Prayer For A Worthy Walk
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;”
The Order of These Petitions
Once more we would press upon the reader the great importance of paying heed to the order of these petitions if he would rightly apprehend and duly appreciate them. Usually this is best accomplished by considering them in their inverse order. We are in no fit condition to be ‘giving thanks unto the Father’ for ‘the inheritance of the saints in light’; in fact, we lack an essential part of the evidence that we have been ‘made meet’ to be partakers of it, if we are not exercising ‘all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness’ despite the difficulties and trials of the way. Nor will such graces as those be active unless we first are ‘strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power.’ But that, in turn, is dependent upon our ‘increasing in the knowledge of God.’ Yet that will not be our happy experience except we ‘walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work.’ And how can we possibly do that unless we are first filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding?
‘For this cause [the declaration of their love’ we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you [which is the most effective way of reciprocating Christian affection], and to desire [‘make request for you’, R.V.] that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding’ (verse 9). As intimated above, in order to discern and appreciate the force of this opening petition it is necessary to observe the relation it bears to those that follow: as cause to effect. As our being granted ‘the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him’ (Eph. 1:17) is required in order for the eyes of our understanding to be enlightened, that we may know what is ‘the hope of his calling’; as our being ‘strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man’ (Eph. 3:16) must precede Christ’s dwelling in our hearts by faith, our being rooted and grounded in love, and our being filled with the fullness of God; and as our love must ‘abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment’ (Phil. 1:10) if we are to approve things that are excellent; so must we be ‘sincere and without offence’ to be ‘filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding’ so that we may ‘walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work.’
Paul’s Prayer for the Colossian Saints
‘That ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.’ To be without such knowledge is to be like the captain of a ship starting out on a long voyage without a chart, or for builders to erect a house or factory with no architectural plan to guide them. With rare exceptions, when we read in the Epistles of ‘the will of God’, the reference is to His revealed will and not His secret will, His authoritative will rather than His providential will – His will made known to us in the Scriptures. Neither his understanding, conscience, nor ‘new nature’ is sufficient to serve the Christian as the director of his ways. Only in His Word is God’s authoritative will discovered to us. There alone do we have an all-sufficient and infallible guide – a lamp to our feet, a light to our path. To be filled with the knowledge of the divine will should not only be the main burden of our daily prayers but the principal quest of our lives: to obtain a better, fuller, closer knowledge of what God requires of us. Without that we can neither please nor glorify Him, nor shall we escape the innumerable pitfalls in our path.