“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).
At times, it seems like being a good Christian means following all the rules.
“If I do X, Y, and Z today,” we tell ourselves, “then I will be worthy.”
We may not say these words out loud – we may not even think them in this order– but when we really break down our thoughts and consider the motives and heart behind our actions, we might notice this mentality creeping up on us.
This mentality is what I like to call stinkin’ thinkin’. It’s no good. It convinces us that we are our own strongest advocates, while the Lord is sitting in heaven handing out treats when we do the right thing. God’s Word is constantly reminding us that our strength and worthiness come from Him alone.
In Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae, he explains what it means to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord”: he prays that the Colossians will be filled with spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that they can lead lives worthy of the Lord. By being filled with these things, the Colossians will be able to “[bear] fruit in every good work.” But what does it mean to bear fruit? This is a reference to the fruits of the Spirit, listed in Galatians 5: “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (22-23).
Being filled with spiritual wisdom and understanding gives us the ability to respond to life’s circumstances with the fruits of the spirit; bearing fruit for God’s kingdom means serving the Lord in both thought and deed.
Paul’s prayer for the Colossians is one that we should be praying for our fellow believers as well as for ourselves. Keep the Lord as your focus. Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, but do this with an awareness that you can only do this by His grace.
- In this verse, Paul shares his prayer for the Colossians. Who are three people that you can pray these verses over?
- What are three ways that you can personally be “increasing in the knowledge of God”?