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Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matt 6:10)

Ok, so I have been ranting on about Thy will be done for days now, but lets finally clear something up. The “Will” of God that Jesus is instructing us to pray for is the will of God as it is expressed in heaven.

It is almost like Jesus is saying, the greatest promises you have in scripture, those having to do with eternal promise, peace, health, joy, freedom, everything that you look forward to in heaven, pray for it to manifest right here right now.

The prior thought was about the kingdom or reign of Christ, so we should start there. Your will be done – You reign on earth the way You do in heaven. That is a prayer worth praying, and you have the OK to pray it right here coming from Jesus.

But there is more, and to illustrate, I want to take you to a Greek woman who came to Jesus because her daughter was demon possessed. (You can find this story in Matthew 15:21-28) The woman approached Jesus and asked for Him to free her daughter from the clutches of this wicked spirit.

Jesus ignored her, and the disciples pressed Jesus to send her away. She persists. He finally responds, and tells her He is only here to help the Jews. He tells her He can’t give the children’s bread to dogs. (feels like He is actually calling her a dog, but something may be getting lost in the translation – hmmm) Finally she persuades Him by saying even the dogs can eat the table scraps. This does it. Jesus heals the woman’s daughter.

What is the point? Jesus is basically saying that at this time He was there for the Jewish nation only. We know there would be a day when all the gifts Jesus gave the Jews would be lavished on the Gentiles as well, but that was not at this time or in this place.

The woman however is able to pull the future promise into her present reality.

And this is what Jesus calls for in this model prayer. For us to draw that which is promised for the future, our ultimate reward, and life, into our current circumstances. [Tweet This]

If you ask me to pray for healing – I will do it every time, because Jesus said pray “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” and I know that no one is going to be sick in heaven. I know that tears are wiped away, and peace will reign supreme. So I pray that way. Pull it forward! Storm heaven, and plunder it!

That is what Jesus is asking us to pray. To come boldly before His throne for help in time of need.

Let’s storm heaven today.

Thanks for stopping in today

Ben

Cover of
Cover of When Heaven Invades Earth

By the way – Bill Johnson’s book “When Heaven Invades Earth” does a great job on this topic. If you have never read it, you should.

Thy will be done” Matt 6:10

Before I jump in today, I want to ask you to read this with grace. The following comments are not intended to injure, insult, or mock, but to open your heart and mind and consider another point of view. If you cannot read on with grace and an open heart, please stop reading now. If you read with grace and disagree – that is great! I disagree with many of my closest friends, so you are in good company.

(one more confession here – I have rewritten this about 5 times now trying to get my what is in me out without sounding like a crazy person)

OK – Here we go

Jesus uses this phrase or one very similar in 2 places. Here, where He is teaching His disciples to pray, and again in the Garden of Gethsemane. We have taken His use in the Garden, and applied it to many situations where I believe it is actually hindering our prayers.

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane),...
Christ in Gethsemane Heinrich Ferdinand Hofmann (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, let’s understand that in the case of Jesus and the cross, this was a non-negotiable with the Father. In fact we understand that Jesus was the lamb slain before the foundation of the earth. (Rev 13:8) He was submitting to the will of the Father in an unbelievably unreasonable situation. The Father was actually asking Him (Jesus) to do something that was going to, for the first time ever, separate Him from the presence of the Father. God was asking Jesus to do something so horrible that the Father would no longer be able to look on His only begotten Son. He (the Father) would be forced to forsake – turn His back on – His beloved Son.

Next let me also assure you, I get that James said we should make our plans for the future with the will of God in mind – I will see you tomorrow, “Lord willing” - I am not struggling with this.

(Apply grace here!)

OK, here is my thing. We take these wonderful words of Jesus, and tag them on to the end of our prayers and use it to undermine our faith. How so? (you may be asking) Consider:

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8 KJV)

This word that the KJV translates as “wavereth” in many translations is doubt, but the Greek word here is diakrinō which has the idea of being in an argument, and by the context it is talking about being in an argument with yourself. The phrase “double minded” James uses in verse 8 clears it up for me.

James is telling us that if a man is asking God (in this case for wisdom, which is promised and clearly God’s will for us) but is double minded in his approach to the Father, we should not let him expect to receive anything from God. Strong words!

Think about Jesus’ parables about the woman who needs bread at night, or the woman who presses the judge for justice. In both cases she takes her desired end, and presses her desired result and only what she wants. She does not go to her neighbor and say “May I have a loaf of bread, if it is your will?” and then go away and see what happens. She knocks, and knocks and knocks and knocks and knocks and persists with her request until she has what she desires of the Lord.

When I was in High School my family was part of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Bethesda MD, where Richard C. Halverson was pastor. I remember him teaching on the idea of Jesus’ words “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” in John 14:14. He said if the thing you most desire is a million dollars and you ask God for a million dollars every day, God will either get the million dollars into your hands, or change the desire of your heart.

My exhortation here is this: If you have a strong desire in your heart, or a pressing need in your life, approach the Father with a single mind. Press for it, and be relentless. If what you are asking for is not the will of God, and you continue to enter his courts (with thanksgiving and praise) with your request, I am convinced you will either receive what you are asking for, or continued exposure to the Father will change your desires to fit His will.

Tagging your prayer with “if it be Thy will” can undermine your resolve and leave you in a place where you cannot receive anything from the Lord (according to James.) Jesus’ parable of the unjust judge in Luke 18: 1-8 ends with His question “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

Pray in faith, nothing wavering, and trust God to fix it if you are way outside His will. [Tweet This].

Thanks for reading today, and thanks for extending me grace. If you really think I have missed it, let’s talk about it – leave a comment and we can reason together.

Come back again soon.

Ben

Thy Will Be Done (Matt 6:10) Part 1

Can I know the will of God? This is a question I hear in one form or another all the time.

  • A teen trying to decide where to go to college
  • A 20 something trying to decide whether to get into a relationship, or how far to take one. “Is he the one?”
  • A woman choosing to leave a job to take another,
  • A man choosing to leave a job to pursue “full time” Christian work (as if there is any other kind of Christian work.)

There are 3 places in the Bible where we can see the will of God.

Lucas Cranach the Elder - Paradise (cropped)
  1. The first is the Garden of Eden, where things were just the way God intended. There was no sin, but more than that, God, Adam, and Eve were all in right relationship. When Jesus (ok – I am assuming Jesus since He is the one that most often takes human form, but perhaps it was the Father) and the lovely couple goes walking through the garden in the cool of the day. (This is the will of God on earth.)
  2. The glimpses we get of heaven must also be a demonstration of life in the will of God. We get some suggestions of how this will be, and I know there are men and women who have much greater revelation than me about what this will look like. I know one thing. Then I will know as I am known, then I will see Him and I will be like Him because I will see Him as He is. Then this part of me that struggles to keep me bound even after I have been set free, will no longer entangle me, and I will be in right relationship with the Father again. (This is the will of God in heaven.)
  3. Finally, and to my mind, the clearest and fullest look we get of a man living in the will of God is the Man, Christ Jesus. Jesus, the man who knew no sin, but came only to do the will of the Father, is the perfect expression of the will of God. There is much to say about Jesus and His perfect re-presenting of God’s will to us, but for today, all I want to point out is that Jesus was in perfect communion with the Father. His relationship with the Father could not be better. His first priority at all times was His connection with the Father. “I only do what I see the Father do,” “I only say what I hear the Father say.” “I have come to do Thy will.” (This is the will of God on earth as it is in heaven.)

My point today in this first pass at “Thy will be done” is that God’s will for your life is first and foremost about His relationship with you. [Tweet This] The details of what to do, who to date, where to work or go to school will all work out, if you have this ONE THING right. David said it this way in Psalm 27:4

One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to meditate in His temple.

This is the will of God for you!

Are you intentional about your relationship with the Lord, or just let it happen?

Today, make some time to walk with the Lord in the cool of the day.

Thanks for reading. In the next days we will look at some other aspects of the phrase “Thy will be done.” Come back again.

Ben

Your kingdom come (Matt 6:10)

Some think of a kingdom as a body of land governed as a monarchy. But I do not believe Jesus is calling us to pray that we return to Theocracy

Castle
Photo credit: Dave Stokes

like early Israel. I don’t even believe that He is requiring our legislature to enforce godly laws.

This phrase always reminds me of the story of Robin Hood. To me that story gives a really good sense of what the Lord is getting at when He instructs us to pray “Your kingdom come.”

Robin Hood: Men in Tights preview
Photo credit: Jameson42

Robin Hood was a man who had a king. That king was not currently on the throne, and Robin afforded no respect to the man who had usurped the throne. Robin’s allegiance was to King Richard alone, even when King Richard was nowhere to be seen, and there was not even any proof that he was still alive. Yet Robin stayed faithful to this absent king.

The point is not that God is absent, but that a king reigns over those who align themselves with him, those who pledge their allegiance to him. His kingdom reaches as far as His followers take it, and His reign spreads as His followers walk under His leadership.

So it is with God. He is rightful king of all the earth, and it won’t be long until every knee does bow, but in the mean time we are asked to pray, “Your kingdom come.” In me that might sound like “Lord, reign in me,” or “have your way” or even “You lead, I will follow.”

[Still praying] Moreover, Lord, I pray that those around me would pledge their allegiance to you as well. [Tweet This] Let your reign spread, your influence increase in my circle, in my workplace, church, town, county, state, country… Let your influence ever increase and use me to make it so.

Can you pray that with me today?

Thanks for stopping by today.

Ben

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