumbling will never allow God's glory to shine through you. And to reiterate the first point- ingratitude also takes away your joy. Living thankful shifts your thinking. I like these words from Abraham Lincoln-
'We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.'
Another scripture that helps to align my thinking towards thankfulness is found in Philippians 4:8-10. These verses also promise peace as a result.
I trust that this blog has helped its readers be comforted by and confident in the knowledge that they are indeed in His will for their lives when they choose to live His will that is outlined in His Word and particularly through these verses.