Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed [holy] be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
I once had a youth leader tell me that if a specific verse or theme keeps coming up, pay attention. The bible frequently repeats something for emphasis. “Truly, truly I say unto you” and “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say it; Rejoice!” are a few examples.
So the theme coming up recently for me is “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”. There’s a couple different ways to refer to God’s will. The first is God is in complete control of everything, his plan is always carried out. That is called his sovereign will. The second kind is for his will and instruction on how we live our lives. Think of the 10 commandments. That’s his preceptive will (like precepts). And his last kind of will is what delight’s God’s heart. When his children are kind, or justice happens, or mercy or when we run to his and love him. Since God’s sovereign will happens no matter what, I think this prayer of “Thy will be done” is talking about the second 2.
Let’s talk about kingdoms for a second. Everyone has a kingdom. It’s your sphere of influence is under your control and happens how your want it. I have this little makeup counter and when i organize it, everything is where and how I want it. Here on earth our kingdoms can interfere with other peoples and that’s where a lot of conflict happens. So in heaven, the angels obey and it’s a kingdom of light and love with no darkness or evil in it. We ask “Thy kingdom come, and thy will be done on earth and it is in heaven.”
Interestingly enough, Jesus preached that the kingdom of heaven is here. He brought it. His kingdom has come, but it is not fully here yet. someday it will, and there will be no more darkness or evil at all, but for now, followers on Jesus can live in his kingdom while here on earth. We become kingdom bringers when we enact kindness, justice, mercy and love, and above all else by bringing people to Jesus and welcoming them to be kingdom bringers too.
Now for the challenge. My heart has darkness in it. I can be selfish and spiteful and gossip and hate, so the first place we invite Jesus’ kingdom to come is into our own hearts and lives. The prayer becomes: “They kingdom come, they will be done on earth, and in my heart, as it is in heaven.”. May our hearts be a place where God’s will is carried out, and there are only things that delight God’s heart.