‘For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God’ (Colossians 1:9-10)
Throughout his letters Paul often expressed how he prayed for his fellow believers. In our passage for today we see how Paul was praying that they might know God’s will so that they might live lives that would please Him in every way.
It is important for us know God’s will. We read from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians – ‘For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’ (Ephesians 2:10) Part of our salvation is God equipping us to do the things that will please Him. Therefore the question that each of us needs to ask is – ‘How can I know God’s will so that I might do it?’ Here are three important steps:
1) We Need to Grow in Our Knowledge of God’s Will Through His Word
Much of our knowledge of God’s will comes through our study of God’s Word. The Bible says – ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’ (2 Timothy 3:16-17) It is impossible for us to fully know God’s will without knowing His Word.
2) We Need to Live Lives That Are Sensitive to the Holy Spirit
We read in our passage for today – ‘We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.’ Paul tells us in the book of Corinthians that no one can understand the things of God unless the Spirit reveals it to them. (see 1 Corinthians 2:9-16) Behind every great sermon or Bible lesson is the teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that it is the Holy Spirit who opens our spiritual eyes to understand God’s spiritual truths and to make application.
3) We Need to Always be Ready to Do Whatever God Tells Us
Concerning knowing and doing of God’s will, Paul wrote to the believers at Rome – “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.’ (Romans 12:1-2) It is not enough to simply know God’s will; we must also be ready to do His will. Paul prayed that the Colossians might live – ‘…worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work…’ Paul was proud of what they were doing; but he also knew that through Christ – they could do even more!