Colossians 4:12.Epaphras was always "wrestling in prayer" for the church at Colosse. What does that mean exactly? The KJV says, "labouring fervently." Fervently means "with great struggle, with difficulties, to contend with adversaries, strive, to obtain something." Epaphras was putting in a lot of time fighting the enemy in intercession for the Colosse church. I have to stop and ask myself, do I "wrestle in prayer" for anything or anyone? I pray, but am I truly engaging in the battle. For anything to be worthwhile, you have to commit time to it. How much time am I giving? Not nearly enough.
"Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured." NIV
Along with being a convicting passage toward intercession, Paul also tells us how to pray for others and for ourselves. We may pray for all kinds of things, and that is okay. But what is our primary focus to be? We should labour fervently for the ability to stand firm in all the will of God. At first glance, I thought standing firm was just the first of three things, but looking closer, standing firm means to be mature and fully assured.
Maturity in the Christian walk would mean that we have reached an adulthood in our walk. As babies, we needed to be brought along by others -- very dependent on them for everything. We needed help in how to read the Bible and understand its Truths; we needed help in how to pray; we needed guidance in how to live as Christ would have us live. But maturity implies that we now are learning from the Word on our own. We are in communion with the Father on a regular basis, and we are making choices in our lives that are directed and in tune with the Father. Not that we don't need others to do life together, but we are not dependent on them for everything as we once were.
Standing firm also means being fully assured. We have no doubts about Who we serve or why. He is our complete source, and we live our lives fully devoted to Him. Sold out for the mission of Christ. This is our Lord's will for us and something we should be praying earnestly for in ourselves and others. The battle of life truly does begin on our knees.
- Do you seek the Father only for daily comforts and safety or do you seek His will and the ability to live in it?
- I don't know if we ever reach complete maturity in this life, but have you left the infant stage? If no, why not? What needs to change?
- A fully devoted believer no longer looks to their own interests, but fully looks to the interests and will of the Father. Are you there yet? If no, why not? What is holding you back and why?