As he often did at the end of his letters, Paul left the Thessalonians some rapid-fire bullets of instruction.
Any one of these commands would change us. But just think of what your life would be like this week if you simply followed all four of these instructions in the power of the Holy Spirit!
REJOICE ALWAYS (1 Thessalonians 5:16 NASB)
Not occasionally, but all the time. We have more to rejoice about than we realize. God is on His throne. We have been saved by His grace. We have everything we need for life and godliness. What is there not to rejoice in? What if ALL DAY LONG today, you rejoiced?
PRAY WITHOUT CEASING (v. 17)
This is possible, or God could not have asked it of us. Unceasing prayer comes as we walk in a continuing conversation with the Lord all day long. We ask Him about everything. We bring Him into every decision, conversation, and thought. We are constantly communing with Him in a running, loving dialogue. How would your life change if you practiced this consistency of conversation throughout today?
IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS (v. 18)
What if every single thing that happened to you today was turned into an occasion for thanksgiving? This is possible because we know that all things “work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28). Such a practice of praise would lift us up to a divine perspective. We would worry about nothing, as we continually realized God’s sovereign control. Why not try giving thanks for every circumstance, experience, and relationship today, and see what happens?
DON’T QUENCH THE SPIRIT (v. 19)
There is much to say about this practice. But, simply put, it means not ignoring the Spirit’s leadership and prompting. No resistance. The Spirit is speaking all the time to those who have ears to hear. As He prompts, instantly respond in entire obedience. What would change about your day if He were in complete control, flowing through you without ceasing?
Oswald Chambers said, “In learning to walk with God, there is always the difficulty of getting into His stride, but once we have done so, the only characteristic that exhibits itself is the very life of God Himself. The individual person is merged into a personal oneness with God, and God’s stride and His power alone are exhibited.”
Any one of these practices would be life changing in themselves. But the combination of the four? Life would be different today.
Life would be powerful today. Life would be useful today. Life would be joyful today. Life would be content today.
Life would be just as God designed today, with you following Him fully.