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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Knowing God's Will: Is That Really Enough?

As Christians, we all want to honor God by striving to live our lives according to God's will. Every day, we face many choices. Most decisions are obvious as the Bible gives us clear guidance for Christian living: do not steal, do not commit adultery ...

But what about the not-so-obvious decisions? Do I sell my house? Quit my job? Homeschool my kids? Go into full-time ministry? In Paul’s letter to the believers in Colosse, he prays for them, asking God to give them complete knowledge of His will, spiritual wisdom, and understanding.

“Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit.” Colossians 1:10 (NLT)

That seems easy enough. So if I want to know God’s will, all I have to do is pray and He will reveal it to me. Great! I can do that. But then I read a little further and sensed God’s saying, “Excuse me, child, there’s more here you need to know…” Verse 11 continues with Paul praying for the believers to be strengthened by God’s power in order to

“have all the endurance and patience you need.” Colossians 1:11 (NLT)

Wait a minute. Patience? Endurance? You mean I have to do something? Or worse, wait and do nothing?

I’m not sure I liked the sound of that. I had to ask myself an honest question: If I really want to live a life pleasing to the Lord, one that produces fruit and has lasting value, am I willing to put in the effort, perhaps take the longer, less traveled road, and wait patiently for the outcome?

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 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!

This is precisely why Paul encourages the 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? Thankfully, the answer is 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.” Colossians 1:11 (NLT)

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.

Copyright © 2018 Shadia Hrichi, used by permission.

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