Several weeks ago I heard a message by Andy Stanley on how Jesus taught his disciples to pray. We know it as The Lord’s Prayer, which is found in Matthew 6:9-13. After listening to Andy break down the components of this prayer, I became very aware of the difference between the way I have prayed and the way Jesus taught his disciples to pray.
Many times I have mindlessly followed along with a congregation reciting the Lord’s Prayer and I’ve just run over the words, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” But this one sentence takes us to the very core of what our relationship with God should be. “Your will be done.”
For us to say to God, “Your will be done,” we have to be willing to first say, “Not my will, but yours.” This means that we must completely surrender our own desires, our own dreams, our own needs, and allow God’s will to be done. We must be willing to see the things of this world as merely temporary, and the needs of others as more important than our own. We have to be willing to acknowledge that when God calls something sin, it is sin, no matter how we attempt to rationalize it.
Matthew 6:33 tells us to “seek first the
righteousness.” The kingdom
is where God reigns as King. He is the
absolute authority over all who dwell in His kingdom. There is no place in His kingdom for those
who are unwilling to submit to His supreme authority. Yet we, including many who call ourselves
Christians, are not willing to completely surrender to His authority. We attempt to hang on to our selfish desires
and of the trappings of everyday life.
We try to claim that Jesus is this, or Jesus is not that, all the while
trying to make Jesus into whom we want Him to be for our sake. But no matter how much we try, Jesus is God
and he never changes. He has never
changed and He never will. The things He
said 2,000 years ago remain true today. kingdom of God
The beauty of surrendering our will to God’s will is that God’s will is perfect. We often don’t see it that way. We enjoy our selfish desires. We want to be free to decide on our own what’s right and what’s wrong. We want to pursue our dreams and be successful in the eyes of our peers. But the riches that we find in Jesus, in the will of God, will eclipse all of that beyond the scope of our imagination. In God we find rest. In God we find hope, love, joy and peace. But we can only find that when we’re willing to say, “Not my will. Your will be done, on earth, just as it is in heaven.”