When You Wonder the Will of God

“Be joyful always;

pray continually;

give thanks in all circumstances,

for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

I Thessalonians 5:16-18

I read this scripture this morning and once again God took a passage that I’m quite familiar with and helped me see it in a different way.

The fourth phrase is what gets me… “for this is God’s will for you”.

How often do we plead, beg and stress over understanding God’s will for our lives?  More and more I continue to believe that God could really care less about what I do for a career.  Don’t get me wrong.  I think it’s part of His will for me.  He does desire for me to operate fully from the gifts that He’s given me and He has given all of us the call to “go into all the world and make disciples”.  But what if our career is not the starting place to understand God’s will for our lives?

In our culture we’re conditioned to begin planning our careers from the time we’re able to talk.  “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question every child is prepared to answer.  But in our quest for purpose I think we start in the wrong place.

God’s will for us is so much more about the “who” we’re becoming rather than the “what” we’ll be doing. 

According to this passage from I Thessalonians, God’s will for us is three things that have nothing to do with our occupation:

  • Be joyful always
  • Pray continually
  • Give thanks in all circumstances

What if we started there?

What if back when you were five and were asked what you wanted to be when you grew up,  the acceptable answers were “joyful”, “prayer warrior” or “thankful” rather than doctor, teacher or ballerina?

Too often in my pursuit of God’s will for my life I find myself striving and stressed out over understanding what He wants me to do rather than who He really wants me to be.

How about you?

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  • Laura Rath June 19, 2012  

    “God’s will for us is so much more about the “who” we’re becoming rather than the “what” we’ll be doing. ”
    Amen! I agree that it starts when we’re little with “What do you want to be when you grow up” and it continues through adulthood with “So, what do you do? What does your husband do?” Society sees things in careers, not who we are as individuals. I wonder if retirees hear “So, what did you do before you retired?” 

    Enjoyed your post today Jenni, thank you.

    In Christ,

    • Jenni Catron June 19, 2012  

      So true, Laura. I do wonder about the post retirement questions.

  • Mary Mcleary June 19, 2012  

    This has such meaning for me at this particular time.  As a “mature” person I can look back and see valleys where the only success came from finding joy in Him, praying and giving thanks for that (often only) joy which He brings. This is truth -thank you for sharing.

    • Jenni Catron June 19, 2012  

      Thank you for sharing, Mary!

  • Mindy Bowman June 19, 2012  

    Wow…this really spoke to me today since I have been in such a quandary about my job. When I apply those three items, it really gives me a different perspective about what I’m doing and why I’m here. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

  • Julia Mateer June 19, 2012  

    Hi Jenni,

    I love this perspective. One I need to keep in the forefront of my heart. Great word!

  • Cat Moore June 20, 2012  

    Love this post!  I love reading about how scripture speaks to them, especially when I’ve read the scripture recently.  This post really spoke to me!  Thank you.  Blessings, cat (www.catdmoore.com)

  • Bobbie Reutter June 22, 2012  

    Thank you for your post today!  We were to leave with a team of 13 for Liberia, Africa yesterday but we had problems with our Visa’s and won’t leave until next week.  Your post is very applicable for us and I had many conversations yesterday about this very thing.  Thanks again for the reminder!

    • Jenni Catron June 22, 2012  

      Oh no! Praying that things go smoothly next week.