"Be filled with the knowledge of [God's] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord" (Col. 1:9-10).
Godly behavior is the result of godly thinking.
Perhaps you've heard computer buffs use the term G.I.G.O.: "Garbage In, Garbage Out." Input determines output. What you feed into a computer is what you'll get out.
Similarly, what you program into your mind will eventually influence your behavior. That's why you must expose your mind to things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, and worthy of praise (Phil. 4:8). As one preacher put it, "You should be so saturated with God's Word that your blood is 'bibline.' If you cut yourself, you should bleed Bible verses!" His exaggeration reveals his passion for God's truth—a passion every believer should share.
Paul prayed that we would "walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; [and be] strengthened with all power . . . for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father" (Col. 1:10-12).
Those are marvelous Christian characteristics, but how are they achieved? Verse 9 gives us the answer: "Be filled with the knowledge of [God's] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding." The Greek word translated "filled" speaks of influence or control. It's the same word Paul uses in Ephesians 5:18: "Be filled [controlled by] the Holy Spirit." When you're filled with the Spirit, He governs our choices. Similarly, when you're filled with the knowledge of God's will, your choices reflect godly wisdom and understanding.
The phrase "spiritual wisdom and understanding" indicates more than merely knowing God's Word. It speaks of applying it to your life under the Spirit's power and direction.
As you prayerfully saturate your mind with God's Word, it begins more and more to control your thinking and behavior. And the Spirit uses the Word to renew your mind and protect you from conformity to worldly attitudes and actions (Rom. 12:2).
Suggestions for Prayer
- Ask the Holy Spirit to control every aspect of your life today.
- Be diligent to apply the appropriate biblical principles to every circumstance you face.
For Further Study
Memorize Philippians 4:8 as a reminder to feed your mind with the things that produce godliness.
From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.