A lot of people want to know what God’s will is for their lives. And they tend to think of it in terms of “What job should I have?” “What ministry should I join?” Or “Who should I marry?”
But when Peter talks about living for the will of God, he really doesn’t address these things. Rather, if there’s one thing that he says which describes living for the will of God, it’s this: it’s living for his glory.
A lot of people say they want to know God’s will, but in their everyday lives, they live for themselves and their own glory, not for God and his glory.
How do we live for God and his glory?
For one thing, love one another. It says in verse 8 to love one another earnestly. The word “earnestly” has the idea of being stretched to the limit, as a runner will stretch his muscles to the limit when he’s in a race. In short, live all out in your love for each other.
Peter says that as we do so, love covers a multitude of sins. In our relationships with those around us, especially with our brothers and sisters of Christ, love helps us overlook their faults and to forgive them when they sin against us.
But as we show Christ’s love for those who don’t know him, it also opens the door for Christ to work in their lives and to wash their sins in his blood as they turn to him. So in that sense too, love can cover a multitude of sins.
Either way, we bring God glory through the love that we show for others.
Peter also says to show hospitality to one another without grumbling. (9)
When we are going through suffering ourselves, it’s hard to be generous and give of ourselves to others. But as we follow the example of Christ, giving of ourselves even as we suffer, we again bring glory to God.
Finally, Peter reminds us to be faithful with the gifts God has given us and to serve one another. (10)
And once again, this not to our glory but to God’s. Peter says,
If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (11)
In other words, remember that all our gifts are from God. They will only be truly effective if they are empowered by him. And the end result should not be that people praise us, but him.
How about you? Do you desire to know God’s will in your life? God’s will doesn’t have so much to do with what your job is, what your marriage is, or the different minutia of your life. Rather it comes down to this:
Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (I Corinthians 10:31)
Who are you living for?