And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
It always feels good to know that people are praying for you…but it’s especially true when you find out they have been praying for you regularly and without you asking them to! That is a person that has taken your life to their heart, and via prayer, they are backing you up and helping to carry whatever burdens you have. Do you carry anyone else’s life around with you via intercessory prayer? Perhaps a spouse or your children or a dear friend?
The ancient preacher Chrysostom said that within our prayers, there is “an all-sufficient panoply, a treasure undiminished, a mine which is never exhausted, a sky unobscured by clouds, a heaven unruffled by the storm. It is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings!” I had to look up the meaning of the word panoply when I came across this amazing quote…and it is a complete or impressive collection of things. How true a description of Paul’s incredible prayer for the Believers in Colossae! In fact, if you feel led to pray for me, just recite Paul’s words in verses 9-14 and insert my name. I’ll do the same for you right now.
Wow! That was a powerful moment! What a list! And the first thing on it is the knowledge of God’s will…so that you will be able to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him.” Every Christian I know longs to know the will of God for their life. Sadly, we tend to think more in terms of individual choices rather than overall behavior. What does He want me to DO today…rather than who does He want me to BE today? William Barclay makes a powerful point:
“A man may quite easily be a master of theology and a failure in living; able to write and talk about the eternal truths and yet helpless to apply them to the things which meet him every day. The Christian must know what Christianity means, not in a vacuum, but in the business of living.”
A healthy Christianity is an applied Christianity—a daily walking in God’s will for your life—and that will is almost exclusively found in His Word. The Bible does not point you to answers for every single question you have, but it does give you a clear picture of who you should be. Become the person God wants you to be, and that person will daily make good decisions “in the business of living”—which will then “bear fruit in every good work.”
Finally, Paul prays for the Christians in Colossae to increase in their knowledge of God. Peter wrote, “Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation” (1 Pt 2:2). The Bible is a well with no bottom…and the longer you spend time mining its depths, the more you will find. That being said, you must also be living what you are learning, and that will unlock even deeper depths of the knowledge of God. Study and do…learn and grow. Book smarts…as well as street smarts. This is what it means to increase in the knowledge of God…and I pray that you will each and every day.