Summary: There are two keys to healthy spiritual life according to Paul's prayer: being filled with the knowledge of God's will and then walking in that knowledge.
Living healthy – what does it mean? Keeping the weight off, not smoking, not drinking, eating lots of fruit and vegetables, exercising every day, plenty of rest, plenty of fluids. All these are good ways to keep our God-given body in good condition. But how do you keep your spiritual health in good condition? Isn’t that something we take with us day and night no matter the condition of our body?
The Apostle Paul, who helped to start the congregation in Colossae was deeply burdened for them. They had some issues and problems but also there was a great love for the Lord Jesus. In this young congregation, Paul wanted to make sure that they grew and grew strong and healthy. And so he first and foremost PRAYS for them. He is praying for those who are saved, who know the Lord Jesus and trust in him as their Savior. He’s not talking to the unsaved. But how he prays reveals what is crucial for this church and also for us as a congregation.
In his prayer he reveals two main keys to healthy living.
Key 1 is being filled with the knowledge of God’s will.
Colossians 1:9 “And so, from the day we heard, 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.”
When I first read “filled with the knowledge of his will” I immediately began to think of hard studies. You like me might think of reading lots of books and researching in the library. You might think of going to seminary and getting a degree. You might even think of earning a doctorate in theology as the ultimate fulfillment of this verse. While all of these can be good for your spiritual life, it is not necessarily what Paul is talking about.
Knowing God’s will is absolutely vital to our spiritual life and it is amazing that it is very often completely ignored. We need to know what God wants from us, from our families, from our congregation, from our city. But often we simply assume we know what God would want. But we don’t seek it. We don’t ask him. We don’t listen to his answer. We come up with all our own answers to problems and how life is supposed to work and how we are supposed to behave. But when we don’t look for answers from God, we are fools. How can we live as his children if we don’t know what he wants?
1. Knowledge of God’s will (moral) comes first and foremost from the Scripture.
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Read the Scripture! Study the Scripture. No one knows instinctively the teachings of God’s Word. It takes cracking the Bible, asking God to teach you, and then openly reading the Scripture. Although I’ve gone to seminary, it doesn’t mean that I’m the most knowledgeable – I’ve known men and women on the mission field who never even went to college and were much more knowledgeable of the Scriptures than I am.
If we all sought to apply God’s teachings in the Bible to our own lives, almost every single decision of our lives would be crystal clear. Most of our dilemmas are solved although they would not be easy to carry out.