IN SEARCH OF GOD'S WILL
Some simple lessons for happy living.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honour, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit (1 Thess. 4:3-8).
The greatest blessing for you is to know the will of God and act according to it. Many choose courses of study, careers, life partners and patterns of life that are considered good by the world around them. People who claim to be 'practical' and 'wise,' go after money and materialism because that is what they see others doing. Are you one among them? I hope not. Jesus says, "Do not be like them." Paul says, "Do not conform to the patterns of the world." He makes a plea that you should discern God's good, pleasing and perfect will for you and act according to that (Rom. 12:2). When you pray the Lord's Prayer, you say 'Let your will be done.' It is, therefore, reasonable and fair that you seek to understand God's will for your life and endeavour to accomplish it, in and through your life.
The following illustration will clarify the need to understand God's will for your life. A boy made a kite and a top to play with. He let the kite fly and the top spin. One day, the kite told the boy that it would like to spin like the top and not fly. But, the boy told the kite, "I have made you only to fly. There is no way you can spin. If you try to spin, you will break yourself." The boy also made another key point and said, "Remember that I made you for my pleasure. I am your creator and you are only a creation. I decide what you will do and what you should not do. You, the creation, have no right to decide what you will do with yourself."
Do you understand the fundamental truth, that, you as the creation have no right to decide what you will do with your life? It is your Creator who will make that decision. The Creator's will for you is the best for you because He made you to the exact specifications required to fulfil it. If you understand God's will for your life and act according to that, your life will be the most blessed one.
God has a specific will for each individual. You are a special and unique creation and so He has a unique will for you which He will reveal to you, if you ask Him. His will for you may not be the same as His will for someone else.
In addition to this, God has a common will for all mankind, including you. Each person born in this world must understand this will, if he wants to lead a happy, fulfilling and blessed life. What is that common will of God for all of us? The will of God for you is your sanctification (1Thess.4:3). God expects you to live a holy and pure life; a life in which you flee from sexual immorality. You keep lust away from your life. Your body which is called a 'vessel' must be kept clean and free from sexual sins. Bible warns you that if you fail to do this, God's punishment will come upon you.
Some sad facts: This will of God that we must be sanctified has more relevance in the present age than at any other time in the history of mankind. Look at the following sad facts:
* Man is trampling on God's laws and is trying to write his own laws on morality. He is attempting to redefine boundaries in matters of sex. God's law of 'one man for one woman' is considered woefully outdated and restricting, and so broken with impunity.
* 70% of all 18-year olds have lost their virginity in the West. In the last 5 years, there is a 53% increase in men and women living together without getting married.
* 30 million people access pornographic websites everyday.
* 90% children in the West have viewed pornographic material in TV, magazines or the Internet. Children are not innocent anymore.
What is sexual immorality? Sexual Immorality is having sex outside marriage. It includes taking liberty with the body of a person of opposite sex outside of marriage. In its subtle variations, it includes reading, seeing and talking pornography, and self-indulgence through thoughts and physical activity. God demands that you run away from sexual immorality.
Sexual immorality involves the use of our body which is referred to as a vessel in the Bible. God's desire is that this vessel which is our body must be kept holy, pure and sanctified. It should not be defiled. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says two things:
i. It says that our body is an earthen vessel. God made us out of the dust of the ground (Gen.2:7). We are clay and God is the potter (Isa. 64:8).
ii. God has chosen to live in our body. It is like keeping a treasure in earthen vessels. It is a mystery that God, who is holy and mighty, has chosen our unworthy body to inhabit.
1 Corinthians 6:19 says, "Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you." It is amazing isn't it, that our body is called a temple? The presence of the Holy Spirit makes our body a sanctified temple even though it is an unworthy earthen vessel.
A building gets its name depending on who lives in it. If the building is occupied by students, it is called a school or college. If the residents are sick people, it is called hospital. When convicts occupy a building, it is called a jail. If the king occupies it, it is called a palace. When God lives in it, it is called a temple. Whom are you accommodating in your body, God and His Holy Spirit, or the devil? If the devil occupies your body, then it is called hell.
Verse 20 says that your body does not belong to you because God has bought it for a price. So, you are not the owner of your body, but God is. You cannot, therefore, decide what you do with your body; it is God who decides what you do with it. God, the owner of your body, demands that you honour and glorify Him with your body. God does not permit you to misuse your body and he will punish you, if you do that.
In Romans 12:1 Paul urges you to "present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God".
1 Corinthians 6:13 says, "The body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and Lord for the body."
1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, "May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
God demands that we keep our body holy and worthy. Our body is a vessel that must be kept apart, sanctified by God and for God to inhabit.
"Do not offer parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness” (Rom. 6:13). Remember that life of purity is life of purpose. Life of holiness is life of wholeness.
Consequences of Defiling The Vessel
Bible warns us that we will have to face terrible consequences if we defile the body which is the temple of God. "If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him, for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple" (1 Cor.3:17).
Chapter 5 of the book of Daniel gives a good example for the terrible consequences that follow when someone defiles God's vessel. King Belshazzar defiles two vessels of God. He drinks wine in public and defiles his body. He serves wine to more than 1000 people and becomes guilty of defiling these people. He gave orders to bring in the gold and silver cups that his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem. These cups were set apart for sacred use in the temple and for honouring God. The king defiled these cups by serving wine in them. As they drank wine from these cups, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.
In the midst of this drunken orgy, the fingers of a hand appeared and wrote on the wall 'MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN. Through this writing God had given his judgement and punishment for the king. God's judgement was that the king was weighed and found wanting. The punishment was the fall of his kingdom and that his days were numbered. That night, the king Belshazzar was slain and his kingdom was taken over by another king. The king defiled two vessels, his body and the sanctified cups of God's temple. The sanctified cups also represent your body. This story gives a powerful warning. If anyone defiles his body which is the temple of God, God's punishment will come upon him. 2 Timothy 2:22 issues the warning "Flee the evil desires of the youth…."
* The good news is that Christ Jesus came to the earth to save sinners and wash their defilement. So, we do not have to perish. "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life" (Jn. 3:16).
* Even if our sins have made our body very dirty, it will be washed clean (Isa. 1:18). He died on the cross and rose again to earn for us deliverance from the clutches of sin and its consequences. We can claim that deliverance (1 Jn. 1: 8, 9).
* He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy" (Pro. 28:13).
* God's grace is always available to us, and is enough for us, especially when we are struggling to overcome our weaknesses (2 Cor.12:9).
* You can submit yourself to him now, and ask for the restoration of holiness and a loving relationship with him.
Fulfil the will of God for your life and God will fill your life with honour and blessings. For those who trust God and seek His will, the past is a thing of the past and God does not hold it against them. God takes care of the present and future, and honours His children of faith with blessings.