Colossians 1:9-12 NIV
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
Q: Why is wisdom more useful than knowledge? A: Because knowing that you don’t know everything always works out better than thinking that you do. There is a humility that comes with wisdom, a grounding and awareness of our dependence on God, that the Spirit blesses and prospers. We get the word humility from the Latin word for “ground,” humus, and we say that a person with wisdom is “down to earth.”
Being grounded, humble, and down to earth is the way of Jesus—and is a transformative work the Holy Spirit is about in your life and mine.
In a day when the world’s wisdom (or lack thereof), the world’s understanding (or lack thereof), and the world’s chaos is swirling all about us—demanding our allegiance and confusing our decisions—the Spirit steps in, just as the Spirit did in the beginning (Gen. 1). The Spirit brings God’s order, God’s perspective, God’s meaning in it all—to our souls.
Paul’s prayer for the Colossians in the verses above is a powerful prayer we can pray for ourselves and others in the times we are in, that we might be “filled with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.” If we are filled with “all the wisdom,” we’ll please him for all the right reasons, bear good fruit, grow in the knowledge of God, and be strengthened with power—resulting in endurance, patience, and thankfulness.
Now that is an inheritance! The kingdom of light is our home!
To be filled with the Father’s perspectives is to be aware of what we don’t know in this life, and to also be confident in what we do know by faith in the Son of God. It is to be filled with God’s understanding as to why that person burst out in hurt and anger, why the systems of the world are built for injustice, and why your team losing the big game is a reasonable outcome—even if thousands of fans were praying for them.
Wisdom will guide our actions, managing how and why we post on social media, what benefit there would be to checking in our neighbor on the anniversary of her husband’s passing, and why investing in that young person would be far better than putting a portion of our resources into another stock fund.
If we want to receive all the Holy Spirit has to give, we should learn to love the words of Proverbs 2:1-6: “My son [or daughter], if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom, and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
Holy Spirit, we seek your wisdom and understanding. Fill us with it as we pray.
Jesus, I receive the Holy Spirit. I choose the humility that comes with learning at your feet, Lord Jesus. Come, Lord, fill me with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. In Jesus’ name, amen.
How might it impact your life if you printed off Colossians 1:9-12 and began to pray it every day, for yourself and others, for one week?
For the awakening,