10/13 1 Thessalonians 4:3

3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality.

How do you know the will of God? What can one say is God's will for their life? Here it is. Ready? This is the will of God, your sanctification. That means to be holy, which is to be set apart for God. In the verses that follow, Paul explains that he is talking about being in control of our body and not surrendering to the passion of lust.

The Greco-Roman world of Paul's day was as sexually immoral and promiscuous as our own. When people came to Christ, they had to avoid the local temples and change their behavior. Temptation was all around them. Even in the church, the new believers were tempted to use others for their selfish pleasure. Paul warns that the Lord will avenge those who do so (1 Thessalonians 4:5-6).

In this passage, Paul was focused on sexual purity, but the process of sanctification also involves our thought life, our language, the use of our time, and every aspect of life. God's will is the dedication of all our thoughts and actions to His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). All of us fall short of this, but it is His perfect will for each of us. In this lifelong process, opportunities to serve Him come our way. How effective we are in stepping into those opportunities is, in most cases, directly related to how far we have come in yielding ourselves to God's sanctifying work in our inner and outer being.

Consider: Instead of wondering why God does not use us more often as His agents in the world, we should be asking why we have not yielded more of our thoughts and actions to glorify Him.