“I pray that I might be filled with the fuller knowledge of His desire in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord in every desire to please, bearing fruit in every good work, and being increased in the fuller knowledge of God, being empowered in every power according to the might of His glory, into every endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, the One making us fit for the inheritance of the saints in the light” (Colossians 1:9-12).
There is a sequence about this prayer that shows us how God works;
- It is fuller knowledge (epiginosko) that we need; when we are born again we get knowledge (ginosko) but it is only as we apply that knowledge that we get fuller knowledge. This is how the economy of God works; to he that has, more shall be given, to him that has not even what he has will be taken away. So knowledge must be lived before fuller knowledge can be received.
- It is spiritual wisdom and understanding that we need, not intellectual or worldly understanding; Paul is not talking about theological scholarship, but wisdom that depends upon a healthy fear of God. The purpose of this spiritual wisdom and understanding is that I might walk worthy of the Lord; it is not for anyone else, but for me, walking in a manner that I know is pleasing to Him.
- As I do that I will be increased in the fuller knowledge of God; this is what God does as I walk in faithfulness to what has already been revealed; my knowledge will be increased; this is in the passive. Moreover I will be empowered with every power, not just one power, but every power that I need to grow and continue to walk in a manner pleasing to Him. The power Paul is talking about is according to the might of His glory; which is the resurrected life of Christ. The power that Jesus had is waiting for us, so that we can live the same faithful life; it requires endurance and patience, telling us that there is much opposition along the way and that the process will take time. Wait!
Finally, if we truly understand the nature of the covenant transaction that is taking place, we will joyfully give thanks to the Father because, in this process of applying knowledge and getting fuller knowledge, we are being made fit to obtain that inheritance that belongs to the holy ones in the light, the light being Jesus Himself.