Do you really mean it? You have probably prayed it hundreds of times: “Thy will be done, thy kingdom come.”
Have you ever considered what the will of God looks like? Sometimes we speak mindlessly; that’s dangerous. Words have meaning. Only humans have the privilege of expressing our minds, will and emotions (our soul) through words. Matthew 12:36 NLT gives us this chilling reminder: “And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.” So, let’s look again at the prayer many of us memorized in childhood and speak without thought.
Scripture has much to say about the will of God. Walking in His will seldom sets one on the “easy road.” Jesus is the only man who ever lived who always did the will of the Father. He stated repeatedly that He only did what the Father said—or showed Him to do. That should be the goal of every Christian: to do only what the Father wills. We know the will of God is good, and it is right to pray for it to come. It helps us to remember, though, what His will looks like.
Jesus is the prime example, of course. “Not my will but thine,” led Jesus to Golgotha. He endured suffering and shame in the will of the Father. Both Paul and John wrote repeatedly of following the will of God—beatings, ridicule and jail-time were in the will of the Father. Scripture abounds with persecution in the will of God–and today, news reports do as well.
What knowledge kept these men—and what will keep us in the will of God?
“And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” 1 John 2:17
Although persecution of Christians is a modern-day reality, the majority of those reading this have never faced harsh treatment for their faith. Praying, “Thy will be done,” seldom brings us to our knees in trembling fear. Perhaps it should. While we pray the words because we believe in the eternal goodness of God, we need to practice the discipline of humble reverence for what those words mean.
It is the will of God that none shall perish. That is a sweet theory that we seldom object to—but wait. Islamic terrorists, mass murderers and child abusers are part of the “none.” Do we act on bringing His kingdom to all?
It is the will of God that we give thanks in all things. Can we have a thankful heart in an emergency room? In pediatric oncology? On the battlefield?
Scripture is clear that God brings good from evil—and it even says He sends it sometimes. It is within His will. The knowledge that sustained the early Christians—and sustains our persecuted brothers and sisters—is ours to live out in “smaller” ways each and every day. Let us commit to living for His glory—for truly meaning it when we say: Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done!
What is most difficult for you to accept as His will?