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Colossians: Knowing God's Will

God's word gives us direction for our life.
Photo Credit: Joel Muniz

July 3, 2024

Praying Friends,

How can we know what the will of God is? Or, how can we know the will of God for our lives? This was Paul’s top concern as he prayed for God’s people in Colossae. 

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives” (Colossians 1:9).

He asked that God would fill them with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that comes from the Holy Spirit. This is the main request Paul has for God’s people in Colossae; the rest of what he says would flow from this filling.

To be filled is like pouring water into an empty glass and being filled right to the very top with no room to spare. It is filled full!

What is the knowledge of His will? God has revealed His will in His Word, which includes the Old Testament Scriptures, the Gospels, and the Apostles’ doctrine. The knowledge of that revealed truth requires reading, studying, and meditating upon it.

How do we get wisdom and understanding that will enable us to discern God’s will? This wisdom and understanding is spiritual in nature and thus involves the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. The Spirit is a divine person who lives within each believer, and He wants us to partner with Him in not only discerning the truth, but also by appropriating it into our lives. 

This requires a life that is surrendered and submitted to the Lord. 

If the Spirit of God within us is grieved by our thoughts or behavior, it will hinder His activity for us. This is how our lives are renewed as Paul says in Romans, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). Also, later in this book he says, “Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:10). 

The Word of God is living and the Spirit of God is living within us, and as they intersect with our willing open minds and hearts, God’s will is understood. Is the Spirit of God renewing you today?

There are tools that can assist us as we allow the Spirit of God to reveal truth to us. Dr. Frank Turek uses the helpful acronym “STOP” to ask four questions when explaining how to study the Bible.

Firstly, what is the SITUATION? Discover from the context what is happening. What is the historical framework? What do we need to know about the people and time period that will affect our understanding?

Secondly, what TYPE of literature is it? Is the text law, prose, poetry, prophecy, parable, narrative, or letter? What literary devices are being used?

Thirdly, who is the OBJECT of the passage? Is it written to everyone, or to Israel, or to a specific person? Does it relate to the old covenant or to the new covenant?

Lastly, is the passage PRESCRIPTIVE or descriptive? Determining whether the passage is telling us to do something or whether it is just giving information will help us in our understanding of it.

My prayer for all of us is the same as what Paul prayed, “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives” (Colossians 1:9).

Thank you for praying for our prodigals and for revival among us.

Love in Christ,

Bryan and Rachel


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