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What is God’s Will for me?

1 Peter 1:14-15, as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,

Psalm 119:130 says, “The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.” It means the unfolding of God’s word gives light to the simple. You cannot find a simple person than me.

The Bible is readily available for anyone to open and read it, however, it is those who meditate in it day and night, ponder it, ask questions, break into small pieces and build up again that find treasure in it. The word unfolds (meaning reveals or make known) giving light and understanding right in your eyes. It is laborious but very fruitful process. You cannot rush it. That’s what I try doing with most of our daily verses. I search for meaning. If I have to live “by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” then it is crucial I know those words so I can live by them in a way He wants me to. This is the motivation behind “Word Today” podcast and honestly the same motivation for this blog. With that in mind, lets look at 1 Peter 1:14-15:

“As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,”

When we find verses in the middle of other verses natural thing comes to mind will be, where do I start with this?

The safe place to start for me is the context. How did the writer got here? Since this is the first chapter, I decided to go to the first verse. The writer wrote this letter to God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. These were saved Jews scattered due to persecution. He was not writing to pagans or people who don’t know God. Peter was an apostle to the Jews and was writing to his fellow Christian countrymen who were running away from evil men in their county.

What apostle Peter had in mind was to encourage them. How do I know this? verse 2; “who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father……” He is saying to them, you have been chosen long long ago according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. This should make them see how special they were even in the midst of persecution. He went on to say, “through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” We meet the word “obedient” from the get go.

Verses 3-7a gives us more details to why this letter was to encourage them; “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance imperishable and undefiled and unfading, being reserved in the heavens for you, who are being guarded by the power of God through faith, for the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, in which you greatly rejoice, at present for a little while if it is being necessary, having been put to grief by various trials. These trials will show that your faith is genuine.”

We have a bigger picture on the context. How apostle Peter handled difficult times and how he encouraged other believers. At that time, for the Jews scattered. This verse is recorded for us today as it did to them.

Jesus promised we will have tribulations in this world (John 16:33). And Peter is saying, those tribulations are for the testing of genuineness of your faith. How do you know your faith is genuine? Through test. Trials test. That’s how!

Doubting believers sometimes ask pastors questions like, “how do I know I am saved?” Well, one way of knowing is during trials. How do you respond to pressure? Where do you run or who do you cling to when temptations and trials befall you? These Jewish believers rejoiced in the midst of suffering because they knew exactly why they were going through what they went through. It was for their good.

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Peter finished verse 7 by writing that this faith is “of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

Therefore, when we come verses 14 and 15 we have a better idea. We know the purpose is sanctification, “through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood.” The result is, “praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

You cannot be sanctifying by being disobedient. It’s just that. You cannot be a child of God yet “conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance” and hoping you will be sanctified. Disobedient itself is a way of knowing if you are saved or not saved. God’s children obey their Father. Obedience to God is the key to this sanctification process proving Jesus’ work on the cross was not in vain.

Let’s look at some key words:
* Obedient–complying, willing to comply with orders, submissive to another’s will et cetera.
What is the will of God?
– Be holy,  1 Peter 1:15
– Rejoice always, 1 Thessalonians 5:16
– Give thanks in all circumstance, 1 Thessalonians 5:18
– Be sanctified and avoid sexual immorality, 1 Thessalonians 4:3
– Deny yourself, Luke 9:23
– Lean not to your own understanding, Proverbs 3:5-6
– Do good, 1 Peter 2:15
– Love another as He has loved us, John 13:34
– Come to the knowledge of truth, 1 Timothy 2:3-4,

That’s just a few. To be obedient means to be submissive to another’s will. The goal is for us to become just like Him. An apple produce apples. A good tree produce good fruits. The Bible is filled with God’s will for us.

*Conforming means abide, stick to, keep to, fulfill.
Peter is saying here, do no conform yourselves to the former lusts. You did it out of your ignorance. You know better now. Your eyes are opened. You have tasted and saw how good God is. You have these precious promises awaiting, don’t go back there like a dog return to its vomit. Look forward. Fix your eyes on Jesus.

Another place we find this word is Romans 12:2, Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Both Peter and Paul are expressing the same thing. Let go of the past. How? By the renewing of our minds. Let the word of God transform you. That’s exactly what Psalm 119:130 stated earlier. It is the unfolding of God’s word brings light to the simple. It makes wise the simple.

*Lusts means passions, desire, appetite, longing.
At some point in our lives we all lusted for things; sex, designers’ outfits, nice houses, nice cars, million dollar in the bank, toys–hoping they will fill the void inside us only to find they couldn’t. When we get them, we lusted for more or other things. They were never enough–why? because we tried to fill a void only God can fill. We are no longer ignorant like pagans (Matthew 6:32). We have come to know God. He already filled that void. We are responding by continuing walking in Him.

A good example to draw is from the Israelites in the wilderness. At some point of their walk with God they lusted for leaks and meat in Egypt. They were sick and tired of eating manna, the food of angels which God gave them purposely to humble them and teach them that man shall not live by bread alone….. In His wrath God rained birds for them to have a fill of their appetite. the Bible say 3000 perished that day while the food was still in their mouth. God has a good plan for us. We aught to trust in Him. We can do it by being obedient to Him as dear children.

I like how Isaiah 35:8 put it, “And there will be a highway called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not travel it—only those who walk in the Way—and fools will not stray onto it. God is holy, therefore be holy.” That’s the point of these two verses.

*All conduct means just that; every kind, whole, all forms of conducts. It means be holy 24/7. You can’t pick and choose when or where to be holy and when to not be holy. Holiness has to be in our DNA. The sanctification process is shaping us to achieve it.

Last but not least, I would check Cross references for further studies and meaning: For these two verses we can cross ref with: Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:18, 1 Peter 4:1-2, Isaiah 35:8, 2 Corinthians 7:1, 1 Thessalonians 4:7, James 3:13, 1 John 3:3.

APPLICATION: How can we apply this in our own lives?

I have touched applications throughout the article but to summarize it:

1. Know that you did not come to God on your own, He called you therefore He will uphold you with His righteous right hand.
2. He gave you the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is working in you to will and to do His good pleasure.
3. Walk in love. If you love God with all your heart, mind and soul, you will obey Him naturally.
4. Look into Jesus the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
5. Meditate on God’s promises. They are way better than houses and cars and sex. In other words, renew your mind.
6. When you make mistakes, repent (turn from a wrong path) and return to the right path–right away.
7. Above all, these two verses emphasize a call for holiness. You don’t hear these things preached anymore. Nonetheless, it important you “be holy even as your Father is holy” unless you ain’t saved 🤷🏾‍♀️.

Your thought!!

 

 

 

 

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