asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, Colossians 1:9
May Be Filled – Are you hungry for God? Do you feel a gnawing malnutrition about His righteousness? Are you an expectant example of the fourth Beatitude of Matthew? If you don’t have enough, then Paul is praying for you. And since Paul is a Hebrew of the Hebrews, you can be sure that even though he uses the Greek verb pleroo (to fill), he is thinking about the Hebrew verb male, a word that means “to be completely satisfied, filled to the brim” (compare Isaiah 6:1 and Jeremiah 23:24).
Look carefully at Paul’s request. He prays that these brothers and sisters in the church may be completely satisfied to overflowing with the knowledge of God’s will. Isn’t that our desire? Don’t we struggle every day with the question: “What is God’s will for me?” Yet Paul is confident that we can know the answer. More than that, he assures us that we will know all of the answer, more than enough to fill our desire. He tells us that he expects us to have all the spiritual wisdom and understanding we could want.
Is that your experience with God? Do you have the confidence to say, “All that I desired to know of His will has been poured into me until it ran over the top”? If you answered with a resolute “Yes!”, then I want to meet you. My experience, and the experience of nearly everyone I know, does not reflect Paul’s confident prayer. Time and again I hear believers utter dismay at the lack of direction and lack of clarity in their lives. I know what it is to see through a glass darkly. I am in need of spiritual Windex too.
As I reflect on Paul’s prayer, I realize that the knowledge of God’s perfect will for the believer is the normal Christian life. Jesus is our example and He certainly had no doubt about the Father’s will. Then I understand that if I want the normal Christian life, I must be completely obedient to the knowledge I am given now. God educates us down to the scruple, as Oswald Chambers used to say. We will not progress, we will not graduate in our knowledge of His perfect will until we become totally compliant with what we already know. And that is really the problem, isn’t it? What I want from God is not a revelation of the next, small step of obedience, but rather the grand plan. I want to see the goal-setting end of the road so that I can determine how to go about getting there. I want God to lay it all out for me to see if it fits. And God never does such a thing! God reveals only what we are asked to obey at this precise moment. That, and that alone, is the good and perfect will. God gives a day at a time. It’s daily bread eaten in contentment. That’s the methodology of the normal Christian life.
Is that enough to fill me? Or did I expect more than enough for today?