“[O]n earth[i] as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10)
This is the next post in a series articles on The Lord’s Prayer. After acknowledging God, Our Father who is in heaven, and praying that Gods’s kingdom come, and for God’s will to be done, Jesus instructed to pray the His will be done on earth as it is heaven.
One thing we should note as we review the prayer Jesus taught us to pray is that there is no “magic” in the words. They are not intended as rote ritual. They are a guide for directing our hearts and aligning ourselves with God the Father. They are meant to help us understand our relationship with God, the Father, and to learn to know Him through prayer.
“You kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!”
Jesus did not speak on His own initiative. Jesus aligned Himself with the Father. He said,
“[T]he Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” (John 12:49-50)
God’s commandment is eternal life!
God’s kingdom, God’s will, is a “place” of eternal life. It begins here and now (on earth as it is in heaven). This eternal life is found in God’s command, is lining up with God’s purpose and orientating ourselves in relationship with God. Jesus said,
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
“’The kingdom of the world [kósmos] [will] become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever!'” (Rev. 11:15)
When we pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, we are aligning ourselves with Christ and His kingdom. We are not willing heaven on earth; we are embracing God’s will in heaven and beginning to live it earth. We are asking God to order our own hearts and lives under the rule of Christ who will take His rightful place as the wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father and Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6) at the end of the age.
God created this physical world from nothing (out of chaos) and turned it over to His creatures, who rebelled, including Satan and his ilk; but God did so for His sovereign purpose. Men and women, the only beings created which were created in the image of God, are offered the choice of living for God their Creator or going our own way. The order God created became disordered that we might choose freely to love Him and accept His rightful place in our hearts and lives without compulsion.
Without any compulsion other than this: that He loved us so much that He become one of us and died for us – we embrace God the Father through Christ His Son, and pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!”
Lord, let Your will be done in me and through me! On earth, in my life and in my heart. Let Your kingdom come and order me and my life according to Your will. Take Your place, as the Lord of my life as I prayed when I first believed: be my Lord and Savior now and forever.
We can certainly pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven without knowing what that really means. Our trust and confidence in God doesn’t have to depend on our understanding. In fact, we often falter when we insist on understanding as a condition of trusting God. Even so, we can know something of what is meant in the prayer, “as it is heaven”, that will help us, which is the subject of the article on the Lord’s Prayer.
[i] 1093/Ge means, properly, the physical earth and, figuratively, the “arena” in which we live in space and time. This physical world in which we live is the preparation ground for our eternity. This physical world is the temporary, probationary place to live out moral preferences in our bodies. There is no such thing as a physical act that is without spiritual (eternal) significance. True spirituality involves living from the inside out: living out God’s commandments by faith in this physical realm. In this physical realm, we “fight the good fight of faith.” (1 Tim. 6:12)
[ii] 2889/Kosmos means, literally, “something ordered” – properly, an “ordered system” (like the universe, creation, the world). Kosmos occurs 187 times in the NT and usually refers to the world-system; i.e. unaided humanity operating under its own power and initiative (“in the flesh”), rejecting the lordship of Christ. In that sense, the world is in perpetual spiritual chaos (alienation from God), in disordered order. The order that God set in motion in the creation is disordered by the rejection of God’s design by men.
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