Let’s consider again the passage from the Book of Colossians chapter1 from verses 9 onwards:
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
In the previous entry we considered how the conversion of people should trigger prayer in us for them, and that the most important thing to pray for people is that they may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
We see that we all need:
- knowledge of God’s will
- spiritual understanding
But why is this? Well, Paul says it is “that we may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him”. If we don’t know what God wants us to do, it will indeed be difficult if not impossible to do His will. If we lack WISDOM then even if we know what God wants us to do, we will find ourselves incapable or unwilling to actually DO it. Then we WON’T walk worthy of the Lord, and we won’t be fully pleasing Him.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is great. Through Him all things were created, the Bible teaches. Jesus is the paragon of self-sacrificing love and eternal wisdom. And He has put His own name and reputation somewhat on the line by allowing us to bear the name “Christians”. It is therefore only right that we live according to a high ethical standard. But even that is not enough. If we are ambassadors of Christ, then surely we are called to do MORE than just be upright, ethical or morally blameless. We are also called to show forth the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in our dealings, and to live and move as spiritually enlightened people, people in whom the living God is not only pleased to dwell, but people who can be trusted to obey the Holy Spirit’s promptings. To fully please Christ, we are going to need to learn to submit ourselves on a daily basis to the wisdom and promptings of the Holy Spirit. Anything less than this would not bring honor properly to the Lord.
I believe that spiritual understanding is required for us to live the right way. I see this as having an understanding at some level of how the spiritual world works. We know that we live in a world that has not only human souls running around, but a multitude of spirits as well – many of them EVIL and committed to our destruction. When a person KNOWS this and is conscious of it, they will be a little less inclined to go off and do stupid things that get them into spiritual bondage to dark powers.
We are to Be Fruitful in Every Good Work
It should be obvious from this passage that it is God’s will for us to be fruitful for Him. Collectively, as a body of believers, we are to be fruitful in EVERY good work. So no good work should be neglected by us as the people of God – including feeding hungry people, healing the sick, casting out demons, educating people in the wisdom and skill of God for life. If any of these things are NOT happening, it shows that we have not yet received the wisdom from God and the knowledge of God’s will like we should.
We Should Be Increasing in the Knowledge of God
Increasing in the knowledge of God does not simply mean growing in head knowledge concerning the Bible. The real knowledge we need is PERSONAL knowledge, knowledge that is perceived by the HEART as well as the mind. It is knowledge that we FEEL the truth of. Felt truth is the truth that transforms us. We are called to grow in our personal experience of God all the time. This makes a big difference. It is not enough to memorise the words “God is love”. We need to have some kind of personal experience of the love of God which in turn makes us more loving – that is, more willingly self-sacrificial for the good of others. We need to know more than the thought “God is powerful”. We need to experience, carry and transmit the actual power of God that God gives by the Holy Spirit so we can be effective in making a difference as followers of Jesus Christ called to be His disciples and ambassadors in the world.