July 23, 2014
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9 through 13 is as follows:
In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your
name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive
our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the
evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever.
Let’s move on in our study of The Lord’s Prayer to the next phrase:
• Verse 10 – “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” First, let’s answer the question, “How is God’s will done in heaven?” The answer is “Completely and absolutely – without question and without hesitation!” It says in Psalm 103:19 through 22:
The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules
over all. Bless the LORD, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do
His word, heeding the voice of His word. Bless the LORD, all you His
hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure. Bless the LORD, all
His works in all places of His dominion.
And in the next Psalm, verse 4 is quoted in Hebrews 1:14: “[He]…makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.” “His ministers…” implies complete obedience, as a dedicated servant to his master.
The only one in heaven who did not obey God – who rebelled against His rule – was “…Lucifer…[the] covering cherub…” (Isaiah 14:12; Ezekiel 28:16). And he was expelled from heaven (see Luke 10:18; Revelation 12:8 and 9) to become Satan, the devil. Even so, according to Job 1:12 and 2:6, he is still under the control of God and cannot go beyond the Lord’s command!
So what are we asking when we pray “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”? We are imploring God that His will be accomplished on earth, now, as readily as it is carried out in heaven – “Completely and absolutely – without question and without hesitation!” Are we willing to accept such Lordship in our lives?!! Remember also that “…the greatest commandment in the law…” is this, recorded in Matthew 22:37 and 38 (NIV): “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” Jesus then equated such love to obedience with His statement in John 14:15: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” So we are to obey, the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind – just as quickly and completely as those in heaven obey Him!
There is a story that comes out of the ministry of the great evangelist Dwight L. Moody. He was speaking in a large church, and dared to say to the congregation that they were all sinners before God! After the service a well-dressed lady came to him and chastised him, saying, “I take offence that you called me a sinner!”
Moody looked at her and said, “I am sorry. I meant to say you are the greatest of sinners!”
She involuntarily drew in her breath in response. But Moody continued. “Now do you know the first and greatest commandment? It is found in Matthew 22:37 and 38 (KJV): “‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’” Moody went on: “Have you accomplished this in your life – all the time?”
She lowered her head and replied, “No.”
“So,” Moody concluded, “you have broken the first and greatest commandment! Does that not make you the greatest of sinners?”
Is it any wonder that Paul called himself the chiefest of sinners in I Timothy 1:15? And we are right up there with him – especially if we glibly pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” and do not intend to make that request true in our own lives!