“Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”
Now we come to the content of Paul’s prayers for them.
“that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God”
Paul prayed with purpose – “that.” He prayed that the Colossians might have stability (“stand”) in the will of God with two characteristics:
“May stand” – The Greek indicates that we receive the power to stand. We do not stand in our own ability or strength. We do not stand in our natural strength but God’s ability.
Standing “perfect and complete in all the will of God” means that we understand and apply the principles of the Word to our experience. The prayer is that the Colossians might stand instead of being swept away by false doctrine.
“Perfect” means mature. This word means the ability to carry a full measure. This person is mature and equipped for service. He wanted them to stand firm in the maturity of the Christian life. Maturity is essential to stability in the Christian life.
“Complete” means fully assured (Rom. 4:21; 14:5) or fulfilled. The word “complete” may mean “convinced.” Paul’s concern was that the Colossians might develop conviction concerning the truth in the face of doctrinal aberration expressed in the earlier part of the book.
Paul wanted Epaphras to stand “in all the will of God” instead of speculative doubt. Epaphras prays that they will grow into maturity North, South, East, and West – in “all” the will of God. He did not want the Devil to shortchange them. He prayed that God would give them all that he has designed for them. He coveted all the will of God for them (Colossians 1:9; 4:12). He was willing to do “all” the will of God, not half of it. The Lord demands 100% obedience.
“And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’” (Acts 13:22).
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom.12:2).
We should seek the highest good of all believers.
God wants us to pray for fellow believers to grow out of their spiritual infancy and pass through adolescence into spiritual adulthood. God’s burden is that we might stop playing with spiritual dolls. We play church today, making religious daisy chains while the world goes to hell. We occupy ourselves with the incidental, the petty, and trivial.
After we have known Christ for a number of years, we realize that doing “all” the will of God is the very best thing we can do. There is nothing better for our well-being than to do all the will of God. There is nothing better for us than doing all the will of God. The will of God may hurt; it may be an uphill battle.
Heartache is part and parcel of the will of God. None of us gets through life without tears, scars, reverses, and difficulties. The Spirit of God will use every problem to sharpen our testimony, enlarge our vision, and expand our character. It makes no difference whether we face physical, financial, or domestic difficulty.