Ephesians 1:3-10. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places… 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In Christ we have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. These aren’t blessing waiting for us in Heaven. They are blessings that we are experiencing right now. Because we are in Christ right now.
Today’s blessing: knowing the will of God.
I probably have a dozen books on my shelf about finding, or knowing, or discerning the will of God. Usually when Christians talk about finding the will of God they’re talking about knowing God’s specific plan for their life. What job should I take? Should I marry Larry or Gary? Where should I go to college? Should we move? And so we pray. And we ask for peace. We pray. We look for signs (we call them “open doors”). We (hopefully) get some wise council. We pray. Basically we want God to tell us what to do. We see the will of God as a mystery that we have to figure out. A hidden gem for us to find.
But here’s the blessing: the mystery has been made known. The treasure has been revealed. We KNOW the will of God. Paul says that God has made known to us the mystery of his will in Christ.
Both Jews and Greeks were into mysteries. The Greeks had whole religions centered around mysteries and hidden knowledge. And the Jews also wrote (outside of the OT) about the mysteries of God that would never be revealed. And then along comes Paul who says that Christ is the mystery of God’s will, his plan, revealed for the whole universe. Look at how he talks about God’s mysterious will revealed in Ephesians chapter 3:
Ephesians 3:1-13. For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose [God’s will] that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
Wait, what does this have to do with where I go to college, or what job I take, or who I marry, or whether or not I move?
And that’s the point. It would not be a spiritual blessing if God were to either a) tell you what to do in every specific situation of your life, or b) if he were to tell you that there is a specific plan for your life, but he is keeping it hidden and you have to somehow figure it out.
Your life in Christ is NOT some spiritual version of National Treasure.
We are not meant to figure out God’s plan for our lives. We are meant to KNOW God’s plan, and then allow God to conform our lives to his plan.
And God’s purpose, his plan, his will is IN CHRIST – his purpose which he set forth in Christ. Focus on Christ! Stop trying to figure out God’s will for your life. This is small minded and frankly self-centered. Again I say focus on Christ. Focus on God’s purpose in Christ. It’s right there in Ephesians 1:10. And it’s BIG. Much bigger than your present location, job, family, romance or whatever else you’ve been fretting about. These things are not unimportant. But they are only important in that they conform us to Christ and reveal the love and life of Christ to the world.
God’s will is not the details. God’s will is to use the details to unite all things in Christ (more on that tomorrow).
“To live is Christ” means that you already know the will of God. It’s Christ. His glory. His church. His rule and reign. Since you are IN CHRIST you are a part of God’s purpose. His mystery revealed. His will. It’s much bigger than you, and that’s a heavenly blessing. It’s freedom and love.
Because it’s no longer you obsessing over getting the details of your life right. Rather it’s letting God guide you deeper into his will (your union with Christ) using the details of your life to accomplish that purpose (which – spoiler alert – is the second half of the book of Ephesians) so that the world will turn to God.
If you’re not listening to CityAlight yet, begin now.