Colossians 1:9-12 (NIV): For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
So many people claim to be seeking God’s will for their life. And seeking to know God’s will is not a bad thing. Paul prayed powerful prayers for that very thing for the Colossian Church. But it is vital to understand that God’s will for His people is not some dark mystery; it is actually made very clear through the teachings and commandments of Jesus. God’s will for His people is that they actively live in His kingdom through constant relationship with Him, AND that they actively grow God’s kingdom through making disciples of all nations (including making disciples of those living in our own nation, their own communities). Neither of these can be neglected. Neither of them can be delegated or left to the professionals. They are God’s will for each individual.
Paul refers to these facets of God’s will for the Church and for the individuals in it when he writes about the results that he is expecting from his prayers for knowledge of God’s will for the Colossians:
- Living a life worthy of God, and pleasing Him in every way. This life of obedience and growth in spiritual strength and stature is a direct result of surrendering to the Holy Spirit, and living in accordance with God’s commands.
- Bearing fruit in every good work. The fruit of the kingdom, the harvest that is to be brought in, is simply more disciples. And the good works done by God’s people, whether miracles or ministry, all must be designed to achieve that end.
- Growing in the knowledge of God, and being strengthened so that we have great strength and endurance. This can only be achieved through living in intimate relationship with God, reading His word frequently and prayerfully, and spending quantity time with Him in prayer. The greatest motivator for these to be present in the life of a person is for them to be active in the mission field that God has called each of us to. That puts us in the place where our need for His presence and power becomes so apparent that we are driven to Him. These practices then become, not a matter of spiritual disciplines or self-control, but a matter of sheer necessity.
- Joyfully giving thanks to God because He has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in His kingdom. This comes naturally, not because of some academic understanding of theology, but because we end up living so completely in God’s presence, and seeing Him working powerfully in and through our lives. When we see that, we know in our hearts that all of God’s promises are true, without anyone having to persuade us of that!
All of these things come naturally as a result of not just knowing God’s will, but of actively and consistently DOING His will. Only when we do that can we experience the explosive spiritual health and growth that is promised to us. It is well worth praying for!
Father, I absolutely agree that only when we are actively doing Your will and obeying Your commands can we experience Your presence and power enough to say amen to all of these things. Help us, Your people, to be filled to overflowing with the clear knowledge of Your will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that we can DO Your will powerfully. Amen.