What he’s really saying is: start to live in a manner that will reflect praise on your heavenly Father.
Thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright today? Well, I trust so. You know as I speak with you, I have a mental picture of many of you, whom I know personally, and concerning whom I have an idea of what you’re doing when the broadcast comes on, because you’ve written to me about it. Somebody wrote and said years ago, said, “I listen to every morning while I’m shaving and I’ve had to give up my electric razor and gone back to a safety razor because the electric made too much noise while you were talking”. Well, I read that letter with a chuckle at the table, while our kids were still at home, and I read it with a chuckle and one of the girls piped up and said, “You know Papa, you are probably the preacher most listened to in bathrooms in all the world”. Well that may well be. That’s the price you pay for coming on in the morning, isn’t it? I’m glad you listen wherever you are, bless your heart. Oh, it is such a privilege to give out the Word of God, isn’t it? I just rejoice over the inestimable privilege, it’s a luxury really, of sitting down with God’s Word and sharing with you, my precious friends. Thanks for being there.
You and I are looking at Colossians 1 verse 9, Paul’s praying for the people of Colossae that they might be filled with the Divine spillover factor of a Christian. When jostled, you spillover the blessing of God, “Filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”, and we were talking the last time we got together, about how you can know something about the will of God.
Stop with me just for a moment and look at that phrase, spiritual understanding. You can’t always depend upon your own mind and your own logic. “There is a way that seems right unto a man, the end thereof are the ways of death”, that wise man said.
You remember the Holy Family as they went on their way back from Jerusalem? You read the said words, “They supposing Him to have been among their company went a day’s journey, and when they found Him not”, it said, “they went back to Jerusalem to seek Him and it took three days before they found that precious, 12-year-old, young Savior”. Where He was, of course, was predictably, was in the Temple, and He said with some surprise, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business”. He knew who His Father was, His Heavenly Father, and so you suppose, on the basis of human reasoning, one thing, but often times it leads you to a situation where you have to re-trace your steps. “Trust in the Lord”, said the wise man, “with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding”.
I think one of the first rules in becoming a successful Christian is to learn to distrust your own fallible, human wisdom. Sharpen your mind, get all the education you can, learn to think in a straight line, the secrets of scientific research, how to gather facts and then to organize them, and then to make a decision based upon them. You can use it in many ways, in business and otherwise, all of that is true.
I’m not downgrading the process of human education and of learning the way your mind works. That is important. Having said that however, you and I need to learn in the last analysis to trust the Holy Spirit of God to guide us. Number one, refer your decision to the Word of God. I got into that the last time we got together. Refer your decisions the Word of God. Number two, pray about your decisions so the Holy Spirit can guide you. Number three, obey what you know to be the will of God and God will give you more light. Specialize in obeying what you know for sure is God’s will and the Lord will lead you farther along the way. Spiritual understanding involves all of these things that I’ve just mentioned to you.
Besides that, it seems to me that there is a blessed kind of insight that God gives to the believer, so that you begin to understand what God is doing in your life and the lives of others. It is said that there are two maiden ladies that prayed earnestly for D.L. Moody during his first journey, evangelistic trip to the British Isles.
When he came back, they were there to meet him when the boat docked and were able to learn to see and hear and to speak with him. They had been his prayer helpers. They had been praying earnestly for him, and as they walked away from that occasion, one of them was heard to say to the other, “Mr. Moody has grown much Heavenward”.
Now what happened to him, was that he had a real encounter with the Spirit of God during that trip and his preaching, although the words with the same, was greatly intensified in power and in results. So it is then, that you and I, as we walk closely with our Lord can begin understand what God is doing.
Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. used to tell his students, “Find out where God is working and get in there”. Well, that of course is just the beginning of it, not only to find out where God is working, but to find out what God is doing. Spiritual understanding comes as you walk with your blessed Lord. Jesus said to His disciples, “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter”.
You don’t always learn all the lessons all at once. God doesn’t pay all His bills,. my favorite Deacon, John Houghtcamp used to say, “Doesn’t pay all His bills on Thursday”. “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart”, said the psalmist.
I think one of the delights that comes with the passing years is just what I’ve been telling you: you can look back and say, “Well, the Lord certainly has been leading in all of that”, and you can thank Him for it. Now, sometimes I don’t thank Him for a time going through it, just as you feel, I sometimes feel almost rebellious and say, “God what you trying to do to me?”, you know. But looking back, the eye of faith, looking back on what God has done in your life, you can see how He led you all the way. Thank God for it. Spiritual understanding.
Now, what is required in this? Number one, know your Bible because, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”, get into the Word of God. You’ll never understand God’s ways, and unless you listen to Him enough to know how He thinks, and the way to get to know how God thinks is to listen to Him in His Word, the Bible. Get into the Word.
Number two, walk with your Lord in worship and in prayer. To understand a person you have to spend time with him or her. Couples that have been married for many years come to a place where they understand how the other person feels and what the other person is thinking even without a word being said. One of my friends who was quite a jokester said, “You know my wife says she can read my thoughts, she’ll look at me and say, ‘I know what you’re thinking and stop it’”. Well, maybe so, but the way to get to know your Heavenly Father is to spend time with Him.
How much time do you actually spend with God in prayer? I think many of us would be ashamed to admit that our praying took the form of a very brief petition at the beginning or the end of the day, and once in a while during the day when we get in a jam. Oh, to understand God, spend time with Him in worship and prayer and praise and love. God is looking for people to worship Him. Did you know that? Jesus our blessed Lord, who never made a mistake, said it. He said, “The Father seeketh such to worship Him”.
What does the word seeketh such, refer to? They that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth, true worshipers, Jesus called them, and He says, God is out looking for people like that. Wouldn’t you be, like to be, one of the people for whom God is looking and whom He finds, to your delight and to His? “The Father seeketh such to worship Him”. Spend some time with your Lord.
You don’t always have to be talking if you spend time with God, did you know that? You don’t have to be praying out loud all the time in order to spend time with the Lord. Number one, listen to Him in your Bible. Read your Bible on your knees, you’ll be surprised how it speaks to you. Number two, pour out your heart before Him in petition of course, in confession, in worship and adoration and love, but number three, learn to be quiet before Him, “Be still and know that I am God”, the Bible says, “I will be exalted”.
These are the things that help you to get spiritual understanding. To spend time with your Lord, to worship Him, to love Him, to listen to Him, and of course, to obey Him. “Can two walk together”, the prophet said, “Can two walk together except they be agreed”? You can’t go opposite to God’s way and expect to understand Him. It doesn’t work that way.
Here’s a little boy who wants to cross the street, and the traffic is going very heavily, and so this grown up that has the little boy tightly by the hand, keeps him. You’ve often seen this scene: the grown up is waiting for the light to change, the little boy is tugging and straining because he wants to get across the street to the other side where there’s a candy store. You have two wills working in opposite directions, fortunately, the grown up is stronger than the little, headstrong youngster and so he hangs onto him Look down, say, “What’s a matter? Don’t you want to grow up and have troubles? Wait till the light changes”.
Well, you and I are oftentimes that way with God-we are headstrong and stubborn, and like the psalmist said, “So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was like a beast”. Oh today, learn to obey your blessed Lord and go His way. I can guarantee you, you’ll understand a lot better if you start to obey Him. Good idea?
Now, all of this hinges of course on the ministry of the indwelling Spirit of God. When you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and He becomes your Savior, and you are is the Bible says, “Born from above”, the blessed Holy Spirit enters into your life to dwell. You then have the privilege and the command really, according to Ephesians 5:18, to open by faith every room in your heart house to the blessed Spirit of God, so that you can be full of His Presence.
When that happens you can know that He will guide you into an understanding of the will of God. You’ll know, step-by-step, what God wants you to do, and you’ll be able to obey Him with joy and gladness and fruitfulness of life. Wisdom, spiritual understanding.
Now he says in verse 10 of Colossians 1- isn’t this good stuff? Oh, I enjoy the Word of God, don’t you? He says in verse 10, “I’m praying that you might walk worthy of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God”. “That you might walk worthy of the Lord”. Now, the time is gone and we aren’t going to get into this. Let me just remind you that the way to be worthy of anybody is to live in such a manner that you reflect credit upon that person, to be worthy of your earthly parents is to live in a manner that will bring credit to them. Don’t you believe that’s so?
So, what He’s really saying is, start to live in a manner that will reflect praise on your Heavenly Father. Jesus said that, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father, which is in Heaven”. That’s what He’s talking about here. We’ll get at that the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, may our life reflect favorably on Thee, our blessed Father in Heaven, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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