The passage from Colossians 1:9-12 talks about Paul’s immense desire which encompasses the importance of prayer, purity, productiveness, and perceptiveness etc.
Do we have just as strong of a desire as Paul himself? A divine desire for the ministry, for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 1:9 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;
The first part of this divine desire is prayer or living a prayerful life. The scriptures have shown us that strong, fervent, and unceasing prayers can lead to endless possibilities.
1 John 5:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
Just as we are to people around us, such as our family, our loved ones, if we want something or a favor from them, we will not quit asking for it. Not only so, but we will be smart about our choice of words and how we approach them.
Similarly, we would do the same with God. The correct way would be prayer through divine desire, also done with wisdom and faith. Usually, if we want our prayers to be answered, we will pray without ceasing.
Sometimes if they remain unanswered, then we are going to seek to understand His will and pray accordingly until God answers and provides. This is something that we can do in private with God, or even as a church to grow the ministry spiritually together.
The only question is do we want it bad enough? Is our desire reflected in our prayer life?
Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
We have to be pure in our walk with God. This verse reminds us to not dwell in our past, but simply to repent in this second, get right with God. Whatever addiction or sin we want to get rid of, commit to it this moment.
Acts 19:17-20 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men : and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
The people were willing to dispose of all their worldly possessions and burn them publicly for the sake of pleasing God so that they can be purified and delivered from their sinfulness.
Sometimes, to repent of our old lifestyle may seem like a big sacrifice we have to make. Nonetheless, we should not focus on instant gratification. Rather, we should be seeking God’s blessing of a bigger harvest on the other side of the hurdle we need to overcome.
We must be pure in forsaking all our bad habits and interests, such as the worldly entertainment, companies, and strifes in life.
‘being fruitful in every good work‘ in Colossians 1:10 also reminds us that we should have a stronger desire towards being more productive in our lives.
Luke 13:7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
If we continue to stay stagnant and not produce much, we can see that God would either remove His blessings from us or even remove us! If God sees us as a fig tree not producing fruit, He will not hesitate to cut us down and give the blessings to someone else. Hence not only our divine desire to serve the Lord is important, but the sense of urgency should also always come to mind.
The pandemic caused a lot of restrictions for the ministry and our work for God to carry on. However, this urges us even more to seize every opportunity we can to serve Him. Our divine desire should be able to overpower our hurdles.
Let’s try to take a more proactive stand, and contribute our ideas, time, and energy to the ministry we serve. The church leaders should not be the only people who are doing all the work. By the end of the day, God judges our hearts, and He wants us to have the divine desire in order to have more initiative.
Colossians 1:10 mentions ‘Increasing in the knowledge of God‘. Churches today lack in perceptiveness, meaning the divine desire to increase their knowledge, experience, and spiritual maturity altogether.
Hebrews 5:12-14 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
These verses are meant to condemn Christians, in particular baby Christians who are not willing to grow themselves and to take up responsibilities for the Lord. Even though we do not advocate Lordship Salvation in any way, we place a lot of emphasis on improving our sanctification; as well as fulfilling our duties as Christians.
There are a few suggested ways for us to do us. One important step is to attend a Bible-believing church, and to be present in as many Bible studies as possible. Subsequently, our growth in biblical knowledge will allow us to witness more effectively to the people around us. We know that our increase in knowledge will actually humble us, not turn us into superior individuals instead.
It is one thing to have a lot of knowledge, but to know how to apply the knowledge with wisdom is just as important. We should always apply our knowledge along with the right amount of wisdom and self-control.
‘Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power‘ in Colossians 1:11 alongside with 1 Corinthians 2:5 and 1 Corinthians 4:20 highlight the power that we can acquire in the name and glory of God. Our strength and power should not come from men, but from God, because through Him we can achieve a lot for the Church. Whatever great results we produce, or big spiritual fruits we bear, we know it is not possible when there is no power of God behind it.
Examine our hearts, if we know that we have a strong divine desire to serve the Lord, we can always pray for the filling power of the Holy Spirit. We should always be hungry for God’s power at all times, so that it can be manifested in our lives, more importantly, our testimonies.
In Colossians 1:11, ‘Unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness‘ stresses the importance of perseverance.
Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
If we truly want God to bless us, patience is definitely the virtue we need to uphold. We always fantasize about the best possible outcomes that God can give us almost instantly, only to be disappointed by our own expectations. The truth is, if God always answers our prayer immediately, we will become lazy and tend to take His words and blessings for granted.
Scriptures are clear about how God wants us to continue to persevere, hold on to our faith in God even in the face of afflictions and problems. God also wants us to trust in His plan and timing because He knows that those of us who can stand the test of times are the ones worthy of His blessings.
Besides, how would God’s words be fulfilled if He does not allow us to choose to rejoice in the midst of our suffering and affliction? How would we know how much we love God if there’s no perseverance needed in our walk with the Lord?
Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Do we praise the Lord as much as we should?
Deuteronomy 32:15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness ; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
The Israelites back in the Old Testament remind us what can actually happen to us when we forget to give praise and thank the Lord.
We tend to backslide much more easily when we are not grateful. This is apparent even in today’s church. If God sees that we take our ministry lightly, then He will shut down more doors in our faces.
If we have a strong divine desire, it should be easy for us to show our gratefulness to the Lord, even with the smallest things that happen to us. The more we give thanks, the more the Holy Spirit overflows in us, which will also fuel our power to serve Him more mightily, and adds to our level of perseverance, our perceptiveness, our productiveness, and purity.