For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; ~Colossians 2:1
The word “conflict” means “to fight” or “ to contend with.” Dictionary.com defines it as “a fight, battle, or struggle, especially a prolonged struggle or strife.” Paul had a “shepherd’s heart” for the spiritual lives of believers. The devil seeks to discredit or destroy the faith of every believer. Paul wanted his friends in the church at Colossae to know that he was in the spiritual battle with them. One of the indicators of our love for the brethren is “what great conflict” we have for them.
He was burdened for their welfare.
“And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.” Paul knew that there were spiritual wolves seeking to take advantage of the faith of believers who were not grounded in the Word. The church at Colossae was under attack by a false teaching known as Gnosticism. This false teaching denied the deity of Jesus Christ. It attacked His sinless nature when He was on earth. So, Paul was concerned for the steadfastness of the believers’ faith. Like Paul, we should be moved in our soul for the lives of fellow believers.
He was burdened for their walk.
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” He encouraged them to keep going forward in Jesus. He encouraged them to get their roots deep in Christ and build upon their most holy faith. A fruitful walk with the Lord is one that gets stronger through daily devotion, attendance under the sound preaching of God’s Word, and being thankful in everything. Do you have great conflict in your soul for the spiritual walk of your spouse, children, and those you teach God’s Word to?
He was burdened for their wisdom.
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” The enemy seeks to manipulate, then deceive immature and unsuspecting believers through two avenues: “the tradition of men” and “the rudiments of the world.” Organized religion and bodies with hierarchical classifications exalt traditions over truth. They exalt the teachings of a man of charismatic personality or institutional creeds over Bible doctrine and duty. On the other extreme, the rudiments of the world seek to corrupt through the use of modernization, trends, and contemporary lifestyle to move believers and fundamental churches away from being steadfast in the Christ. Paul tells us, “Beware lest any man spoil you….” Don’t be gullible to every new fad or idea that is being circulated among believers.
He was burdened in his wrestling.
Paul was a man of prayer. He studied other prayer warriors. He refers to the prayer of Epaphras, who was the pastor of the church at Colossae. He described this man’s praying as “labouring fervently” in his prayers for them. “Labouring fervently” means “to agonize” or “ to wrestle” in one’s praying. We are wrestling “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness in this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” The battle for men’s souls is in one place: the prayer room of one who wrestles in his praying for those he carries a great conflict for. Let it be known that you are concerned for the spiritual lives of those you minister to.
Have a guarded God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Jeremiah 18-22