The Simplicity of God’s Will
Have you ever heard someone ask, “What is God’s will for my life?” Often what they want to know is a very specific answer to a question: Should I marry this person? Should I take this new job?
The traditional Navajo religion seeks answers to these spiritual dilemmas by enlisting the help of people called hand tremblers who heal and diagnose illness, witchcraft, and other imbalances that may be plaguing the seeker.
This Scripture from 1 Thessalonians gives us, as Christians, specific directions to follow as it relates to God’s will. It is less about the specific situations and decisions of life and more about putting God at the center of your world.
The passage is taken from the section of the book called the “paranesis” or encouragement. After presenting all of what God has done for us in Christ, Paul ends his letters exhorting his hearers to live according to the Spirit rather than the flesh.
The key to this particular phrase is “in Christ Jesus”. Our lives are now “in Christ” from our baptism to our deaths. In Christ, there is great freedom (Gal. 5:1), and we do not have to be concerned about whether or not it is God’s will for this or that life decision. So much of what we are concerned about spiritually is often spinning wheels and chasing the wind. But God’s will for us is to experience every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3) and the fruit of His Spirit in our lives are the actions we see above.
Many of the people we encounter on the Navajo nation have not received these spiritual blessings. They are not “in Christ,” and so it is our privilege to announce the Good News of what Jesus has done for them. As a result of being in Christ, these good things, joy, thankfulness, and communion with God come about. What a blessing it is to be in Christ!
Dear Lord, thank you for sending Jesus to heal and guide us. Thank you for keeping me from evil and imbalances in my life when I follow your will–praying and giving thanks in all circumstances.
In Jesus name, Amen.
Tim & Heidi Norton
Be Joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)