Daily Readings and Thought for November 13th. “WE HAVE NOT CEASED TO PRAY FOR YOU, ASKING … “
Today we started to read Paul’s epistle to the Colossians. Paul tells them that when Epaphras, “a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf … made known to us your love in the Spirit … we have not ceased to pray for you” [Ch. 1 v.7-9]
We particularly noticed what Paul was asking for the believers in Colossae. He prayed, “asking that you may be filled will the knowledge of His will” How can we know God’s will? Is this only a matter of reading the Bible and that will reveal to us the will of God; what he wills to happen on the earth?
We notice that the first verse says, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.” When we come to Ch. 4 we will read that Epaphras not only sends his greetings but is “always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully matured in all the will of God.” [v.12]
So we conclude that Paul is not writing of “the will of God” in a general sense, rather in the specific sense of knowing God’s will towards them in their lives, as it had been toward Paul in bringing about his conversion. .
Next we notice that this “will” was not in the sense of a knowledge of facts about God’s plans – because Paul goes on to state that this awareness of God’s will was to be “in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” This is not human knowledge and wisdom such when we go to school and do courses in an effort to gain sufficient knowledge so that we can work effectively and earn a living.
This awareness of God’s will was to see his desire for them (and us) “to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him.”[v.10]. True believers, Paul is saying, inevitably have a life changing experience; otherwise they are not true believers. The result of being true believers is that they are “bearing fruit in every good work” – this “fruit” is their wages.
Now note how the verse ends! “and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Again, we meditate on the nature of that “knowledge” and remember Job’s encounter with God and how God “answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge” [Ch.38 v.1]
Job comes to realize and admit to God, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.” [42 v.5] What kind of “eye” is this? This reminds us of Paul words about receiving, as the result of prayers, “the spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your heart enlightened” [Eph. 1 v.17,18] We must each ask ourselves, are the eyes of my heart enlightened so that I can see God’s will for me?