Colossians 1:9-14 (NIV)
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Too often our lives are filled with merely trying to survive each day. If we can just get to the end of our days without committing a major mistake of making someone upset, we call it a successful day. But God desires so much more for us as His children. His will is that our lives be filled with purpose and meaning each and every day.
The Book of Colossians speaks to us about God’s will. Paul specifically prays that God would fill believers with the knowledge of His will in verse 9 from the above reading. Not only do we want to know God’s will, but apparently God wants us to know it also! He wants us to know it because He know that His will is the best for us as His children.
Then in verse 10, we read what happens when we live out His will. First, we start walking in a way that is worthy of Him. Our walk refers to our day-to-day interactions and decisions, and these should represent His name and reflect His love. Paul says that if we do this it will “please Him in every way.” Our lives are to bring God pleasure and delight, in the same way a son brings joy to his father.
Later in verse 10, we read that as we walk in God’s will, we will be “bearing fruit in every good work.” The fruit of the Spirit is certainly a part of this (as we see in Galatians 5:22-23), but fruit can also refer to our work for the kingdom and the good effect that we have on others.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Lastly, in verse 10, we read that we will be “growing in the knowledge of God.” As we do God’s will, we will come to experience His character and presence in richer and fuller ways.
As pastor Rick Warren once said, “Focusing on ourselves will never reveal life’s purpose.” I think that those people who are struggling to find their purpose in life might be focusing on the wrong thing. Instead of focusing on themselves and coming up with their own answer, maybe they should put their focus on God and ask Him to help give them the answer they are seeking.
To know and do God’s will is to find that deeper purpose for our lives. A purpose that takes us out of ourselves and mere survival and calls us up into His larger, redemptive story.
When do you feel the greatest amount of meaning and purpose in your life? Is God a part of those times? If He isn’t, you might find that connecting with God and His will for your life can open up a whole new level of purpose and meaning in your life. Maybe your days of “just surviving the day” could be a thing of the past. We only get one life to life so we really should seek to live the best possible life that we can. We will never be able to do that on our own.
A life with God is immensely better than one without Him.