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, NIV)
A lot of what gets us in trouble is – we go looking for that captivating love in all the wrong places. We will look for it, even in sexuality. We chase the One Thing that will make us feel loved and full, rather than rejected and unbelievably empty. But often times, we forget that… God is the One who takes away the emptiness, and causes our hearts to leap with satisfaction as we dwell in His Word and Presence.
Finding Wholeness in God and His Word
Before we can worry about anything else, we need to come to a place where we meet Jesus Christ for ourselves. He is the One who wants to make us whole and keep us satisfied.
In God’s Word, we meet boundaries, or commands, because. . . God wants to keep us safe from harm and close to Him. He is the One who has lovingly pursued us, and invites us to seek Him for ourselves.
We can find rest and satisfaction, when we stop searching elsewhere for the treasures we can find in Him.
God’s Word is Significant!
As we read these words, let us remember that God’s Word is significant.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV).”
If we want to be made complete by God and equipped for whatever God is calling us toward, we have to be willing to listen to Him.
Understanding God’s Authority
Understanding God’s authority is something we have to do, before we can hear what is coming next in 1 Thessalonians –
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus (vv. 1-2, ESV).
Before we are given our command, we are reminded that God is the ultimate authority in our lives. He is more important than our parents or the president of our homeland. Now this doesn’t mean we ignore those placed in authority over us (parents, president, etc), but it does mean we need to respect and obey the Lord our great God!
Understanding God’s authority of our lives is likely a bigger issue than “hearing” what God has told us to do. If we don’t trust someone’s authority, it affects how we take their commands. Growing in submission to God, means knowing and accepting God’s authority in our lives.
If we are unable to trust who God is, how can we effectively listen for His Voice and honor what He has instructed us to do?
While I have much more to say on this passage of Scripture, I have just one last thing to say for tonight…
Feature image by Łukasz Łada.
Until next time,