We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.Col 1:9b
The one thing Paul asks for is that the Colossians might come to understand God's will. This is the important thing to Paul. He knows that if they begin to understand the will of God, everything good that he desires for them will follow. Thus, the chief aim of a believer's life ought to be to know God's will.
Here is where many young Christians go astray. They think the will of God is an itinerary they must discover: where God wants them to go, and what God wants them to do. Most of their prayers are addressed with those thoughts in mind. What should I do today? Where should I go? Whom should I marry? But knowing God's will is about much more than simply knowing what to do, it begins with knowing who we are. Have you ever asked someone who upset you,
Who do you think you are, anyway? We instinctively know that offensive behavior is a result of who we think we are. That is why such challenges are given.
God, too, knows that. The glory of the good news is that he has made us into something different than what we once were. Therefore the primary course in the curriculum of the Spirit is to learn what God has made you to be. You no longer belong to yourself, so you are no longer to live for yourself. Your will, your pleasure, your comfort are no longer to be primary in your life, but what God calls you to be and what he has made you to be. The more you understand who you now are, and what God has done to make you that, the more your behavior will automatically change and you will do the things that please him.
Where do we find that out? Paul goes on to say:
...through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. There are two things that enable us to discover the will of God. The first is
spiritual wisdom. This is wisdom that comes from the Spirit, not from the natural mind of man. That is what Christians need to discover: what God thinks about life. That is reality. If you want to be realistic, then read and study your Bible to discover how God looks at things. Everything else is fantasy. If you want to live realistically, learn spiritual wisdom, the wisdom of God.
The second thing necessary to discover the will of God is
understanding. That is the application of the wisdom you are learning to the specific circumstance of life. Understanding is a clear vision of what needs to be done. Some are struggling with problems and don't know what to do. The first thing to do is to understand how God sees your problem and what he says about it in his word. Then there will come, as you pray and seek his face, a clear vision of what needs to be done. What steps to take or not to take. These are not natural abilities. They are given by the Spirit, and therefore possible to all believers. So when you open the Bible, pray that God will help you to understand what it says.
Teach me, Father, what it means to know your will and live my life with true wisdom and understanding.
Why is it essential to understand our identity in Christ when we seek to know God's will for our lives? Where will we find this revelation of who we are, whose we are, and why we are here? Do we need to recalibrate our search for wisdom and understanding God's will for our lives?