Walk In a Worthy Manner

Ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. – Colossians 1:9-12.

These few short verses are so full of the very things that God, as Heavenly Father want us to enjoy through Christ Jesus. In this the Apostle Paul lists four main requests that he continually prays for the Colossians. In truth, if you wanted too, you could easily expand that list, but the fact remains is that everything that he adds within those four elements comprises a fullness, richness and completeness to the request.

Paul asks for:

1) Spiritual understanding, based in the full knowledge and wisdom of God’s will in their lives. This is not knowledge meant to puff up a person’s ego or to allow them to boast or brag as to how intelligent they are. On the contrary, it is knowledge of God’s love so that they can be a reflection of that to those in the world around them. It takes a SPIRIT of understanding to have knowledge and wisdom imparted from God and it is meant to be used in the service of others. In this regard, Paul is speaking of experiential knowledge and not just intellectual.

2) A worthy walk in the Lord. First, a worthy walk is FULLY pleasing to the Lord. His pleasure in us is complete when we are walking in Him worthily. Remember the writer of Hebrews tells us, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:6. In other words, “it takes FAITH to please God and thus it is in our ability to accomplish that, with faith!”

pd Colossians 1_10

So our walk to even begin to be worthy in the eyes of the Lord, must begin with our faith IN Him. Now that leads to fruitfulness in good works. Paul is dropping a hint or at the least a helpful reminder that even though a person is not saved BY our good works, a person who is saved has been reborn FOR good works. Therefore, a worthy manner of walking will also demonstrate good works through us, BECAUSE we are walking in the Lord. Paul mentioned this in his Epistle to Titus, “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.” – Titus 3:8.

And then walking in a worthy manner will also lead again, to the increased knowledge of God. Notice how Paul, in a way, comes full circle from the first point. He prays for increased spiritual understanding, based in the knowledge and wisdom of God’s will, but that very thing he is asking for the Colossians WILL be increased by also walking in worthy manner! There is NOTHING that we do IN or FOR God that does not provide us with added spiritual benefits. That walk will provide us with increased knowledge and wisdom to be fruitful which will in turn give us increased, experiential knowledge to continue on.

We can see that the Colossians had “knowledge of His will” but were “increasing in the knowledge of God.” Maybe, we could say that in reference to this fact, the first refers to salvation, the second to study of the Scriptures, and the third to service and Christian living. Sound doctrine should lead to right conduct, which expresses itself in obedient service, in other words, a manner worthy of walking in the Lord.

3) Abundant power is the Apostle’s third request. He writes, “strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power.” One commentary pointed out the progression of Paul’s requests: verse 9, filled – verse 10, fruitful – verse 11, fortified.  Anyone who has for any length of time, walked abiding in the Lord, listening to His direction through the Holy Spirit and operating in obedience understands that upon the flesh, it can be a very draining experience. The Christian life is not lived by mere human or carnal energy at all. It requires strength and stamina that can only be acquired supernaturally by letting the Spirit abide within as we are abiding in Christ. Remember, Jesus is the Vine, the source of all nourishment and strength to produce fruitfulness. We are merely the branches and apart from the vine, we have no source of energy needed to provide the proper fruit of the Spirit.

pd colossians 1_11

Notice also Paul’s request again concerning a fulness. He asks that the Colossians experience strength and power ACCORDING to God’s glorious power. God’s power is limitless as it has no end but is continuous. Paul is very aware in his prayers of the completeness of ALL that is God and thus when praying for or teaching a group of people relays that fact right in his petitions. Thus we ourselves aware that when we need God’s strength, we have all that He has to give to meet our needs to be obedient! How awesome is that thought!

A question might arise as to why Paul would pray this “power” for others. Why do Christians need this power? Was it for spectacular miracles, to raise the dead, heal the sick or cast out demons? I’d have to say that the answer is actually NO, not for those reasons in particular but rather for the reason the Apostle himself states following the request. Read it again if you must; he states, “for all patience and longsuffering with joy.”

In many parts of the Christian world and especially here in the west, much emphasis is placed on miracles and sensationalism, much to our LACK of knowledge and wisdom. However, the manifestation AND demonstration of true spiritual power happens on a daily basis in the lives of Christians who are actually suffering and/or persecuted and doing so patiently and with thanksgiving to God in the midst of these trials and tribulations! To maintain the joy that Paul is speaking about, the joy he demonstrated in the midst of persecution, and to have it truly within and STILL be able to show forth kindness to others, definitely requires God’s power and when used demonstrates true Christian victory.

4) Giving thanks or having a thankful spirit is Paul’s fourth request. Paul’s petition for the Colossians and thus for all of us readers of his Epistle is that we might have a thankful spirit that continually expresses our gratitude to the Father. Paul continues in depth with the reason; because God “has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”

Now think about what this is saying; under Adam, none of us are fit, in our corrupt state, to enjoy the glories and joy that awaits us in Heaven. But God, our Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ and the Son’s sacrifice for us, has QUALIFIED us, He has made us fit to be “partakers of the inheritance.”

pd God's inheritance

We probably couldn’t even begin to enjoy Heaven in an unsaved state if we wanted too. Our hearts, mind and spirit needed to be changed. Without all of that being changed into the glorious image of Christ with His seal abiding within us, even if we could get into Heaven, it wouldn’t be Heaven for the unregenerate! With Christ’s sacrifice, His glorious gift, the Father has afforded us so much more than what the average person even considers, let alone thinks about! That qualification, that “fitness” is Christ Jesus Himself. Remember, He IS the Vine and as branches we only live because we are abiding in Him.

Now in closing I want you to consider this; so many interchange the word Savior with Redeemer when in essence it is two distinct terms and they both apply to Jesus Christ. He has saved us, but in Paul’s statement that God has “qualified us” is for our future, eternal benefit, not that it isn’t to a degree now, but so much more so in eternity.

Our “inheritance,” is “in the light.” In other words we have a reservation for a place in God’s Heavenly Kingdom. As believers, as those SAVED by Christ Jesus, we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit as a guarantee “of the inheritance,” in other words our final redemption! We await our redemption with anticipation because our Redeemer is still living on our behalf.

So, we have an assurance and an unspeakable joy and thus can rejoice AND be thankful unto the Lord for what has been promised to us, just ahead of us. Each step we take, each day that goes by, we are even now enjoying the “firstfruits of the Spirit,” and yet the best is still to come!

Paul prayed these things for the Colossians, but the Holy Spirit kept them alive for posterity that those who come after the Colossians will also understand and benefit from the knowledge and wisdom that the Father has so graciously passed on to each of us, His children! Glory to God on High! Amen!

*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of intercessory prayer, encouragement and exhortation of the Word of God and author of the ministry blog, For The Love of God. I live in Delta, Colorado with my beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom we affectionately call Bella.
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