Summary: To find and know and live God
Date Written: July 7, 2010
Date Preached: July 11, 2010
Church: OPBC (AM)
Series: Finding God’s Guidance in this World
Title: Seeking God’s Guidance
Text: Col 1:9-12 (ESV)
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, 10 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. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
This week we begin a new series… a series on Seeking/Finding the Guidance of God in this world. And with any other resource we get from God, we must are called to seek after it and ask for it.
For the believer, when we are obedient and seek after God’s guidance, it clarifies and confirms our openness to the will of God in our lives. When we submit to God it sharpens and quickens our desire to do what He desires us to do. This is why Jesus stressed in the model prayer that we should pray, Matt 6:10b [ESV]
“…Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Now I believe that Christians really WANT to serve God! When we come to Jesus and ask Him to forgive us and save us… we come with the knowledge that when we confess… He will forgive… when we cry out… He will save!
And what many of us want to believe is that God’s forgiveness and salvation are it… but with God’s forgiveness and salvation come our obedience and submission to Him as our Lord… not JUST our Savior!
So many people who profess Christ as their Savior, only want the forgiveness and salvation. They don’t want the submission and obedience that comes with it. They live their lives with an attitude that they want to be left alone to live as THEY see fit!
And then when it comes to them seeking God for advice or direction in their lives, the only seeking they do is the seeking of God to have Him bless THEIR own advice on what is best for their lives!
This is what the Colossian church was doing, they were trusting in their own advice OR the advice human wisdom, and they were straying away from God, but what Paul’s prayer to the Colossian church is about is that we must learn to SEEK God’s advice and not trust in our own wisdom OR try to convince God to bless our wisdom.
What happens when we begin to live our lives by our own wisdom? What happens when we try to pray to God to bless what WE desire? What happens when we seek our own way and we choose to ignore the guidance of God?
Paul had found that the Colossian church had begun to stray away from God and had began compromising their beliefs. Paul knew and understood that this would lead to their Christian conduct becomes weak and ineffective, and the witness of Christ would be damaged and even destroyed in that church.
In reading Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae, we can know that there were pagan philosophers and Jewish legalists who had infiltrated the church and they were mixing their own message with that of the Gospel message, and this ‘intermingling’ of their message with the Gospel was DANGEROUS!
The philosophers and Jewish legalists had told those in the church that Jesus alone was NOT enough, but they had a ‘more perfect’ religion and that was based on MORE knowledge of God, empty knowledge.
Paul understood that this was NOT a superior knowledge, but it was inferior to the Gospel message because it cheapened what Christ did on the Cross and the result was going to be a very weak and timid Christian walk! If they chose to follow this message the church in Colossae was going to compromise their beliefs and make a lie… their faith in Christ.
This is why Paul wrote to them… this is why Paul desired to set the record straight for these Christians in Colossae.
This is why Paul was praying for them to seek God’s guidance. He wanted them to grow strong in the Lord and develop into the church he knew God desired them to be.
In looking at Paul‘s prayer to the church in Colossae, we can see that he had 3 very specific hopes for them and today I want us to look at those 3 hopes and how we too should be seeking after these same hopes for OUR lives as well! The 1st hope Paul expresses in found in verse 9 …