“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” — Colossians 1:9–10 (NIV, emphasis mine)
In these verses, Paul describes and prescribes the noble task given to every Christian. As believers in Jesus Christ, it is our task to grow in our knowledge of God and His will. We are encouraged by Paul to grow in spiritual wisdom and understanding. The point I want to drive home is that coming to faith in Jesus is only the beginning. The “born again” experience is the step by which we enter into the Kingdom of God. For the rest of our lives, we are called to grow in our understanding of how that kingdom works and how we are to live in it. So how do we do this? How do we grow in our knowledge of God and His will?
Paul tells us in verse 9 that we must grow in spiritual wisdom and understanding. We must learn to interpret life events with spiritual truths and wisdom. The only way I know how to do this is to be around God. We must be in His presence if we are going to get to know Him better. We need to be in His word and we need to communicate with Him through prayer. We must gaze upon the face (nature) of God. As we grow in our understanding of God’s nature, we simultaneously grow in our understanding of Him and His will. Spiritual wisdom and understanding comes through the struggle to see God’s purpose fulfilled in a lost and broken world.
As part of this journey, I encourage you to read the first 9 chapters of Proverbs. As you do, let this verse be in the back of your mind: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).