PRAY FOR THE PERFECT KNOWLEDGE OF GOD’S WILL
By Lay Pastor Jusuf Wibisono
Lemah Putro, Sunday, February 24, 2019
Our worship and prayers help us to fully understand God’s will. This is the prayer that the Apostle Paul and Timothy said in Colossians 1: 9, “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.”
The word perfect means full or complete. Reaching the level of perfection (omega) has a beginning (alfa), namely, the Word of God. Revelation 1: 8 writes, “ ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” Further, Revelation 21: 6 quotes, ” ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.’ “
Please note this: When reading the Word of God, we should believe what we read. That’s the way how we receive blessings because His Word has the life-giving Spirit.
To get to a higher level, we need to take the stairs. We start off with the first step instead of leaping over the whole flight of stairs. Similarly, if we want to know the Lord personally and understand His will perfectly, we will have to delight in His Word to begin with. Do not complain and, worse than that, doubt the Word of God since all this will result in failure (James 1: 6-8).
No wonder that God created two ears (to listen a lot) and one mouth (to speak less). Let’s read and hear the Word of God to obtain faith (Romans 10:17) and make a habit out of it. Get the children to hear and feel the Word as early as possible even when they are still babies! There is nothing impossible with God (Luke 1: 37)! When it comes to accepting the Word of God, aren’t we taught to be like innocent and modest children (cf. Matthew 11: 25)? Never count on your own power, competence and riches to get salvation, let alone perfection!
What does the Letter to the Colossians say about the conditions of the Apostle Paul and Timothy as servants of God?
They were commisioned by the will of God to their holy brothers and sisters who believed in Christ (Colossians 1:1). Who are Jesus’ brothers and sisters? Those who live up to the will of the Father in heaven (Matthew 12: 49-50).
How happy we will be if we do what the Word says and even much happier if we are willing to be sanctified, repeatedly shaped by the “hammer” of God’s Word.
The young Timothy knew the Holy Book from childhood. It trained and equipped him to do good deeds (2 Timothy 3: 15-17). Timothy was a model figure for the youths (1 Timothy 4: 12).
How do we response to the the Word of God that provides teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness? How do we show our response to the presence of the King of kings in our midst? In what way do we model for our children?
Timothy had no objection to the training by God’s Word with an eye to a life transformation that he would pass on to other young people. What model did Timothy pass to us? How to watch our speech (to guard our tongue), actions, love, faithfulness and holiness (cf. 1 Timothy 4: 11-13) in order not to be a stumbling block to others.
Prior to his repentance, Paul was an arrogant Pharisee who acted on the Law meticulously. Following his repentance, he had to radically get rid of his bad attitude. For this reason, a messenger of the devil gave him a thorn to trouble him. Paul asked the Lord three times to dismiss the devil’s messenger. Yet the Lord did not grant his wish. In fact, it was in his weakness that he was made strong because the power of Christ protected him (vv. 8-9).
The Word of God is addressed to both the messengers and the listeners alike. The Lord is mighty to set us free from trials and problems. If we, however, cling to our wrong characters, He will let trials follow us. For example, we serve the Lord with great enthusiasm, but we do not want to put away our hot temper, harsh and dirty words, etc. Needless to say that God lets thorns of trials keep threatening us.
True, Paul “plants” and Apolos “waters” the seeds of the Word. Most importantly, however, it is God who lets the seeds grow (1 Corinthians 3: 6-7). See to it that God will not be forgotten when the plant grows strong bearing plenty of fruit!
When it comes to following the Lord, we must be ready to pay the price. Jesus suggests that we should pursue the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Then the rest (daily needs) will be given to us (Matthew 6: 31-33). In order not to miss out on Sunday services, for example, we are determined to close our busy shops at the cost of extra earnings.
Do not focus on material blessings. Rather, stay focused on the Giver of blessings. He is mighty to pour out His blessings of peace, wisdom, salvation and many more that money canot pay. These spiritual blessings are the ones that ignite awesome joy.
They wished God’s grace and peace to be with us (Colossians 1: 2). In reality, people get dismayed by the uncertainty of the current political, economical and social situations as well as conditions. They have no idea where God is as their prayers remain pending.
Mary Magdalene once found herself in a similar situation. She did not recognize the resurrected Jesus all at once. Right after she realized she was with Jesus, she was told to inform His “brothers” of her encounter with Him. Without delay, she rushed to meet His disciples telling them that she had seen Him.
Later in the evening, Jesus met His terrified disciples in a room with the door shut. Jesus stood among them showing His pierced hands and side to them. His presence revived their joy. Jesus imparted His peace and sent them (John 20: 14-21).
We will rejoice and be ready to be His messengers if we first accept grace to testify about Jesus who rose from the dead.
They wanted us to become messengers to proclaim the gospel and finish the ministries until the very end (Colossians 4: 16-17). To be a blessing to others, let’s serve the Lord right from start to finish. For this reason, we have to examine ourselves if Jesus Christ is in us (2 Corinthians 13: 5).
As the time is drawing near, do we keep the Word in our hearts – the Word that brings us happiness (Revelation 22: 7)?
Our ultimate goal is to obtain the access to the New Jerusalem. With this in mind, we are not to forget the precious Word of God. Rather, we are to keep it with great care.
We are kings and priests (Revelation 1: 6). What was the condition a king had to meet? He had to read the law on a scroll handed by the Levitical priests and live up to it all the days of his life. That way, he would stay humble and turn neither to the right nor to the left (Deuteronomy 17: 18-20).
They recommended that we, having accepted Jesus Christ, should live our lives in Him, get rooted as well as built up in Him and grow firm in our faith with a heart overflowing with thankfulness (Colossians 2: 6-7).
Having redeemed the Israelites, God taught them all the good things, guided them in the way they had to go and commanded them to obey His commandments. Only in that way would their peace and happiness overflow. Apart from that, their descendants would be as numerous as sand (Isaiah 48: 17-19).
They prayed that we may give thanks to the Father who has delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His Son (Colossians 1: 12-14).
After hearing His Word (John 5: 24) and being redeemed by the blood of Jesus, have we been transferred from death to life? And, do we now live in Him?
Let’s make efforts to know the will of God perfectly. To begin with, we need to hear and keep His Word that imparts grace and peace to us. Then, we will be ready to be sent to proclaim the gospel of Christ to the bitter end. Eventually, we will have access to the New Jerusalem. Amen.