“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father…” (Colossians 1:9-12a). 

The cry of our heart should be to please Jesus, to walk in a manner worthy of Him. This was the cry of Paul and his prayer for the faithful saints in Colossae. Let’s see… 

What Paul desired (v. 9):

  • That they know God’s will.
  • That they know God’s will with the substance and fullness of all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 

What a thought! Knowing God’s will is not enough for those whose life have been hidden in Christ, those who are inhabited by the living Lord. We desire to know His will with a depth and completeness that consists of  all spiritual wisdom and understanding. This is not just about knowing what we should do in finding a new job, or house, or what our next decision should be. Instead, it is about knowing Christ “and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” (Philippians 3:10). It is about taking on the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16)!

Why Paul desired this:

  • That they might walk in a manner worthy of Jesus
  • That they might be fully pleasing to Jesus
  • That they bear fruit through their good works
  • That they increasingly grow in the knowledge of Jesus 

Our passion should be to walk worthy of Jesus so that we may be fully pleasing to Him. Can you think of a grander calling than pleasing our precious and preeminent Lord? The idea of walking in a worthy manner is a frequent topic in Paul’s writings: “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called…” (Ephesians 4:1). “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27). “…we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:12). 

Do you see the progression in this passage? When we have an intimate knowledge of Jesus and His will in rich depth we can walk in a manner worthy of Christ. Such a foundation allows us to fully please Jesus and pleasing Jesus necessitates bearing fruit though Christ-honoring good works. When this progression is realized then we increasingly grow in our intimacy (knowledge) with Him. And the cycle continues in a Godward spiral of even greater knowledge, expanded fruitbearing, and a demonstrably more faithful walk that is even more pleasing to Jesus.

How this can be a reality:

  • With the power of His might
  • With perseverance from Him
  • With patience from His joy
  • With praises of gratitude for Him 

Again, how can this be? The answer is “in Christ”; in His might, His joy, His strength. We only can walk worthy of Him when our lives are integrated into the life of Jesus. This happens though the mystery of our union with Jesus. It is not us: it is Him. It is not our self-effort: it is His inexhaustible might. Listen to Paul: “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:11). 

And, most importantly, saturate yourselves in the words of Jesus: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15: 1-5). 

In order for us to please Jesus we must know Him, know more of Him, die to self, increasingly surrender to Him, and allow Him to live in and through us. And then, through faith, receive His transforming presence and power. Like Paul who said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). In other words, Jesus is most qualified to please Himself.  Thus we must yield, as His humble servants, to His power to do so in and through us.