October 17: Sanctification. God’s Will.

Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

At times, discerning God’s will isn’t nearly as hard as we might think. We don’t have to spend long periods of time in prayer and fasting in hopes of discovering the obscure. We don’t need to seek the counsel of others who we think have insights unavailable to us. It isn’t necessary for us to ask for some kind of miraculous sign that will point us in a direction we couldn’t have otherwise known. No, sometimes God makes His will abundantly clear, and He does so through His written Word:

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God . . .”  (1 Thess. 4:3-5).

God desires our sanctification . . . that we are set apart from sin; especially regarding our sexuality. Meanwhile, here are other clear passages:

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality . . .”  (Eph. 5:3a).

“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away” (Matt. 5:28, 29a).

God’s will is clear. He wants you and me to live lives of sexual purity. He wants our actions to be characterized by self-control, holiness, and honor. His plan is that we steer clear of passionate lust.

But while His will in this arena of our lives is clearly expressed in His Word, it is clouded by our culture. Even innocently searching the web can lead to invitations to view pictures of singles right here in Wooster. Try standing at the check-out at Wal Mart, and the magazine covers will invite you to compromise. Television and the movie industry seem to pepper even “good” entertainment with suggestive language and scenes that can be burned on the hard drive of our minds.

Before we place God’s call to complete sexual purity under the category of “impossible,” we must ask ourselves:

  • How committed do I really want to be to God’s will?
  • What radical steps am I really willing to take?
  • Which thought patterns do I really need to take captive?

sbk

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