Paul prayed for the Colossians that they would be “filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Colossians 1:9)
The things Paul prayed are models for us of praying the right way. When you realize that God actually wants this prayer to be answered you will stand amazed at the enormity of what we can have.
Not some wisdom. All Wisdom.
I’m not sure what this looks like yet, but I am praying that I may find out. “All wisdom” means you always know exactly what God wants you to do in any situation, and you are wise enough to DO IT as well.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, the Bible says, so when this prayer is answered we will have the fear of the Lord in abundant measure. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. So the person who is filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding not only KNOWS what God wants him to do, but also is fully inclined to do it, because he HATES all suggestion of disobedience and rebellion against God.
There is more to wisdom than the fear of the Lord, but that holy fear is a big part of it. Wisdom acquires relevant knowledge. We need to acquire the relevant knowledge for each situation we are in. A lot of time we cannot acquire this knowledge merely by empirical research, by leaning on our own understanding, or by the use of natural reason. We need spiritual revelation. We need the input of the Holy Spirit for the really important decisions in life. And I wonder just how much the Holy Spirit is willing to communicate with someone who is totally obedient to God, or at least is consistently so.
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
There are gifts of the Holy Spirit that we need like “the word of wisdom” and “the word of knowledge”. As far as I am concerned these gifts are supernatural. They are impartations of wisdom and knowledge from God’s infinite resources. They are not derived from sense knowledge or rational problem solving skills. They are not a reference to superior human capacity. Anyone can have a strong natural capacity even if they are not born again. There is worldly wisdom, there is “common sense” and there is specialist knowledge. Those things are useful and sometimes even necessary. But there is a supernatural wisdom, and a supernatural knowledge, where “God talks to you” and the results will be outstanding where this really happens and is acted upon.
To be flowing in “all wisdom and spiritual understanding” we cannot exclude the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. [Tweet “To be flowing in “all wisdom and spiritual understanding” we need the gifts of the Holy Spirit.”] When you think about it, there are going to be times when to do God’s will we are going to need the other gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 also. There are times we need the gift of discernment of spirits, other times we need the special gift of faith. At still other times we need gifts of healing and miracles to do God’s will.
There is no real wisdom in anything that is proud, or delighting in evil, or contrary to the commandments of God in the New Testament. There is no real wisdom in unbelief. When we are filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, we will find our lives are purged of these negative characteristics.
It is exciting to know that Paul prayed for this kind of state of being. That means it is possible for us. So let us not cease to pray for these things, for ourselves and others.