Weekly Devotional: My Purpose and God’s Will in the Light of 1 Thessalonians

Someone on an adventure in nature.

Often when we think of our purpose and what our life’s calling is, we think of occupation and standing. However, God has a different way of putting purpose and calling on our lives. Purpose begins when we surrender to God and follow his lead. The big idea is that God’s will for your life is more about who you become rather than what you specifically do.

In This Article: 

Two Expressions of God’s Will 

The idea and cultivation of God’s will and purpose is a topic that will always be somewhat of a mystery to us humans — that’s part of the divine design. However, God does give a couple of ways to discern the next steps for each of our lives — his hidden will and his unveiled will.

Hidden But Revealed 

His hidden will and purpose require us to step out in act of faith and trust that he has our path already laid out for us. This is shared with us through the letter Paul wrote to Thessalonica, in 1 Thessalonians. God's hidden will is for his children to lean into his love and all-knowing power; it’s for us to trust that he will bless and lead us when we don’t know what the next move is.

For this is the will of God, Your Sanctification
1 Thessalonians 4:3ESV

God’s Unveiled Will 

God’s unveiled will is a little more instructional and straight to the point. His will is for your sanctification. What does sanctification mean? To sanctify is to be in the process of looking more like Jesus. God’s will for us is to become more and more like his son Jesus — that is our sanctification. In following the example he laid before us, we become more like him, and less like the world we live in. When we choose to walk down this path, we are called to live differently, to bear fruit in our character.

How Do You Live Out God’s Will? 

God’s will is not specifically about what you do, but who you are. This is your purpose, give of your hands and patience to those who are struggling and need someone to come along beside them in their walk. You can be an encouraging factor that brings others around you closer to God’s love and presence.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18ESV

This seems a lot simpler than a career or a calling on your life, doesn’t it? He calls us to rejoice, pray and to be thankful for he has blessed us with the greatest gift of love and eternal life spent with him. This is not to say he doesn’t have a full and blessed life planned for you, but this shared that God has intentionally designed us to have to depend on him. God doesn’t operate by sharing every detail of his plan, but instead reveals his plan in the next step. Living out his will is simpler than trying to figure out what degree or career you are destined to work in.

Kingdom Mindset 

Your calling is higher than of this material world. When building and bearing fruit that shows the love of Christ, you further God’s kingdom. That is what we as Christians are called to do — further his kingdom. Now we all have different gifts and talents that he gives us to do this work on earth differently. Each of us is uniquely designed to serve him in a beautifully different way.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Romans 12:1-2ESV

Grand Canyon University is dedicated to helping all the members of the GCU community learn more about God’s great Word. To learn more, look at our Christian identity and mission. To explore more about spiritual life here at GCU, browse through our other weekly devotionals or complete the form on this page.

Approved by the local outreach coordinator of the Department of Spiritual Life on June 14, 2024.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.