“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
We can be assured that God’s will for us is good for us. It flows from His nature of perfect love, wisdom, goodness and holiness. The will of God revealed to us in His word is that our lives are to be sexually pure. That is, that our bodies enjoy His sexual gift in the way, and only in the way, that He designed and commanded. That is, one man and one woman delighting in this gift in the context of the covenant commitment of marriage. All else is outside God’s good will.
If we fail to follow God in obedience to this loving command, we are actually living, according to the text, like those who don’t even know God! Those who don’t know God find their delights and pleasures in things outside of God. But, to know God through Christ is to know the very fountain of life. To know Him is to know true joy and satisfaction. Therefore, one way to fight against sexual sin and temptation is to develop a greater and deeper communion with God through His word. The joy of knowing and following Him will help to dull the pleasurable, but prohibited, temptations that come our way.
The text talks about possessing our vessel (I believe he refers to our body) in sanctification and honor. Our bodies have been created by God and are great gifts. Therefore, one way we worship God is to honor Him with our bodies. This is what God calls us to!
God’s commands do not restrict our true happiness. They are loving safeguards. A quick survey of the consequences of sexual sin in our world are heartbreaking. May this reality remind us of His goodness and wisdom in His commands. God is able to redeem and cleanse those who have fallen, and He delights in mercy (Micah 7:18). He is also able to empower us to daily live in a way that demonstrates that He is our source of true satisfaction.