Summary: 3rd message in an 8 week series on the Lord’s Prayer. This one deals with the phrase: "Your will be done..."
Can You Hear Me Now? Good! Week 3
“GET ON THE RIGHT PLAN”
There are all kinds of cell phone plans that you can buy. When we signed up for Verizon a couple years ago their representative explained a myriad of options. There were so many it was confusing. Finally, she asked: “How do you want to make use of your phone?”Once we explained how we wanted to use our phone, i.e., long distance with our family in Florida, the number of lines, national coverage, etc. it was pretty easy and we got on the right plan.
Well, this morning as we come to our third phrase in this model prayer given by Jesus it’s as if God, our ultimate provider is asking us: “How would you like to make use of your life?” “How do you want to live your life?” A life of aimlessness, insecurity, emptiness? Indecision? Or would you like to live a life of purpose, confidence and clarity? You see, our ultimate provider, Our Father, wants to get us on the right plan too. God does not want you to go through life aimless, depressed and insecure. God wants you to have direction, security and a positive purpose. God doesn’t just want you to know about His plan, He wants you to live it!
You know, sometimes people only see Christianity only emphasizing the hereafter. Now don’t misunderstand, I am glad for the promise of heaven. But please don’t miss this! Although God promises anyone who has saving relationship with His Son, Jesus, that they will live in heaven with him, he also, while we are waiting on the hereafter, wants us to have the best life here and now! Not necessarily a life of health and wealth but one of peace, spiritual prosperity and purpose. Scripture teaches that God has given us purpose for living, and wants us to know His will for our life. Psa. 143:10- "Teach me to do your will for you are my God."(NLT) Eph. 5:17- "Don’t be foolish, understand what the Lord’s will is." God wants us to know His will and as Christians we are to be earnestly seeking it. That’s why Jesus said, “When you pray, say this about God’s purpose or will for your life..” “May your kingdom come.. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven.”(NLT) God wants you to have the right plan for your life, His plan, His will, because it is His desire that we live with His positive purpose..
I. UNDERSTANDING THE PHRASE: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven..” As we have done in previous weeks let’s begin by understanding this phrase.. “Your will be done.” This phrase has a dual meaning: In it’s simplest form it means: God’s way, that is, will =His intentions, His desires. But it also carries with it the implication that God’s way is not “a” way but is the only way to live, and therefore, is the way. This was the way Jesus lived His life, it was His principle for life. He often used it in explain why he did what he did. For example, in John 4 when the disciples come back from shopping for food in a city, they offer Him something to eat but he refuses saying, “My nourishment is to do the will of Him who sent me..”(Jn 4:34 NLT) That’s where Jesus got His ultimate sustenance.. From doing God’s will. Maybe the most memorable time that Jesus used these words was in the Garden of Gethsamane. There facing a horrible death but even worse, knowing he would bear all sin - all past, present and future sin He said, in Matthew 26:42 - “My Father, if there is no other way, I’m ready.. Your will be done.”(MSG) It’s not surprising to hear Him make such statements because before He was even born His purpose was clear: To recognize God’s way as supreme. Hb.10:7,9- “Then He said, ‘See, I have come to do Your will, to lay down my life, O God.’”(LB)
So, in this short phrase “Your will be done..” Jesus is telling us that we are to tell the Father that we are making His way our way, to do things His way is to be our purpose! Interestingly there are different ways you can say that phrase or accept the fact that His way is supreme. You can say it with bitterness... much like the clay in our drama started out.. filled with rebellion and resentment because you don’t want to bend their will to God’s. You can also say “Your will be done” with joyless resignation. This is when it is said not so much out of bitterness but out of weary defeat. It is acceptance of God’s will, but it is completely joyless. But God wants us to accept His will with trust, love, joy and peace. Knowing that when we say, “Your will be done..” we have determined in our hearts that God’s will is best for our life. It is to say as Job, “Even though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”(Job 13:15 NKJV) When we say this phrase we’re not only saying God’s way is supreme but we have complete trust that He only wants what is best for us. With that attitude Jesus says, “Pray.. “Your will be done..”