9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
for this reason — because of the report he’d received of their faith, hope and love
knowledge = thorough knowledge, deep and accurate comprehension (as opposed to Gnosticism)
His will — God’s desires regarding their conduct
all = every kind of
wisdom = insight into the true nature of things
spiritual — refers to both wisdom and understanding
understanding = intelligence — discrimination between true and false
Colossians 1:9 does not refer to God’s will … in a given situation, but to His long hidden purpose and program as revealed in the Pauline epistles. He rightly holds us responsible to learn what this is:
Having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself (Ephesians 1:9).
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:15-17).
… God’s will runs straight as an arrow and we should conform ourselves to it. — Commentary on Colossians, by C.R. Stam, page 44.
In other words, God’s will is an absolute and we are either in it or out of it. It’s not geographical or career-specific. God has clearly told us in Scripture how He wants us to live. When we live that way, we are in His will, no matter where we are.