Summary: Lesson 23
"...Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven..."
Our Father has a name we must hallow, He has a kingdom which must be established, and in addition, He has a will we must obey. Obeying the will of God is the natural result of His kingdom rule being established in our hearts. Or as Arthur Pink said, "When God’s Kingdom really comes to one’s soul, he must, of necessity, be brought into obedience to its laws and ordinances. It is worse than useless to call God our King if His commandments are disregarded by us."
I. UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT OF GOD’S WILL
The Scriptures present God’s will from two distinct viewpoints: God’s Will as it Relates to His Purpose and God’s Will as it Relates to our Performance. The two are distinguished in Deuteronomy 29:29, "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law."
A. God’s Will as it Relates to His Purpose
1. Psalm 115:3, 135:6
3. Isaiah 14:24, 46:10-11
4. Daniel 4:35
5. God’s will as it relates to His purpose is always done. It’s always done "in earth as it is in heaven." No one can thwart or hinder God’s will as it relates to His purpose.
B. God’s Will as it Relates to our Performance
1. The revealed will of God as found in the Scriptures is that which defines our duty and dictates the path in which we are to walk (Prayer, Bible Reading, Tithing, Witnessing, etc).
3. Unlike the decreed will of God, the revealed will of God is not always done "in earth as it is in heaven" (Luke 7:30).
4. The reason why God’s revealed will is not done "in earth as it is in heaven" is because God’s kingdom has not fully come in our hearts. There is still a part of us that wants to rule various aspects of our lives.
5. Unfortunately, because God’s will is not being done in the hearts of individual Christians, it’s not being done in our churches. And because it’s not being done in our churches the vast majority of the world remains unreached, untouched, and going to hell, lost for time and eternity.
6. What we need is spiritual wisdom to learn His will (Psalm 119:27, 33). We need spiritual inclination to lean toward His will (Psalm 119:32, 36). We need spiritual strength to last in doing His will (Psalm 119:28).
II. UNDERTAKING THE COMPLETION OF GOD’S WILL
Consider the importance of doing God’s will in light of what has previously been mentioned in this "Model Prayer." First of all, we are taught to pray "Our Father which art in heaven." The fact that
"Hallowed be Thy name." Hallowing God’s name involves bringing glory to Him in all that we do. How can we bring glory to the name of the Lord without being conformed to His will? Nothing dishonors the name of the Lord more than self-will and defiance on the part of His children.
We are instructed to pray "Thy kingdom come", meaning that we are to seek to be in subjection to the laws and ordinances of His kingdom through compliance to His will.
At the root of all our failures is a desire for our will to be done rather than His will being done. Though saved, each of us carry within us a nature that is at enmity with God. A nature that at any time can cause even the most mature child of God to exercise his or her own will over the will of the One they serve.
The only possibility of God’s will being done in our lives is if the Holy Spirit gets hold of our hearts, our minds, our lives, and breaks us from all our opposition so that all His omnipotent power may fulfill it in these human, earthen, vessels. Being pressured or manipulated in some way to conform to God’s will is not what is in view when Jesus said, "Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven." What is view here is "doing the will of God from the heart" (Ephesians 6:6), a heart that has totally been conquered and captured by God and is controlled by the Holy Spirit.
What is the standard by which one measures their success at doing the will of God? It is nothing less than the saints and angels in heaven. How is God’s will done in heaven?