Summary: What does 'on earth as it is in heaven' really mean?
Date Written: April 22, 2014
Date Preached: April 23, 2014
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: A Study on the Lord’s Prayer
Sermon Title: On Earth as it is in Heaven…(Sermon 7)
Sermon Text: Matthew 6:9-13 [HCSB]
Essence of the Text: Jesus wanted His disciples to know how to pray…
Essence of the Sermon: Jesus wants believers today to know how to pray…
Objective of the Sermon: Prayer is vital for the believer, but prayer is not so much in the words as it is in the attitude behind those words. This model prayer lays forth a template that guides the believer in the direction of their prayer and the attitude of their heart.
A few wks ago I spoke with you about the Will of God and what it was and we learned that God’s will must permeate and penetrate ALL of who we are as beleivers… we learned how tremendously important it is for His will to be done in our lives!
But the question most of us will ask is HOW? How can the will of God be played out in my life? We ask HOW, about this statement within this model prayer, “…on earth as it is in heaven…” – this statement refers to the will of God being accomplished and the model prayer seeks for God’s will to be as accomplished here in this world as it is in Heaven itself!
Can you imagine angels that disobey God? YES, I can… and they were cast out! Those angels who remain in heaven obey God and follow His will without question, for this is what they were created to do…
However, humanity was created with something the Angels did not have, an opportunity for free will. Humanity rebelled as well, and because of that rebellion God cast us out of the perfect into a world that now contained sin and death.
However, God did not cast us out without the hope of redemption. In Christ Jesus we have the opportunity for redemption and restoration. But the question still remains, how can the will of God really be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven?
How can God’s wishes, desires and intentions be realized on an earth where sin dominates the landscape and where evil reigns? How can God’s will be accomplished when Satan holds a tyrannical rule over much of humanity and where humanity itself is mired in self love and the depravity of the heart?
Can the divine desires of the Father be realized in this world? Well I believe that for EVERY believer the desires of the Father CAN be accomplished but it has to begin with each individual believer! So the question now becomes, can the will of the Father be accomplished in MY life here in this world?
I believe Jesus understood human nature and that humanity is selfish… and I do not believe this was some pie in the sky dream of Jesus for His followers. But when He says, “…on earth as it is in heaven…” he believed it could be accomplished by those who seek to be obedient and to please God…
Now we need to understand that just because the world is filled with evil and Satan clutches our world with a tyrannical hold that the will of God will NEVER be realized! IT WILL BE REALIZED! In spite of Satan and the evil hearts of humanity, God’s will will be realized.
What Jesus was getting at was for the believer to submit and surrender (each one of us) to the will of the Father. We are NOT puppets guided by some cosmic puppet master, but God created us with a will to choose and here Jesus is laying out a template for us to choose to be as obedient to God’s will here in this world as the angels of heaven are in their world.
So again the question comes back to, “Am I willing to allow the accomplishment of God’s will within my own life?” So often we find ourselves in the cross hairs of 2 separate wills… The will of the Father and our own will and desire!
It is our calling as believers to surrender our own will and to submit to the will of the Father… this is what we call Christian maturity and growth… In fact 90% of spiritual maturity and what we deem as ‘holiness’ can be achieved through simply surrendering your own will and submitting to the will of the Father!
As we read of those who have come before us we find many were able to do just that… they were able to set aside their own personal desire and will and they were able to submit the will of the Father…and the most successful of those not only surrendered to the will of the Father but they began to cherish and willingly dwelt within the will of the Father…