The Song of the Mountains Part 36.
In one of the most poignant verses in the Bible, we find Yeshua/Jesus living out the prayer He taught us to pray, as we read, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours be done” (Matt. 26:39). He prays these words shortly before His arrest, which leads, ultimately, to His trail, and crucifixion. At the moment when He was in the most need, He calls out to God the Father, and submits to His sovereign will.
In recent articles on Matthew 6:8-10, I have addressed our responsibility to sanctify the name of God, to the advancing of His Kingdom, and this week I focus on, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
Yeshua not only taught, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” but he prayed it in the Garden of Gethsemane as His hour was approaching (Matt. 26:39). His prayer, “Your will be done,” established the Kingdom here on earth. Yet, Yeshua had to accept the cup that the Father prepared for Him to drink; and the entirety of His message comes into focus as He submits to the will of the Father: “seek first the Kingdom … thy Kingdom come … take up your cross … lay down your life …” This cup is easy to take up, but difficult to drink.
What is the heart of heaven?
Praying for the will of the Father to be done. Yeshua opens for us the heart of what He has taught us to pray – “thy will be done.” The Kingdom on earth was established by the cross with the death of Yeshua, then daily it is moved forward by His disciples following His example.
The kingdoms of this world advance, destroy, in order to find victory. The Kingdom of Heaven advances by suffering, self-denial, and service. The victory of His Kingdom is a now but not yet. It is a living reality in the lives of His disciples, and a yet coming realization. As disciples we pray for His advancing Kingdom by committing ourselves to the way of the cross, the example of Messiah, and a life of priestly-service to a world that will largely reject us.
What we learn.
To pray the Lord’s “will be done” is to recognize that He: a) has a plan, a will; and b) that He desires us to be part of that plan, according to His design. As Yeshua is teaching us to pray through the Lord’s Prayer, we learn that the Father desires us to seek His Will, His purpose, before we move hastily.
Before we act.
Before we act, we must consider, and seek out God’s opinion. Yes, God has an opinion. The fact that we pray for God’s will to be done reveals that He has an opinion, a plan, and a direction of action intended. The Greek root of δοξολογία/doxology, words of praise to God, is from the Greek root meaning “opinion.”
Seeking His opinion.
Some might believe that it is a bit unusual to seek God’s opinion. Yet, there is deep wisdom here. Consider this, when we seek the opinion of those around us – on any matter – we honor them, as it shows that we respect their wisdom and experience. The wisdom of Proverbs tells us, “When there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Prov. 11:14). We honor those we seek counsel from, and we lean on the wisdom of experience.
The same is true for praying, “thy will be done.” As we go out to reveal to others the grace, mercy, and compassion of the Living God, we desire to do it according to His will. Additionally, as we live this life of faith surrounded by others, we pray that whatever we might endure will be in accordance to “thy will be done”; just as Yeshua prayed, and lived.
To pray “thy will be done” is to pray in faith. It is a recognition that we do not know the will of God in all cases, at all times, thus we “walk by faith and not by sight” (II Cor. 5:7).
So how can we, as human beings in reformation, know or conform to the Will of God?
- Read the Bible, a verse, a chapter, a book at a time.
- Pray as you work, drive, walk, workout – include the Lord in your day.
- Find a Daily Devotional that appeals to you like; or just endeavor to read a portion of Scripture.
- Listen to some type of faith building messages from teachers you trust, and who inspire you to go deeper into God’s Word.
- Listen to messianic music; either on the radio or some streaming service.
At times, I admit, it seems I can be a bit slow. It took me a long time to learn in ministry that when people asked me questions about scripture, or something regarding their lives, that they were seeking my opinion, and not only that, they valued my opinion. I was never one to believe that I had an opinion that was worth anything to anyone; but praise the Lord, He does not have this opinion of Himself, and He is eagerly waiting for us to seek Him in any way we can.
What if we continue day after day to pray that the Lord’s will be done? Praying for family. Praying for friends. Praying for situations that are completely out of our control. Praying that righteousness will prevail. Praying for the salvation of the nations. We pray; and we do so whether or not we see them answered. Why?
We are commanded to pray. We are commanded to pray whether or not a result is obvious to us.
I remember having a conversation with a brother in the Lord after he returned home from a missions trip to Haiti. During the trip the government was overthrown. I asked him if he was at all fearful in such a turbulent situation? His answer has comforted me in my own travels, and in my own life, “I know that it was God’s will for me to be there, and the safest place to be is in God’s will.”
Dear reader, with so much buffeting us today, let us pray and seek that, as much as depends on our own lives, we will desire for “thy will to be done…not mine,” following the example of Yeshua. As the grain of wheat placed in the earth, His obedience to the will of the Father has brought forth much fruit – of which, you are but one example.
Shalom. Be well.