Do you wish you could live your life every day according to God’s will? Each day, you and I will face many choices. As Christians, most decisions are obvious where the Bible gives us clear guidance: do not steal, do not commit adultery …
But what about the not-so-obvious decisions? Do I sell my house? Quit my job? Home school my kids? Go into full-time ministry? In Paul’s letter to the church at Colosse, he prays for the believers, asking God to give them complete knowledge of His will, spiritual wisdom, and understanding. “Then the way you live will honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit.” (Colossians 1:9-10 NLT)
Is Praying Enough?
That seems easy enough. If you and I want to know God’s will, all we have to do is pray and He will reveal it to us. Great! That’s seems doable. But then we read a little further and can almost hear God saying, “Excuse me, child, there’s more here you need to know . . .”
In verse 11, Paul prays for the believers to be strengthened by God’s power in order to “have all the endurance and patience you need.” Wait a minute. Patience? Endurance? You mean we have to do something? Or worse, wait and do nothing?
I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I like the sound of that. But then we need to ask ourselves an honest question: If we really want to live a life pleasing to the Lord, one that produces fruit and has lasting value, are we willing to put in the effort, perhaps take the longer, less traveled road, and wait patiently for the outcome?
Even Knowing God’s Will Is Not Enough
It is a sobering question. You and I know it is God’s desire for us to follow His will. Therefore, we can be sure He hears our prayers whenever we ask for wisdom and discernment.
However, knowing God’s will is not a magic wand for successful living. Knowing God’s will and carrying it out are two very different things. It takes effort on our part. How often have you discovered that God’s will is not what you would have chosen? Or not what you expected?
If we are unsatisfied with the answer, or are convinced we didn’t hear one at all, it is easy to simply turn and walk the other way. But then can we honestly say we desired to know God’s will in the first place? Or were we really seeking confirmation of our own? Praise God He knows our weaknesses!
We Need God’s Strength
This is why the apostle Paul encourages believers to pray for both the knowledge of God’s will and to be strengthened with the endurance and patience needed to carry it out. But God’s Word does not stop there. Where does this strength come from? Ourselves? Praise the Lord: no. God even provides us with the strength!
Verse 11 says we should pray “to be strengthened with all His glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need.”
So the next time you ask God to reveal His will to you, don’t forget the second part: Lord, please strengthen me with all of Your glorious power, so that I will have all the patience and endurance I need to wait upon Your voice and follow Your will. In turn, I trust that You will help me to live a life that “honors and pleases You in producing every kind of good fruit.” Amen.
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Shadia is a passionate Bible teacher, author and speaker who has a heart for seeing lives transformed by the power of God’s Word. She holds a master’s in biblical and theological studies from Western Seminary and is author of the powerful “Behind the Seen” Bible studies series, including TAMAR, HAGAR, and LEGION.