"Your Will Be Done on Earth As It is in Heaven..."
Text: Matthew 6 : 1 - 18
When God created man, He gave to him a special gift – the human will. Man was free to exercise that will. He could choose to do God’s will or he could choose to do his own will.
The Book of Genesis recorded a devastating truth. One day, Adam chose not to walk in God’s will. Instead he chose to listen to the voice of Satan. That fateful day affected adversely all mankind forever!
The Scriptures record time and again how man had chosen his will over and above God’s will, and on each occasion, dreadful consequences followed after.
As Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He included an important thought. He wanted His disciples to pray that God’s will may be recognized and obeyed on earth, even as surely as His will was obeyed in heaven.
THE SUBTLE TEMPTATION TO CHOOSE AGAINST GOD’S WILL
Why does man seem to choose the path of wrong more easily than the path of righteousness? Many reasons may be suggested. Let us consider just two of them.
1. The devious wiles of the devil
When the devil tempts man to sin, he uses great ingenuity. The temptation seldom appears as sin. It always appears appealing and even wholesome. The less than prudent will easily fall into the trap of the evil one.
2. The presence of the principle of sin in the human being
Ever since the fall of man, the sin principle exists in everyone of us. The presence of sin exercises its influence in very deadly ways! Often the sinner is not even aware that he is choosing the path of sin. Ponder this text from the Book of Proverbs.
“There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way of death.”
EXERCISING THE HUMAN WILL WISELY
How then may a person choose God’s will wisely and consistently? Let us consider the following two thoughts.
1. Understand the Awesomeness of the Consequences when making choices
Many choose without thinking about the consequences of their actions. Moses taught the children of Israel to think through carefully about how their choices in life would either lead to great blessings or dire consequences.
“See, I have set before you today life and
good, death and evil…
I have set before you life and death, blessing
and cursing, therefore choose life, that both
you and your descendants may live…”
Deuteronomy 30:15, 19
2. Understand the Awesome danger of the heart’s inclination to sin
Moses had given forty years of his life to shepherding the children of Israel. The experiences he had working closely with the nation caused him to say these parting words to the children of Israel. He minced no words when he spoke candidly to them.
“I know your rebellion and your stiff neck.
If today, while I am yet alive with you,
you have been rebellious against the Lord,
then how much more after my death?”
With these words, God agreed and He gave a prophecy to Moses to this effect.
“And the Lord said to Moses: ‘Behold, you
will rest with your fathers; and this people
will rise and play the harlot with the gods
of the foreigners of the land, where they go
to be among them, and they will forsake
Me and break My covenant which I have
made with them.”
PRAY FOR DELIGHT TO DO GOD’S WILL
God’s will is never onerous! His will is always perfect. The difficulty of full obedience to do God’s will is often due to the depth to which man has become depraved. Jesus’ teaching concerning prayer to do God’s will reminds us of a lovely text in the Book of Psalms.
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
Then I said, ‘Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.'”
These words were Messianically applied to Jesus by the writer of Hebrews (Cf. Hebrews 10:5-9). These are powerful and challenging words indeed! It is possible to delight in God’s will. This desire begins with having the Word of God (read “will of God”) in the heart. It is reinforced when we pray that God’s will may be done on earth.