Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"The Will of God, Then and Now"

"The LORD hath prepared His throne in the heavens;
and His kingdom ruleth over all"
(Psalm 103:19).

"After this manner therefore, pray ye...
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven"
(Matthew 6:10).

We are awaiting the day when the will of God is accomplished on earth as it is in Heaven.

In the heavens, God's throne is fully established, and "His kingdom ruleth over all." On earth, however, the wicked and the righteous are allowed to disobey the will of God. Thus, the Lord Jesus Christ commanded His disciples to pray that the will of God will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven.

Such praying has both immediate and long term implications. In the ultimate sense, we are longing for that time when righteousness shall cover the earth, and sin will be no more. Born again believers look to the establishment of our Lord's reign as we pray "Thy kingdom come," recognizing that in the mystery and perfection of His way, God allows much at the present time that contradicts His character, nature, and will. This will not be the case in eternity, when every knee shall have bowed to the Son of God, and every tongue will have confessed that He is Lord (Philippians 2:11).

The immediate application concerns the will of God today, as effected in our own lives, and the lives of those to whom we minister. Are we earnestly praying and trusting God in this very hour that the Holy Spirit will enable us to obey God? And are we seeking His enabling to lead others to do the same? There is no greater issue in our lives, and in the absolute sense, there is no other issue. Faith and obedience are paramount because they are the chief expressions of fulfilling the first and great command - "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and all thy mind" (Matthew 22:37).

We can and should pray for that day when God's will is done on earth as it is in Heaven. However, we can effect His will right now through the power of the Holy Spirit concerning the piece of earth that is our humanity. We can acknowledge that our bodies belong to God for the fulfillment of His will (Romans 12:1-2). We can through the Spirit put to death the fleshly impulses that lead to unbelief and disobedience (Romans 8:13). We can keep our bodies under submission to the Holy Spirit, as the Apostle Paul declared of his own (I Corinthians 9:27). And we can rejoice that obedience to God is the delight of our redeemed hearts because the Spirit of the Lord Jesus now dwells within us (Romans 7:22). We can obey God by His enabling, and know that in every act of faithful obedience, we are foreshadowing a glory to come in which we shall perfectly "shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of our Father" (Matthew 13:43).

"Unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever:
a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy kingdom.
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
therefore God, even Thy God,
hath anointed Thee
with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
(Hebrews 1:8-9)

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God,
and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him;
for we shall see Him as he is."
(I John 3:2)

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