“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;”
In the prayers of the New Testament, we detect the deficiencies of the saints. Paul prays for things they lacked in their spiritual lives. Paul’s prayers pinpoint the primary and paramount needs of the saints.
This prayer falls into two halves. The first half are petitions for the Colossians, and the second half is thanksgiving for the prerogatives God gave them in Christ.
“and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will”
This is the first of two requests that Paul prays for the Colossians. The first petition for which Paul asked was that the Colossians might be filled with the knowledge of God’s will.
This is the outcome of a great desire. The word “ask” means to implore and denotes earnestness. This is a request of great earnestness.
“That” is the purpose of the prayer request.
The word “knowledge” means to go beyond the surface of the facts. It sees the truth in the facts. It finds experience in truth. This is full knowledge gained from the experience of concentrating on the subject. The operating principle here is that the will of God is contained in the Word of God. We cannot know the will of God apart from the Word of God. God has not revealed his special will in nature, in trees and flowers. God’s will never contradicts his Word. God’s will never transcends the principles of his Word.
The word “filled” suggests filling to the top or brim. Paul prays that they will be satisfied with nothing less than the limit of the knowledge of God’s will. He wants them to obtain an entire insight into the will of God. “Filled” means to be controlled to the tiniest detail. We need to know God’s will not only in major decisions of life but in the little decisions as well. It is to pervade our purpose, plans, and thoughts.
Most of us are satisfied with being half-filled with everything except food. We do not stop eating until we are full. We are not that way when it comes to spiritual food. We are satisfied with a starvation diet in spiritual things. We snack on spiritual junk food and run off to the spiritual race only to run with very little spiritual energy. It is God’s will that we are filled with spiritual food. Most of us are not even half full. God wants us to be chock-block full of the knowledge of the will of God. God wants us to be experts in the will of God. If God answers this prayer, we will know all the implications of his will for our lives.
Unless we are on speaking terms with the will of God, we will have little wisdom and understanding in the spiritual battle we face.
If we have little spiritual discernment, we will get caught up in every spiritual disease that comes along. We will be susceptible to unsound teaching. Dr. Harry Ironside used to say, “If it’s new, it’s not true. If it’s true, it’s not new.” We need to take care before we embrace anything different or new. If it deviates from the Bible, we need to be cautious.