Walk this way
Spiritual gifts are meant to have physical impact. God doesn’t give us grace, peace, wisdom, etc so that we can sit back and be comfortable. Paul demonstrates this as he describes to the Colossians his prayer requests about them. Look at the verses below and notice what Paul is requesting from God, but also look for why Paul wants God to give them these things:
For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.
Paul requested that God would fill the Colossians to the brim with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. As comforting as that sounds, Paul expected that there would be a practical, physical result of these believers growing closer to God – namely, that their lives would begin to reflect their relationship with God. To walk worthy of the Lord means that the believers in Colossae would conduct their lives in a way that would point to God and bring honor to Him.
Shortly after my oldest son started his first job, I received an Instant Message from a co-worker I had never met. Her message was both short and striking:
Good afternoon, I wanted to let you know that I met your oldest son today on my lunch break. You should be very proud – he is a great young man.
After interacting with my son, she was so impressed with his conduct and helpfulness that she felt the need to seek out his father. When our children follow through on the instruction we’ve given them, they bring recognition and a good reputation to our family name. When we hear back from others – whether it is from people we know well, or from complete strangers – that our kids are making wise choices and are conducting themselves in this way, we receive honor as their parents.
The spiritual parallel is obvious. Our walk and our fruit in every good work need to point others back toward our Heavenly Father. Paul knows this, and as such, he prays that the Colossians may be filled with the knowledge of His will. When we know God well, we know how to represent Him well – and those around us will take notice and seek the God we serve.
Paul’s desire for the believers in Colossae to walk worthy of the Lord mirrors what Jesus said during His sermon on the mount:
In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Do others see our Father in heaven based upon how we walk through each day? If not, what are we being filled with…the knowledge of His will or something else?