"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 ofhis 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 School of Christ
This knowledge cannot be acquired by art or taught us by men, no, not even by the ablest 'Bible teachers'. It can be learned nowhere but in the school of Christ, by practising His precepts and being fruitful in every good work. Yet this increase in the knowledge of God does not follow automatically upon our performing good works, but only as God Himself is sought - a matter of first moment although frequently overlooked. As there were those who followed Christ during the days of His flesh for the loaves and fishes or because they were eager to witness His miracles, and not because their hearts were set upon Him, so there are some in the religious world today who are active in various forms of good works, yet they do not perform them out of love for or gratitude to Christ. The good works of the Christian must not only be wrought by faith which works by love, but his aim in doing them must be the glory of God. That should be our chief design and end in all duties and ordinances - in reading the Word or in hearing it preached, in prayer, and in every act of obedience: not to rest in the good works, but to learn more of God in them, through them, and from them.
The greatest need and the genuine longing of every regenerate soul is to increase in the knowledge of God. Yet most are slow in discoving the way in which their longing may be realized. Too many turn from the simple and practical to bewilder themselves by that which is mystical and mysterious. It should be obvious to even the babe in Christ that if he forsakes the paths of righteousness he is forsaking God Himself. To know God better we must cleave more to Him, walk closer with Him. Communion with God can only be had in the highway of holiness. The previous clauses of Colossians 1:10 reveal what is required from us in order to gain an increasing knowledge of God. If we are diligent and earnest in seeking to walk worthyily of the Lord and to please Him in all tings, being fruitful in every good work, the outcome will be more intimate fellowship with Him, a better acquaintance with His character keepeth, an experimental realization that His commandments 'are not grievous', daily proofs of His tender patience with our infirmities, and fuller discoveries of Himself to us. 'He that hath my commandments, and them, he is it that loveth me ... and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him' (John 14:21). God manifests His delight toward those who delight in Him.
This increasing in the practical knowledge of God is more an intensive thing than an extensive one: that is to say, it is not adding to our store of information about Him but becoming more experimentally acquainted and being powerfully affected with what is already known of Him. It consists not in further discoveries of God's perfections, as in a livelier appreciation of them. As the Christian earnestly seeks to walk with Him in His ways, he obtains a growing acquaintance with God's grace in inspiring him, His power in supporting, His faithfulness in renewing, His mercy in restoring, His wisdom in devising, and His love in appointing a course wherein such pleasure is found and whose paths are all peace. This is indeed practical and profitable knowledge. The more we know of God in this way, the more we shall love Him, trust in Him, pray to Him, depend upon Him. But such knowledge is not acquired in a day, nor fully attained in a few short years. We grow into it gradually, little by little, as we make use of both the divine precepts and promises, and from a desire to please and glorify Him, and with the design of having communion with Him.