“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, 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. May you be strengthened with ALL power, according to his glorious might, for ALL endurance and patience with joy…” Col. 1:9-11 (ESV)(emphasis added)
My family is a big fan of make-it-yourself yogurt places. We live in an area where there is generally one every five miles, so it’s almost like we have to go. But, I think it’s interesting how business people capitalize on my inability to say no to the frozen goodness. They are banking on the fact that I will hold the yogurt crank down a little too long, add a few too many crushed candy bar toppings and then douse the whole thing in hot fudge.
I put my creation on the scale and think, “You win, yogurt business guy.”
It’s hard not to indulge in good stuff — it’s how God made us. We learn from consequences how to reign ourselves in (easy on the hot fudge, Keller). But, again, by His design. And because of His great love for us, it’s also why he invites us to indulge in all of His goodness, as a means to grow.
In our passage this week, Paul’s words reminded me that Christian living is an “all in” proposition. Look at these verses from our passage above. I capitalized some of the descriptive words tied to Paul’s prayer: filled, all (three times), fully, every.
We aren’t invited to a small portion, we are invited to be filled.
We aren’t to please him on our good days, but fully, in every good work.
And when we strive for these things, he doesn’t just give us some of his power, he gives us access to all of his power, for joyful endurance and joyful patience. I didn’t even know that was possible!
Paul’s prayer, infused with instruction, not only points to the blessing of giving God our all, but points to “wisdom” as foundational on our journey with Him.
Do a search on wisdom scripture and this point is hammered home. The Bible is full of verses that point us to seeking wisdom as the cornerstone to our faith.
“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7 (NIV)
The letter to the Colossian people was written because they were falling victim to false teaching. They were confused about the truth of Jesus’ message. They desperately needed wisdom and understanding.
We are the Colossians.
Without the pursuit of wisdom and understanding, we too will fall victim to this world’s definition of truth. Our faith will get muddied by other stuff that feels good or merely sounds right.
Our faith has got to be grounded by true wisdom.
So, my prayer for us all is that we will hold down the crank of time in the Word. We will sprinkle on deep conversations with our believing friends and acts of service. And then, we will douse it all in prayer and faithfulness.
And when we put that sucker on the scale, we will be overwhelmed with the weight of God’s work in us.