It seems to be a first-world, 21st-century dilemma that we get whiplash from all the possibilities we have to do good around us. Sometimes we simply don’t know what to do with all of our options.
Should I devote myself to overseas missions? Pro-life causes? The orphan and the widow? The homeless?
We seek out God’s guidance in our own lives, and that is good. But sometimes our murky understanding of “God’s will” leads us to expect unforgettable “Eureka!” moments of unearthing it. We look for black-and-white, unmistakable signs of what should be our life’s passion and greatest work.
We wonder what God has for us next, or would have us do now, or what He has waiting for us. Our questioning and seeking begs the question—is it something different? Is it something we don’t yet have?
Keep Going on the Road You’re On
During a time of great pressure and crises for the early church, Paul wrote to the Thessalonian believers. He was suffering. Others were suffering. Paul feared all the suffering would discourage the Thessalonians from their faith, but was overjoyed when Timothy reported the opposite (1 Thess. 3:1-5). In that situation, in that time, how did Paul counsel the Thessalonians to live and act and pursue their purpose?
He didn’t ask them to start any new initiatives or reforms. Didn’t suggest starting their day with a to-do list, or dreaming big to decide how to spend their time.
Paul asked them to remember.
“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” (1 Thess. 4:1).
More and more.
We taught you to love each other, Paul reminded the church. Remember how we talked about living in faith? Keep doing that. Just do it more.
Paul prayed for the church in Thessalonica, but not that they would discern, discover, or otherwise find out the will of God for them. He didn’t pray that they would move on to the next step or start the next phase.
He prayed that they would continue on the road they had chosen. That what they had begun to understand they would live out more often. That what they had started doing they would do more often. That the way of life they were called to would define them “more and more.”
Not Always Different
It’s as if Paul thought they already had what they needed. They didn’t need something new.
More often than not, my days are driven by my own American sense of aiming for the stars and getting something done. Something bigger than daily, seemingly-small obedience.
Really, what can we do? We keep looking around us for ideas, seeking a way we can be a part of what God is doing.
As if we don’t think it counts to just be His. As if we think we have to earn our place. As if we think He can’t lead us without our help.
But He loves as His children, He earned it for us, and if He has led us this far we can trust Him to get us home.
Now that we are here, at His table, all we have to do is follow Him. Every day.
Maybe seeking God’s will for my life is often less about doing something different and more about doing something more. If you and I are living in love, walking in righteousness, and seeking Him daily, then we are already doing what He wants. We just need to do more of it.
We may have big dreams, and we could go on a grand adventure. There will likely be crazy twists and turns in the road ahead of us. But the heart of His will for us is to keep on keeping on in what we’ve already begun to learn, to increase, to keep growing. And to do so more and more.
“Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you” (1 Thess. 3:11-12).