by Neil Anderson
CONFORMING TO THE IMAGE OF GOD
1 Thessalonians 4:3
For this is the will of God, your sanctification.
In a personal sense, God’s will for our lives is that we conform to the image of God, something the apostle Paul makes clear in 1 Thessalonians 4:3: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification.” In his letter to Roman Christians, Paul writes, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29) and adds in 1 Timothy 1:5, “The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” Divine guidance will never come to those whose primary goal is not first and foremost conforming to the image of God.
There is no instruction in the Bible concerning career choice, where we live, or who we should marry. There is, however, an abundance of instruction on how we’re to relate to our employer and behave on the job we already have (Colossians 3:22-25). And there is much about how to relate with one another (Colossians 3:10-14) and live with our families (Colossians 3:18-21).
The Bible overwhelmingly instructs that to do God’s will means living in harmony with God and man: “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).
The whole purpose of the Bible is to teach us how to have a relationship with God and live in harmony with one another. We do this by assuming our responsibilities for today and trusting God for tomorrow.
I’m not sure the Lord cares primarily whether you are a carpenter, teacher or doctor. But He does care what kind of carpenter, teacher or doctor you are. Determine to be the person He has called you to be. No one can prevent you from being God’s person except you.
Prayer: Lord, I want to be Your person today, to live in harmony with You and with those around me.