Knowing our King | Colossians 1:9-12
9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12 Giving thanks unto the Father...
Notice that he prayed not just for knowledge concerning God but knowledge concerning God's will. That is not just our thoughts about God but our actions concerning God. God's will is not hidden from us, read his Word, follow His Spirit and you will find the knowledge of his will then you will be forced to act. What you know will always affect what you do, for instance; when a person finds out they are a sinner and that Jesus paid for their sins and there is none other name given among men whereby ye must be saved, then that person is forced to make a decision based on what they have come to know. When a Christian reads "And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. " We are forced to decide, will I forgive my brother or walk contrary to the will of God? The Word reveals the will of God, not just facts about God but his will for our lives. How he would have us to be saved, to forgive as we are forgiven, to give, to go, to wait, to "Walk worthy of the Lord to all pleasing."
Knowledge is prayed for but not by itself but along with this knowledge, Paul asks that it be coupled with wisdom and understanding. Knowledge sheds light on the will of God for our life, wisdom acts according to the revealed will of God, and understanding not only does his will but does it properly. Knowledge of his will without the wisdom to do it makes us fools. The perfect example comes from Jesus in the conclusion of His sermon on the Mount. He told the crowds that day: "And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:" (Mat 7:26)
Jesus had just spent 3 chapters revealing his will to them, and us, But if you walk away from that sermon with only the knowledge of his will and lack the wisdom to act according to the knowledge presented then you are a fool. Then see what Jesus said of those who heard(knowledge) and did it(wisdom).
"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:" Jesus said that this group was wise, the group that acted on the knowledge of his will.
What we have in our day are a bunch of knowledgable fools, scholars of the scripture that lack the wisdom to act on what they have read and come to know. The Pharisees are a perfect example of this group, they had become "Masters of the law" but failed to let the law become their master. They knew the word but did not apply it. We can become a master of the scriptures but far better and wise it would be for the Scriptures to master us. In all your search for knowledge in the scripture please don't become an intelligent fool, but that is exactly what happens when we study but do not apply. The Scriptures make us more like Christ when by knowledge we see his will and by wisdom do his will or the Scriptures make us more like the foolish Pharisees when by knowledge we know his will but by foolishness disobey it.
First comes knowledge, like light it shines a light on the will of God, then wisdom is required to move us to the appropriate action, and lastly, we need understanding. Understanding is knowing how to act. Many come to the knowledge of the truth had the wisdom to do it and lacked the understanding to do it in the right way. Moses is a great example, The Bible tells that at forty years old it came into Moses' heart to deliver his brethren. [Act 7:23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.] We know that this was the will of God for Moses' life and so did Moses, he had the knowledge of God's will and the wisdom to act on the revealed will of God but what he lacked was the understanding of how he was to do it. We know the story, he acts according to his understanding, He sees one of his Hebrew brothers being oppressed and he kills the oppressor and hides him in the sand. This is the case for many zealous new converts, we came to the knowledge of our sinfulness, his righteousness, and wisdom was exercised in our trusting him and becoming a Christian but we lacked the understanding to "walk worthy." God would have us do his will his way, not ours, this requires knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. As Moses buried that Egyptian, God buried Moses in the backside of the desert with the priest of Midian until the Old Moses was dead, and 40 years later Moses had the understanding he needed to follow God. What understanding was that? That he was too weak to follow God, that he was too sinful, That he was not capable or worthy, then and only then will we have the proper understanding required to follow the Lord whole heartily. Knowledge knows who He is, Wisdom acts on that knowledge, and understanding rest on his power to do what he would have us do.
Walking worthy unto all pleasing is not possible for those who walk in their own strength but for those who have come to understand their weakness and his strength. Paul came to know this, Moses, and many other brothers and sisters that had to learn to walk by faith and not by sight. How can we " walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 12 Giving thanks unto the Father?" By knowing his will[knowledge] doing his will[wisdom] and trusting in his strength to do it[understanding.]
"We walk by faith and not by sight" That is how we walk worthy. O Lord may this same prayer be granted in our Lives!