Rabbi Schneider - Receive God's Wisdom
I want to continue our study today in apostolic prayers by staying in the first chapter of the book of Colossians. Some of you have heard me preach from the book of Colossians chapter one in other settings, but there's such rich revelation of God's truth for us in this prayer that Paul prayed in Colossians one. I feel inspired and I feel the need to stay here today. So we're gonna be looking, we're gonna start with verse number nine of chapter one. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of the Lord abides forever. Hear beloved child of His, His Word for you today. Beginning once again in verse number nine. Paul is praying. Who is Paul I should say? Who is Paul before we even say that he's praying?
Paul is a Jewish Pharisee. At the end of Paul's life Paul stood before those who wanted to see him judged for his faith in Yeshua and Paul defended himself and he said, "I have the same faith that you have". "I am a Pharisee," he said, "The son of Pharisees". Paul was a Jew from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet that had found that Yeshua Hamashiach was Hashem's, was the Lord's revelation of Himself to the earth, God's Son. With that being said, verse number nine. "For this reason," Saul or Paul said, "Since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will".
One of the things that challenges me right away beloved ones, as I read just the first part of that verse, is how so much of Paul, we call him in Hebrew Saul. I'm just taking a sidestep here. In Hebrew Paul was known as Saul (Sha'ul). We say that in English Saul, but he also had a Greek name and his Greek name was Paul. And since he was predominantly ministering to Gentiles he was using his Greek name. But what strikes me about Saul, what strikes me here about Paul's prayer life is that he spent so much time, listen to this, praying for other people. I don't know about you, but if I examine my prayer life I have to say, "You know what in the light of Your Word, in the light of comparing myself to Saul, to Paul, I don't spend so much time often times praying for other people".
Listen to what he said again. "For this reason," Paul said, "Since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you". What about you? Does that challenge you? I think most of us are still selfish in our orientation. It's not that we don't pray for other people. I know that I pray for other people, especially if I read someone says, "Pray for me". I stop, I lift that person up. I pray for the people that I'm responsible to shepherd. I pray for the people I'm ministering to. Don't misunderstand, I care and I pray just like most of you do. Yet when I'm alone, how much of my time is really spent, listen now, praying for the church to come forth?
And so I think this is a challenge to us all, that God wants our prayer life not just to be centered on our own needs, which is the natural. But He wants us to go beyond our own boundaries, beyond our own ego boundaries and He wants us to focus on the needs of others. And so once again we're challenged here by Paul, that was an individual that had been formed by the Lord. That for you and I to walk in the love of Christ Jesus we have to look out, the scripture says, not just for our own interests, but we need to force our self to go to that next level and pray for the interests of others, especially for the church at large.
We just pray right now Father God that You would glorify Yourself in Your children on the earth. We pray Father for Your church to come forth. We pray for Your bride to arise, to enter into the fullness of her destiny.
So let's continue on. Paul says, "For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that," let's get it now. What's he asking for? What is Paul praying for? When I said we need to pray for other people, I'm not focusing on just the little things. I'm not talking about just the material things. I'm not talking about the temporal things, because most of Paul's laboring and prayer for others was not for just little temporal things in life. Not that those are not important and need to be prayed for, but he was focused on the bigger picture. So what does he pray for? He said, "That you would be filled," verse number nine. "I've not ceased to pray for you and to ask," here we go, "That you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding".
I want you to get that. Paul prays, he's focused, this whole prayer was focused on God's people being strengthened that they could have the revelation to understand God's will. In other words, we need a breakthrough friends. You and I need a breakthrough in our minds and in our hearts to stop seeing in the natural. Even those of us who are entrenched in the church, so many are walking in the natural. Everything that we're seeing, we might be giving it religious titles, religious labels, but you know what? At the end of the day we're still seeing predominantly, so many of us, in the natural. We're seeing according to the flesh. We're not seeing according to the Spirit. I remember visiting Peru years ago and I went to a museum there and the museum was all about Jesus. And they had I don't know how many Jesus'. They had big statues of Jesus. They had a Jesus for everything. Every shade of skin color that you could imagine. A Jesus for this. A Jesus for this. A Jesus for this. And this Jesus was all in the images of these statues.
And I'm bringing that up, because you know what? I think you and I today need to break out of the limitations of our mind, to stop seeing Jesus predominantly in the flesh and to see Him in the Spirit. You see, Jesus is God clothed in humanity. Listen to what I'm saying again. If you and I just simply see Jesus as a flesh you know, human being on the cross and that's as far as our vision goes, we're missing it. Yes God came down to earth, clothed Himself in humanity and died on the cross in the flesh. But listen, God existed, Jesus existed, the Son of God existed before He was clothed in the flesh. We need to know Him predominantly, beloved, in the Spirit. Yeshua said if we're gonna worship the Father we must worship Him, listen now, in spirit and in truth. And too many of us are bound to the earth. We're bound to the flesh. We're bound to what we see with our eyes and God wants to take us out of this realm into the realm of the spiritual and into the realm, beloved one, of the supernatural.
So listen once again what Paul prays. He says, verse number nine, Colossians one, "We have not ceased to pray for you, that you would be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and understanding". You know it's interesting here that when Paul says, "I want you to be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and understanding," it's interesting because Yeshua is personified often times in scripture, especially in the Tanakh and the Hebrew Bible, as wisdom personified. In other words, in the book of Proverbs Yeshua is personified as wisdom. He is wisdom. The scripture says that, "Christ Jesus has been made unto you and I wisdom".
Now what is wisdom? Wisdom, beloved, is the ability to know what to do in the spirit, listen now, with all the dynamics that we face in life. Wisdom helps us to regulate our feelings. Wisdom helps us to regulate all the different demands, all the different possibilities, all the different ways we could go. Wisdom helps us know whether we should love and reach out or whether we should hold back. Wisdom helps us to stay in the path that's balanced and aligned with King Jesus. We need wisdom in our life. One of the things that unique about our faith as it's rooted in Judaism is that in Judaism everything has to flow through wisdom first. Everything is good. Feelings are good. The body's good. Relationship is good. All these things are good, but in order for us to reach a balance where we're walking in truth we need to regulate all the different things we experience, listen now, by wisdom. And wisdom comes from the power of God. And wisdom gives us the insight, listen now, to be able to choose. In other words, we have free choice.
So how do we know that we're gonna make the right choice? In other words, we have so many different things, listen, even that we could be thinking about, so many things that you could be focusing on. In other words, when this show is over today look at the thoughts that are running through your mind. Try to become aware of the thoughts that are running through your mind. You know what? You have an opportunity to choose what you're gonna think about. But so often times we just let these thoughts run through our mind, we don't ask where they come from, we don't ask how we got to that thought. And often times the filter that's in our mind that creates streams of thought has come because we've had some type of trauma or some type of fearful experience in our life. So we have this constant stream of thoughts sometimes that are fear driven and anxiety driven and it just pushes us in life. But when you have self awareness and wisdom, you could begin to pay attention to your thoughts. Look to the Lord and He'll give you the wisdom and the power to change the trajectory of your thoughts, so that you can focus on what is good and move forward in His will and into deeper spiritual space, into the fullness of the Spirit.
So once again, "That you might be filled," Paul said, "With the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding". Again, it's important to understand, I'm speaking especially now to ladies, but to men as well. I'm speaking especially to you beautiful women of God now. Very important, when Paul begins his prayer he begins because he wants to be, see us complete in Messiah. He wants to see us complete in Christ. And notice what he begins to pray once again, it's redundant, but I'm making a point. He wants us to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Now if you think about what he just prayed, he prayed that we'd be filled with number one, knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Isn't that what he says? He says, "I need you". Paul says, "I'm praying for you, so that you can emerge as the person that God has destined you to be. I'm praying for you that above all else you will have," listen, "Wisdom and understanding".
Why am I stressing this? Because often times people are led not by wisdom and understanding, but they're led by their impulses, listen now, and their feelings. And this is one of the things that the Lord had to teach me in my life, not to be led by my feelings. You see wisdom is in the mind, right? Wisdom is from the realm of intellect. And so what God is saying here, especially now I'm speaking to the ladies that really have great capacity for feeling. Women have a capacity to be sensitive so often times in ways that men are not so sensitive. You see the gift of femininity is the gift of the Holy Spirit, but we have to temper, listen now, our feelings and we have to temper our sensitivity, listen now, with wisdom, understanding and the knowledge of His will. You see that's our crown, to walk in the knowledge of His will. So that when all these things bombard us, when we have all these feelings, when we have all these impulses, when we have all these options about where to go, what to do, what to say, how to think, we have the wisdom and the understanding, listen now church, to choose the right way. It's deep.
We often times we're just on the surface. We're not going deep. But if we want to start going deeper we need to start looking at the space that we're living in individually. What do you think about every day? Because that's where our relationship with God is really gonna be experienced. It's gonna begin in our thought life, right? We have the power, listen now, to choose our thoughts and it may not be something that all at once you'll be able to go from being sad to being happy, but you can begin to pay attention. What am I thinking about? What's making me sad? Where is this coming from? And then what you know what you do, you begin to become conscious of your thoughts. You pray to Hashem. You pray to God. You talk to Him. You keep talking to God. Listen to me, don't ever stop talking to God. Keep talking to God.
Sometimes people say, "Well I'm gonna talk to God and then I'm gonna be silent and I'm just gonna wait to see what He says". And some of you have been like me, you've tried that. You've tried talking to God and then you say, "Okay I'm gonna be silent now and see what He says". Often times after I talk and then I'm silent I don't hear Him saying anything. But you know what I found? Is that when I keep talking to God, listen now, He talks to me as I'm talking to Him. In other words, I don't have to talk and then stop and wait. As I'm talking He's actually very subtly giving me understanding and giving me revelation, but you and I have to be aware to pick up the nuances and the divine intuition and perspectives that God is speaking to us by, through His Holy Spirit.
And so Paul begins this prayer in the book of Colossians chapter one, once again, by praying. "That we would be filled," filled and this is a constant thing. We're not just filled once. It's a continual filling, because you know what? Life is always going forward. It never stays where it is and we can never go back to where it was, because life is just not that way. It's constantly rolling out, moving, newness, newness, new. So this filling that Paul was speaking of, it goes on forever. We're continually relying on Hashem, beloved one, to be filled with all knowledge of His will, in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. So I just want to encourage you, let's rise out of where we've been. Let's stop looking at God and Jesus in the natural. Let's understand that God is a spirit, that God manifested Himself in the flesh, but He's above all spirit and we need to begin to look to Him that way, with wisdom and understanding.