This post was originally written in February 2016 as a guest post on Wairimu Mwangi‘s blog.
Over the years I have heard many people ask “What is the will of God?” or “Is it God’s will to …”. In case you are wondering, I have also asked the same question countless times. I have attended seminars, listened to sermons, had discussions et al, all trying to figure out this God’s will mystery. After quite a research, I am happy to bring you my answer. I don’t know!!
Well, yeah, I honestly don’t. I will however tell you some of the things I know about this.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 [ESV]
Anytime I think about this I wonder who these people who call Him LORD are and I came to a conclusion that most of them (if not all) are in Church(es). These are people that call on Him. In fact, some even cast out demons in His name. [verse 22]. But He will declare to them, “I never knew you” [verse 23].
The ONLY people that will enter heaven are those that do the will of the Father. Says the one who said let there be light and immediately light comes out at a speed of 300 Million m/s. No, let me break that down for you. That is about 1 Billion km/h. At that speed, you could travel from Nairobi to Mombasa 2 Million times in an hour. Sorry, I digress. Point is, those words will sure come to pass.
What then does the will of God look like? How do we know it?
What the will of God looks like
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 [ESV]
Did you see that? Don’t worry, I’ll show you again. Good, acceptable/pleasing and perfect (complete). That is exactly what it is. So instead of asking, “Is it the will of God?” ask “Is it good, acceptable and perfect(complete)?” If it is all those things without exception (or excuse), it has to be His will.
What the will of God is
I’ll be honest with you; I haven’t found many verses that out-rightly state what God’s will is, this is one of the few.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 [ESV]
Sexual immorality is derived from the Greek word porneia that entails all acts of impurity, pornography, masturbation, LGBT etc. I think God knew that in the 21st century some crazy guys would want to change the meaning of sexual immorality to exclusively mean intercourse. So He used the general term porneia to take care of the ‘creative’ chaps.
You see, if you practice sexual immorality of any kind, you will not enter the kingdom of God. Sorry bro. I am not the one who’s saying this. God is. Don’t believe me? I have back up J
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21 [ESV]
Sin is horrible (For lack of a worse word). Sexual sin is more horrible because the sexually immoral sins against his own body. All other sins are outside the body. Look at David the King, after going in to Bathsheba [2 Samuel 11]. He has Uriah (Bathsheba’s husband) killed. He actually sends him to his killer with his own death note! [Verse 14 & 15].
Amnon, David’s son, loved his own sister [2 Samuel 13]. He was actually so tormented that he made himself ill because of her. For she was a virgin and it seemed to him that he could not do anything to her! [Verse 2]. So he actually violated her! And actually hated her with more hatred than the love he had for her. [Verse 15].
Hey, but you are not anything like David or Amnon right? Well, let’s see what God thinks about that.
“You have heard that it was said, you shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27 – 28 [ESV]
You see, God is concerned with every bit of our purity. Even and especially in the mind.
I recently came across this quote “Virginity is not enough; it’s just the bare minimum.”
Sexual sin is so terrible that God through Paul tells the Corinthians not to even eat with an immoral person who calls himself a brother [1 Cor 5:11].
It is a disgrace, especially when it is mentioned among brethren. The person who had his father’s wife in 1 Cor 5:1 was to be delivered to Satan, in the fellowship, when all were gathered in the name of Jesus. [Verse 4 & 5].
Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. If you destroy the temple, God will sure destroy you [1 Cor 3:16-17].
There once lived a man called Belshazzar, he was a king. He decided to throw a ‘bash’. Nothing wrong with that. But you see, his father had taken several vessels of gold and silver from the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem. So Bel, decided to use those vessels to take wine with his wives, concubines and lords. They drank and praised the gods of gold, silver, bronze, silver, iron, wood and stone. Then Bam! a finger appeared and wrote on the wall, ‘God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end.’ And that very night, Belshazzar was killed and Darius the Mede received the kingdom. This true story is documented in Daniel 5.
So when God says that He will destroy you if you destroy His temple, He means it to the last word. Belshazzar is only an example and a warning to us.
Now that we know that sin is terrible, especially sexual sin and that no sexually immoral person will enter the kingdom of God, how then, do we slay to this dragon?
Declaring an all-out(extreme) war!
“The only possible attitude toward out of control desire is a declaration of all-out war … If you wonder how to make war, go to the manual … There is something about war that sharpens the senses. You hear a twig snap or rustling of leaves and you are in ATTACK MODE. Someone coughs, and you are ready to pull the trigger. Even after days of little or no sleep, war keeps us vigilant” – John Piper
So friend, take the FULL armor of God and make war on sin. You cannot flirt with sin, kill it. Reserve nothing, have no mercy on it. Kill it!
However, of all sins, there is one which we are not told to fight. Sexual sin! Interesting right? Constantly God tells us to FLEE sexual sin [1 Cor 6:18]. Remember our friend Joseph in Genesis 39? What did he do when Potiphar’s wife wanted a piece of him? Did he start preaching, or reading/reciting verses to her? No! He FLED! A friend told me that fleeing is actually somewhere between running and flying.
Abstinence is not as much about grabbing the beast by the horns as it is avoiding it.
“But you see, we are all human. Besides, all men struggle with lust,” you say. All men DO NOT struggle with lust. Don’t buy into that lie. Ask Elijah, when he thought he was the only one that had not bowed to Baal, God reminded him that He had preserved 7000 for Himself who had not bowed a knee to Baal. [Romans 11]. Even if you defile yourself, there are people who will not.
“But if I flee, I will lose a lot,” well, welcome to Christianity. It’s all about LOSS.
And when you flee, where to do you flee to?
2 Timothy 2:22 [ESV] “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
You see, you flee youthful passions and run to the fellowship, to brethren, to accountability.
This is a very important part of all believers’ lives. You need to have a person or people you open up to. They help you overcome temptations and pray with you.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16 [ESV]
Casting Crowns in their song ‘Stained Glass Masquerade’ say;
“Is there anyone that falls? Is there anyone that fails? Am I the only one in church today feeling so small? Cause when I take a look around, everybody seems so strong, I know they will soon discover that I don’t belong. So I tuck it all away, like everything is okay. If I make them believe it, maybe I’ll believe it too”
Lack of accountability circles leads to stained glass masquerades. Where everyone looks strong and holy but they are only tucking away their struggles.
Accountability helps clean up the skeletons in our closets.
When you are there, alone, late in the night maybe, mouse ready to click. And you feel you cannot resist the temptation to click on that link and “See More.” You have been praying, you have been accountable to brethren but this one night you feel you cannot resist this temptation. Think about what is at stake. Because if the stakes are high enough, you will sure have all the self-control you need.
Tell me, if at that point a militant (say al-Shabaab), walks into the room, with your mum and a gun pointed at her, and the militant says, “If you click on that link, I will kill her.” I can guess, you will have an instant self-control simply because you realize that your loved one’s life is at stake. How much more your eternal joy? You are able to resist the devil and he’ll flee from you. You simply have no idea how high the stakes are.
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” Hebrews 10:26-27 [ESV]
While God remains sovereign, we have a responsibility. Don’t sit there and say that you are waiting for God to work something in your heart. Wake up, smell the coffee and get into attack or flight mode as appropriate.
Phil 2:12 & 13 “… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” [ESV]
Please understand that the reason why we work out our salvation is because God is working in us. Similarly, we are only able to control our lust, to flee and kill sin because the Holy Spirit is at work in us.
Clothe yourself in Christ and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Set your mind on things above. Memorize scriptures, meditate upon them always and recite them.
There is a big difference between struggling and giving in. Struggle if you must, but don’t give in. Keep fighting. God is faithful.
What happens when a brother falls?
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2 [ESV]
If unfortunately, our very own falls, we should be careful with them. Sure we must rebuke them, if they repent, forgive them. [Luke 17]
Always keep in mind that we do not kill our wounded soldiers. We help them get back up but also very carefully. Lest we too be tempted.
In his letter to Timothy, Paul tells him to rebuke the elders who persist in sin in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear [1 Tim 5:20]. Yes, it might get there, especially for church (and CU) leaders.
I particularly and with all due respect address this to ladies. This subject is worth 10 blog posts. I’ll be brief.
“And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.” Luke 17:1-2 [ESV]
You see, if anyone causes any of Jesus’ followers to stumble, it is better to have them drowned in the sea. Now ladies, your dressing goes a long way. Especially when it goes past the eyes of men. We are living in a world (and country) where our dress is our choice. Even some ‘pastors’ wives’ wear unspeakable clothing and teach, verbally or otherwise, younger ladies to do so.
Dear sisters, you have no idea what the Lord will do to you if one, just one of his sons lusts after you because of your clothing. It doesn’t matter if you think your dressing is OKAY, or as you say, “My motive is right.” The purity of your motive does not cancel the effect of your dressing.
I am not going to tell you how long the dress should be. Because some crazy designer somewhere will make you one that is long enough but make sure it is too tight, or even make the slit too high.
You see, young ladies in particular have no idea of the struggle with lust men, whether young or old have every day.
Be careful sisters, be very careful. There is a very thin line between modern day fashion and sensuality.
Men as well should also be very careful. Know where to look!
A movie might have the best story line in the world but a scene, just one, of nudity, profanity, kissing (yes, even this) disqualifies it. Have you not read that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? [1 Cor 5:6, Gal 5:9]
Casting Crowns in their song ‘Slow Fade’ sing, “Be careful little eyes what you see, it’s the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings … It’s a slow fade … People never crumble in a day, families never crumble in a day, daddies never crumble in a day. It’s a slow fade”
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria!