Paul’s prayer for the church at Colossae is one that I have prayed many times for our spiritual and physical children. “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it [your embrace of the gospel], we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col 1:9).
There are few things in life more comforting to a Christ-follower than to know God’s will; to know His heart, His mind, His plan, His purpose, His specific direction for you and your family. There is a peace in hearing God’s voice. There is a confidence when we see the path ahead and step out in faith to follow it. And because God is a loving father, we can know his voice. His plan is not to keep us in the dark.
The reason God wants us to understand His will is, “so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord…” (and what does that walk look like?) “…to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (vs 10). This is a picture of a worthy walk. This verse led us to very specific questions at our house about how does this activity lead us to pleasing God, bearing fruit, or increasing in knowledge.
We also recognize that the power to “please God, bear fruit, and increase in knowledge” does not come from us; does not rely on our own willpower. “Strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience” (vs 11). It is God who supplies the power. By virtue of Him living His life through us, we have the power to be steadfast and patient, and a hundred more wonderful attributes of Christ that are to be seen in us. We can do this because it is Christ living His righteous life through us.
“Joyously giving thanks to the Father” (vs 12). As we grow in pleasing God, bearing fruit, increasing in knowledge, practicing patience, we should always thank the Lord for the progress we make. Humility is not thinking we are making no progress in the spiritual life. Humility is thanking God and giving Him the credit for our progress.
“Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (vs 12). Our inheritance is not only something we receive in the future. Today, in the very place you are standing, you have already inherited the righteousness of Christ. If you are a believer, you already possess the ability to please God, bear fruit, and increase in knowledge. There is nothing you are waiting on.
How can I say that with such confidence? Look again at verse 12. It is God Himself who “qualifies us”. He is the One who granted us our degree. We have our papers. We have our certificate of completion. We are complete in Christ. My prayer for you is to experience all that God has not only promised, but has already provided to live the supernatural Christian life.
My prayer for you is, “that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints” (Col 1:9-12).