Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Maybe "God's Best" is Where You Are Right Now

As I was reading 1 Corinthians 7 this morning, verse 17 caught my eye.
Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. (1 Cor. 7:17)
It is helpful to examine the rest of chapter 17 to gain some context. Paul is addressing new believers and how they should view their station in life, as well as those on the verge of making a big commitment (i.e. marriage).

In this context we can see that the apostle is speaking to people who may be discontent in their present station. Many people think that they are responsible to go out and find “God’s best” for their lives, but this is only partially true. God sovereignly directs and guides us, and as Paul mentions, He “assigns” us a certain calling in life. It isn’t necessarily something we must search out. If we are truly seeking His will, we will soon come to realize that He has been guiding us all along and that the place where He currently has us may very well be where He wants us to be!

This gives us ample reason to be content.

We can’t, however, ignore some of the caveats that Paul includes in this chapter.
Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) (1 Cor. 7:21)
Now concerning the betrothed... I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. (1 Cor. 7:26-7)... If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry - it is no sin. (1 Cor. 7:36)
So we see that Paul makes several important caveats with regards to slavery and marriage. He does this in a way that is completely consistent with the rest of Scripture; slavery is not necessarily a sin, but it is not desirable; marriage is an inherently good thing, but it may be better not to marry, “in view of the present distress.”

In conclusion, I believe that this verse is a call to contentment. The apostle is exhorting us to be content serving God in the station He has called us to, and not to run around frantically searching for “God’s best.”

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