"In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God...For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from His glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." -Colossians 1:3-14
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Empowered people empower people. There is a beautiful symptom in being transformed by God: Our own actions and words will begin to be used to transform everyone around us.
For most of my life, I have struggle with the imposter syndrome...The deep inner fear that one day, people will come to know that I am not as good, competent, strong, or "worth it" as I have previously led them to believe. And when kept unchecked, I can quickly allow myself to be chained within a number of anxiety-driven thoughts.
When will I fail? When will they discover how much of an idiot I am? When will they see beyond my smile? When will they notice my imperfections? When will they call out my inabilities? My faults? My lies?
And the odds are that you - too - join me in this fear.
We are people, divinely scribed into a new story, yet still holding fast to our old narrative. We are believers, fighting daily to live for an unseen God - though we interact amidst a very pressure-filled, tempting, and seen world. And we are individuals, intimately tied with others, yet hardwired into choosing to act, battle, and journey through life alone.
Whether you realize it or not, you and I are very similar to the Colossian church.
They were people of new life; people overflowing with gifts, purpose, and fruit. Their understanding of grace had set a fire within their culture, creating a ripple effect of hope and transformation everywhere - for even Paul had heard of their growth.
But to them, much of this was hidden; overlooked. They were a church plagued with doubt. Lies. Lack of clarity. A blurred sense of purpose. A low sense of identity. And a very easily swayed system of beliefs.
Yet what Paul does in this first section is utterly amazing. He takes His understanding of purpose and shines it upon them. He writes of the very testimony that he has heard about them, teams it up nicely with the truth of what he knows in Christ, and proclaims it all in the form of a powerful prayer.
You see, empowered people empower people. And Paul, a man empowered by the Spirit, gave clarity to this church through voicing His prayers for them.
Now before we look into this passage, think to yourself - If someone wrote out verbatim the very prayer that they have been praying over you, these words would be a game changer - especially if they were united to your deepest struggles. And though we are not the original recipients of this letter, our hearts can connect so well with this prayer.
In the matter of a few verses, Paul prays for them to grow in the knowledge of God's will. That they would lead lives of worthiness, being fully pleasing to Christ. And that they would bear good fruit, be strengthened by His power, and made prepared to endure anything.
To a people battling doubt, knowledge of a divine will was a must-have. To a people blind of their worth, a prayer reminding them of who they seek to please was transformational. And to a people who felt weak, a prayer for godly strength and preparation was huge.
But Paul's prayer was not yet finished...
To a people still surrounded by their old world, culture, and habits, they needed to be reminded of something else... That they had a Father who had continually enabled them to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.
If you forget everything about this prayer, remember this: He has enabled us to share in His inheritance. This truth is the very reason to why His knowledge and wisdom can be ours. It is how we are able to please Him. It is where our strength comes from. And it is the truth that continually prepares us to endure all things.
The light is ours to live in. Regardless of my fears, I have been made able. Regardless of my sins, I have been made able. Regardless of my doubts, I have been made able. And regardless of my questions, my worries, my stress, my situations, or my conditions...I have still been made able.
We are able. The Father of Light has rescued us from the power of darkness, making us able to walk worthy in the light.
Therefore, I pray that we can be empowered by this empowering prayer; that today, we can capture false thoughts and feed our hearts God's truth. And taking it all a step further, I pray that we can allow this empowerment to lead us towards speaking life and purpose to everyone around us.
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Greg, Declare Glory