Started in on Colossians this morning. First thing that comes to mind, “How did he do it?” How did Paul pray for all these churches?
With all that he had on the go, often working by night and preaching by day, how did he continually intercede without ceasing for the people in the places where he had sown the gospel and it had taken root? With all the immediate, day to day ministry things on his plate that needed praying for, how did he maintain the fervor and make the time to also pray for the Romans (1:9b), the Ephesians (1:16), the Philippians (1:3-4), the Thessalonians (1Th. 1:2, 2Th 1:11), and, as I take note of this morning, for the Colossians too (1:9)? Lord, teach me to pray!
And then I take note of what Paul prayed for as he remembered the saints at Colossae before the throne of God.
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.
(Colossians 1:9-10 ESV)
Four things I see Paul asking the Lord to make real in the life of these believers. That they would: 1) be filled with the knowledge of His will; 2) so that they might walk in a manner worthy of Him and pleasing to Him; 3) so that they would bear fruit in every good work; 4) and thus, increase in their knowledge of God.
And what I’m chewing on, in particular this morning, is how knowledge leads to knowledge.
Same word for knowledge both times. More than just knowing about something, the original word has the idea of thoroughly knowing. Of knowing well, or being fully acquainted with something. And, says Paul, if we are fully acquainted with the will of God, and walk in the way of God, we will increasingly become fully acquainted with God Himself.
Paul wanted those redeemed by the Son to intimately know the Father. And that, he says, comes as they accurately know His will.
Not some secret, mysterious, see if you can guess it will. But the revealed will of God. Revealed in the law and prophets. Revealed in the gospel. Revealed in the written word of God. Revealed in the incarnate Word of God.
Want to know God? Not just know about God, but really know God? Seek to be filled with the knowledge of His revealed will.
Want to know His revealed will? Don’t know how you get there apart from His inspired word.
We need to be people constantly in our Bibles. Not as some sign of piety. Not in order to amass great head knowledge. But because it unleashes the walk worthy of the Lord. It’s the catalyst to a life lived that’s fully pleasing to the Lord. A life that bears fruit in every good work. And, in so doing, causes to grow an experiential, living, dynamic knowledge of God.
From knowledge to knowledge. From being thoroughly acquainted with the will of God, to increasingly understanding the ways of God. From believing the truth of gospel, to behaving more and more in light of the gospel. From trusting in His promises, to actually experiencing His power.
Lord, move mightily to answer Paul’s prayer for the saints today. That we too might filled from knowledge to knowledge.
By Your grace. For Your glory.