Spiritual Intelligence

Foundations Colossians 1:1-2

“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;” (Colossians 1:9–10 ESV)

The Colossian church was different from any other church in the New Testament. It was a church that understood the Gospel. A Gospel that was preached by Epaphras, God’s fellow worker and minister. They were known in the community as people of love, faith and hope.

The church reputation went beyond their community, it was reaching the whole world, and even now, their testimony is a source of teaching and encouragement. What they did almost 2000 years ago, I believe, it can be done today! 

Yes, our world is indeed different from this first century church. We certainly live in a world where right no now the sovereignty of God is being questioned and its supremacy as God, King, and Ruler is no longer the view of many. Unfortunately, the Colossian Church also suffered this. 

Still, every time I read this letter, I am so thankful, just like Paul, that we have a Church that understood the Gospel. They were a Gospel centred church, where the fruit of the Gospel was evident for all to see, a community that loved well.

As I study this letter I realise it was very similar to what we used to get while on board the mission ship Logos II. They were called Ship Report. Every month a double A4 page was produced with all the blessings, challenges, and prayer points of a visit to a particular port. I remember that it was in Venezuela where for the first time, I was the speaker of a Sunday onboard conference called “how to know God and make Him known”. For the last three Sundays, I translated the Ship Director, Chacko Thomas, from India as he delivered the same talk. Then he said to me, now that you have translated me and are fluent in Spanish, I want you to do it! I was 21 at the time, and that Sunday, over 50 people stood up from their seats and accepted the Lord. 

For that to happen, for that kind of fruit and harvest to happen, we depended on two things:

  1. For God to Work
  2. God to answer our prayers. We prayed the will of God; his will is that people will come to accept Jesus.

Paul heard three things from this Church:

  1. Their faith in the Lord Jesus, 
  2. Their love for all the saints and
  3. Their Love in the Spirit.

The Colossians only heard one thing, the Gospel. “Of this, you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel” (Colossians 1:5 ESV).

Paul and others not only are thankful for their lives and ministry “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ when we pray for you” (Colossians 1:3 ESV).

But now, in the following verses 9 and 10, Paul and his disciples, his team prayed without ceasing. A non-stopping prayer, a 24/7 prayer.

Now, let us look at these two verses:

“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;” (Colossians 1:9–10 ESV)

Be Filled

“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with” (Colossians 1:9 ESV).

I want you to know the heart of Paul and his team here. 

We know they have not ceased to pray for them. From the day Epaphras told Paul and his team what the Lord was doing in Colossae. They now are very intentional in their prayers.

  1. They are asking for something more specific. This is not a general type of prayer or praying as many do “I just want to pray” or “Lord if it is your will to save someone!”. Their prayers are specifics and very focus. “We are asking that you may…Have, Be, Get”.
  2. There are no half-measures. Whatever they are going to ask the Lord, they ask for the FULLNESS, TO BE FILLED WITH. The word Fulness and Being Filled with runs through this letter, e.g. “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” (Colossians 2:9–10 ESV)

They pray a very intentional prayer, and it is a prayer that is asking for the fullness, to be filled with wisdom and understanding God’s will, and it is a prayer to be filled with strength and power.

We now know that when we pray for fullness, we are praying that the Spirit of God takes complete control of our lives. 

To be asking God to fill you with power, wisdom is to ask God to control you by his Spirit. Just as sometimes we are full of hatred or anger to the point of controlling us. To pray for God to fill us with His fullness and presence is to ask him to take control.

So, are we ready to be controlled by the knowledge of his will, Spiritual wisdom and understanding, and to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, increasing in the knowledge of him and bearing fruit? 

Spiritual intelligence

“Asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Colossians 1:9 ESV)

Paul shares powerful insight into God’s mystery as the prayer evokes something that is ours by right.

We now know that when we pray for fullness, we are praying that the Spirit of God takes complete control of our lives. That is, 

  • Our minds since we have the mind of Christ. So also, 
  • Our emotions as we become aware of his presence. 

Our Spirit that has come alive in Christ is now joined with the Holy Spirit, and this is what Paul wants us to understand and grasp. Therefore, this prayer is an invitation to live our lives by being and doing good under the reign of Christ, meaning that as we are his, we become more like him so that heaven touches the earth with us.

You see, the Gospel is everything we need; there, we find the fulness of God. We don’t need anything else. Christ is the Fullness of God in bodily form, and we, too, have been filled with the Fullness of Christ.

Now, I disagree with some commentaries as they ask: how we can know God’s will? Some believe that Paul’s prayer gives us the answer: we know God’s will through spiritual wisdom and understanding through the message of the Bible as the source of all wisdom, knowledge and God’s revelation. Please don’t get me wrong. This is good too.

The issue that I have is that the word through is not there in the original text. The NIV 84 version has it; the NIV 11 is a little more accurate as it points to the Holy Spirit as the source of wisdom and understanding, therefore, knowing God’s will is a Spirit-led activity. Yet still has the word through! “Knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives” (Colossians 1:9 NIV11-GKE).

This verse should be read as the ESV has it: “the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Colossians 1:9 ESV). In this version, the Bible is not assumed to be a channel of knowing God’s will and wisdom and understanding, as some people believe it is. But it is the work of the Holy Spirit who is the channel whereby we know God’s will. Thus, we have the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.

There is more: in all significant Latin translations of the New Testament, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, they translate the end of this verse like this: “en toda sabiduría e inteligencia espiritual.” Colossians 1:9 RVR95), which translates: in all wisdom and spiritual intelligence. The Greek word for understanding is also the word for intelligence.

Photo by Jonas Ferlin on Pexels.com

So here we have it, Spiritual Intelligence. We are very familiar with EQs Emotional Intelligence and Intelligence Quotient-IQ, a standard test to measure how clever you are.

IQ and EQ run the world. These types of intelligence are temporal, and they have an expiration date. On the contrary, Spiritual Intelligence does not pass away, and it allows us to experience the fullness of Christ. This kind of Spiritual Intelligence is only for us. Just think about it, how powerful this is!! It is a game-changer! This makes sense in the context of being filled, overwhelmed, and possessed by the Holy Spirit.

Kris Vallotton, has written an excellent book on spiritual intelligence. He compares IQ and EQ to a smartphone where the Wi-Fi access or 4-5 G is switched off. Therefore, it is limited in its memory and processor, let say up to 120 Gb. But once it has reached its total capacity, you can not add anything else. He says that Spiritual Intelligence is like switching the WIFI on! You have unlimited access to information! Unlimited access to the Fullness of God. So, when we live and work under the fullness of God’s Holy Spirit, we will know his will, wisdom, and understanding so that we can live as sons and daughters on this earth. This is what verse 10 is all about!

Walk and Work

“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;.” (Colossians 1:10 ESV)

We may ask: Why do we need Spiritual intelligence? Why do we need to know God’s will? Why do we need spiritual wisdom and understanding?

Paul’s prayer gives us the answer in verse 10 in one word: SO! 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.”

  • To walk in a manner worthy of the Lord: To live as God wants you to live
  • Fully pleasing to him: Seeking the favour of the Lord, the blessing of the Lord.
  • Bearing fruit in every good work: This is a biblical mandate that comes from Genesis
  • Increasing in experiencing God. This is growth, spiritual maturity.

Isn’t this a miniature picture of Christian life and growth?

Warren Wiersbe says that Paul and his team are praying for practical obedience that sees to please God, serve Him, and get to know God. He says that any doctrine that isolates the believer from the people’s need, from the world around him, is not spiritual doctrine. He quotes the American evangelist D.L Moody who often said, “Every Bible should be bound in shoe leather.”

We pray that the Spirit will control you to use the spiritual intelligence given to you in Christ to live, walk in a manner worthy of the call you were called to working, and bearing good fruit! What a prayer.

Be Encouraged Blog Morning @First

darioleal View All →

Dario is a husband, father, pastor and passionate pursuer of Jesus and His Kingdom. He is a Pastor, loyal friend, and walks the walk when it comes to being a carrier of God’s presence. He expects things to happen when he prays for people. He loves having fun and eating olives (preferably at the same time).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Heartshare

Sharing words of Support, Motivation and Compassion

Enjoying God Blog

Releasing, Building, Growing

D.L.

Releasing, Building, Growing

FaithinIreland

Patrick Mitchel's Blog

Cliftonville Football Club

Releasing, Building, Growing

Global Mission Awareness

Just another WordPress.com site

RT Kendall Ministries

Releasing, Building, Growing

Brilliant Perspectives

Releasing, Building, Growing

%d bloggers like this: