“Thy Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven”

"Thy Will be Done In Earth As It Is In Heaven."

"OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN"


CHAPTER 6 – OUTLINE

SUBJECT: Pray this Way – "Thy Will be Done In Earth As It Is In Heaven."

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6:9-13

TEXT: "Let your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth." (Matthew 6:10)

INTRODUCTION:

When God's will become man's will, God's purpose for the world is fulfilled.

PROPOSITION:

This prayer involves inner submission and also outer commitment.

I. To Pray 'Thy Will Be Done' involves inner submission.

A. Submission assumes belief in God's wisdom.

1. God uses 'sunny' experiences to mold character.

2. God sometimes uses 'cloudy' experiences to mold character.

B. Submission assumes Belief in God's Love.

II. To Pray 'Thy Will Be Done' involves outward commitment.

A. Motives Behind Commitment.

1. This is a prayer that God will enable us to do His will on earth with the same motives as those in heaven who do His will.

2. This is a prayer that God will strengthen our will to do His perfect will.

3. This then is a prayer that holy motives may issue forth in practical obedience and active involvement.

B. Results of Commitment.

CONCLUSION:

"The maximum achievement of any man's life after it is all over is to have done the will of God. No man or woman can have done any more with a life." (Professor Drummond)

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CHAPTER 6

SUBJECT: Pray this Way – "Thy Will be Done In Earth As It Is In Heaven."

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6:9-13

TEXT: "Let your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth." (Matthew 6:10)

INTRODUCTION:

The life which is patterned after God's will is the most satisfying life. To face the future with one's hand clasped in God's Hand is challenging and reassuring. Each circumstance – be it 'sunny' or 'stormy' – is used of God to bring good to the trusting soul. Before one can believe that his circumstances are ladders to higher plains of living, he must first be convinced of God's wisdom and of God's love. Convinced of God's wisdom and love, submission to God's will is much easier. Inner submission to God's will issues forth in a life of active involvement and commitment. It is God's will that His Kingdom be established in the hearts of men. When God's will becomes man's will, God's purpose for the world is fulfilled.

PROPOSITION:

Let us carefully note what this prayer involves. (1) This prayer involves inner submission, and (2) this prayer involves outer commitment.

I. To Pray 'Thy Will Be Done' involves inner submission.

One cannot honestly pray 'Thy Will Be Done' without submission of his will to God's will. Submission to God's will assumes that one has confidence in God's wisdom and confidence in God's Love.

A. Submission assumes belief in God's wisdom.

Says Barclay, "Sometimes when we want something built or constructed, or altered or repaired, we take it to the craftsman and consult him about it. He makes some suggestion, and we often end up by saying, 'Well, do what you think best. You are the expert.' God is the expert in life, and His guidance can never lead anyone astray." (Barclay)

Michelangelo was a great sculptor. One time he said that as he viewed a large shapeless block of stone, he envisioned an angel coming out of that rock. Before Michelangelo began shaping a rock, he had a vision in his mind of what that rock was to become. Through his skillful and patient molding, that vision became a reality. God, who is all-wise and all-knowing, has a vision for every man's life. God has a plan and purpose for each person. When we pray 'Thy

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Will Be Done', we are submitting ourselves before the Hand of the Divine Sculptor to let Him shape and mold our lives according to His divine plan.

1. God uses 'sunny' experiences to mold character.

No flower could grow without sufficient sun. Neither can a life be properly molded without sunny experiences. As one man say, "The good things in life far outweigh the bad. There are more sunrises than cyclones." (God's Psychiatry, p. 104) God often uses the normal and appealing things of life to mold character. The beauty of a flower, the majesty of a mountain, variety of changing seasons are all normal experiences which God uses to mold our esthetic capacities. The warmth of friendship and the joy of kindred are circumstances that mold deep emotional and soul capacities. The challenge of involvement and the offering of talents are situations that mold spiritual capacities. The great majority of circumstances are favorable and appealing to us. In God's great wisdom He uses these circumstances to better our life.

The God of wisdom knows that we sometimes need sunny experiences in order for the bud of our abilities to blossom. There is no fragrance without the flower, and there can be no flower without sufficient sunshine. Sometimes the potential of our lives will never be realize without the sunshine of honor which makes potential talents realized talents. This is not to say that there is no need for clouds, rain, and storms in our lives, but oftentimes there is more need for sunshine than there is for the storm.

God uses the gentle instrument of honor to shape and mold character. Barclay notes an interesting example of how a man's life was molded through the gentle instrument of honor. "Ambrose was one of the great figures of the early Church. He was a great scholar; he was the Roman governor of the province of Liguria and Aemilia, and he governed with such loving care that the people regarded him as a father. The bishop of the district died, and the question of his successor arose. In the midst of the discussion suddenly a little child's voice arose: "Ambrose – bishop! Ambrose-bishop!' The whole crowd took up the cry. To Ambrose it was unthinkable. He fled by night to avoid the high office the Church was offering to him; and it was only the direct intervention and command of the Emperor which made him agree to become bishop of Milan." (Barclay's Philippians; p. 39) This man was inaugurated into office on the wings of honor, and is remembered in church History as a great man.

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One man whose potential blossomed in the sunshine of God's high call is Myron F. Boyd. As a youth, he had an impediment in his speech. He was called to preach, but Myron Boyd at first felt that that was the last thing he could do. Some men reinforced Myron Boyd's own conviction, and told him that he would never be able to preach. However, God knew better, for the God who made Myron Boyd knew him better than he knew himself. In God's great wisdom, God called Boyd to preach. He preached on the "Light and Life Hour" Radio program for 20 years to countless multitudes who heard him. Later, he became a Bishop of his denomination!

2. God sometimes uses 'cloudy' experiences to mold character.

If one truly believes in God's wisdom, he will submit not only to the 'sunny' experiences, but he will also submit to the 'cloudy' experiences.

Sometimes God has to use rough mallets as well as delicate and gentle instruments. The Arabs have a proverb: "All sunshine makes a desert." Circumstances which lead to prosperity can be dangerous to some men. As Barclay says, "The danger of prosperity is that it encourages a false independence. It makes us think that we are well able to handle life alone. For everyone prayer that rises to God in days of prosperity ten thousand rise to Him in days of adversity. As Lincoln had it, 'I have often been driven to my knees in prayer because I had nowhere else to go.'" (Barclay's Corinthians; p. 192)

God uses the cloudy and stormy experiences to bring ultimate good to the submissive and humble man. Joseph was mistreated by his brothers, but the day came when they bowed before him. Joseph expressed his faith in an all-wise God when he said to his brothers, "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." (Genesis 50:20)

After great loss, Job as able to make a declaration of faith: "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 42:12 a)

It is recorded that when Bunyan was due for trial he said: "With God's comfort in my poor soul I went down to the justices, I begged God that if I might do more good by being at liberty than in prison, then that I might be set at liberty. But if not, His will be done." (Barclay's Hebrews; p. 146) Bunyan's words of submission

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were possible only because he believed in God's wisdom. Ultimate good came from that submission, for his posterity is blessed with 'Pilgrim's Progress', that he wrote will spending many years in prison, because of his faith in Christ.

To believe in God's wisdom is to submit to God's will even when we don't understand.

"Lord, that I may learn of Thee, 
Give me true simplicity; wean my soul and keep it low, 
Willing Thee alone to know. 
Let me cast my reeds aside, 
All that feeds my knowing pride, 
Not to man, but God submit, 
Lay my reasoning at Thy feet."

(Prayer and Life's Highest; p. 121)

Prayed Augustine, "Grant that we may never seek to bend the straight to the crooked- that is Thy will to ours – but that we may bend the crooked to the straight – that is, our will to Thine." (To Tell the World; p. 114) That is the prayer of submission – submission to an all-wise God.

B. Submission assumes Belief in God's Love.

Associated very closely to a belief in God's wisdom, is a belief in God's love. As Barclay says, "We (Christians) do not believe in a mocking and a capricious God, or in a blind and iron determinism." (Barclay's Matthew; p. 214) In the face of an unknown and uncertain future, the Christian is able to submit his will to God's will simply because he knows he is serving an all-wise and all-loving God.

Confidence in God as a God of love is absolutely essential if one is to find out God's will for his life. Why is this? Simply because knowledge of God's will is only learned after one has submitted himself to God. Submission is always a prerequisite to spiritual knowledge. It is only after one can honestly say to God "I gladly accept thy will, regardless of what that will may be," that he can actually come to know God's will. To adopt this submissive attitude, clearly demands a deep conviction in God's love.

The Christian must declare the same triumphant faith that Browning declared:

"God, Thou art love! I build my faith on that... 
I know Thee who has kept my path and made

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Light for me in the darkness, tempering sorrow 
So that it reached me like a solemn joy. 
It were too strange that I should doubt Thy love."

(Barclay's Matthew; p. 215)

Although the future is unknown, the Christian has confidence in God's loving care. Wrote Whittier:

"I know not where His islands lift 
Their fronded palms in air. 
I only know I cannot drift 
Beyond His love and care."

(Ibid; p. 215)

One can commit his very destiny to God because of his conviction that God's love is eternal. God's love will outlast time. That is certainly reason to submit ones will to God's will. "He that doeth the will of God abideth forever." (1 John 2:17 b)

"All things that are on earth shall wholly pass away 
Except the love of God, which shall live and last for aye.

And the great globe itself, so the Holy Writings tell, 
With the rolling firmament, where the starry armies dwell, 
Shall melt with fervent heat, - they shall all pass away, 
Except the love of God, which shall live and last for aye."

Prayer and Life's Highest; p. 125)

II. To Pray 'Thy Will Be Done' involves outward commitment.

We have seen internal submission is important. Submission assumes a belief in God's wisdom and a belief in God's love. We must next note that submission issues forth in active and outward commitment. Let us first note the motives behind commitment and also note the results of commitment.

A. Motives Behind Commitment.

What are we really praying when we pray 'Thy Will Be Done in Earth as it is in Heaven'?

1. This is a prayer that God will enable us to do His will on earth with the same motives as those in heaven who do His will.

What characterizes those who perform God's will in heaven? It is perfect obedience and love for God. When we constantly seek perfection in our

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motives and constantly strive to express love to God, we are helping to bring God's Kingdom to earth. To pray 'Thy Will be done in earth as it is in heaven', is to pray that God will enable us to possess the same spirit of love and obedience as the inhabitants in heaven possess.

God's will is not done in heaven out of a spirit of bitter resignation but out of a heart of active love. This is a prayer that we will perform God's will out of the same motive – love and obedience. To feel compelled to do God's will in a tone of defeated resignation or in a tone of bitter resentment is to do God's will out of the wrong motive. There must be a willing and glad submission to God's will. The attitude of the Christian is: "I delight to do thy will, O God."

2. This is a prayer that God will strengthen our will to do His perfect will.

It is one thing to know and to desire to do God's will, and it is another thing to have the strength actually to do that will. As John Drinkwater wrote:

"We know the paths wherein our feet should press, 
Across our hearts are written Thy decrees, 
Yet now, O Lord, be merciful to bless 
With more than these.

Grant us the will to fashion as we feel, 
Grant us the strength to labor as we know, 
Grant us the purpose, ribbed and edged with steel, 
To strike the blow.

Knowledge we ask not - Knowledge Thou hast lent, 
But, Lord, the will - there lies our bitter need, 
Give us to build above the deep intent 
The deed, the deed."

(Prayer and Life's Highest; p. 72)

3. This then is a prayer that holy motives may issue forth in practical obedience and active involvement.

To pray 'Thy will be done' involves a willingness to give up one's most valuable possession, in order to advance Christ's cause. "Two men stood on a dock in New York City. They were watching an ocean liner as it left for far-away shores. One of the men said to the other: 'That ocean liner is carrying a gift from me to the mission fields. It

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has on it thousands of dollars worth of supplies for a mission hospital'. The other man replied: 'That ocean liner also carries a gift from me to the mission fields. It has on it my only daughter. She is going as a missionary. I have given her to the Lord's service.' Tears came to the eyes of the first man. He said: 'My friend, you have given far more to the Lord than I have, I have given money . You have given your only daughter.'" (Quoted in This Is the Will of God; pgs. 57, 58)

B. Results of Commitment.

What is the result of actual and active commitment to God's will? To do God's will with the same motives that the inhabitants do God's will, will result in seeing God's Kingdom further established on earth.

Notes Barclay: "Paul was haunted by the regions beyond. He never saw a ship riding at anchor or moored to the quay but he wished to board her and carry the good news to the regions beyond. He never saw a range of hills blue in the distance but he wished to cross it and to carry the story of Christ to the regions beyond." (Barclay's Corinthian; p. 273) Because Paul had a passion to do God's will, he was most influential in establishing many churches and thus seeing God's Kingdom advanced on earth.

Through one of the most influential sermons that was ever preached, William Carey was instrumental in seeing the Baptist Missionary Society formed. In that sermon he made his famous statement: "Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God." (God's Psychiatry; p. 107) William Carey's submission to God issued forth in earnest and practical commitment.

The story of Adoniram Judson is an outstanding illustration of this point. Dr. Boyd tells the story: "When the East India Company would not allow the American missionary, Adoniram Judson, to remain in India, God directed him to Burma. Conditions there were repulsive. Notwithstanding all the difficulties and hardships through which Judson passed, he was used of God in establishing one of the greatest and most successful missions in the world at that time. For nearly one hundred fifty years Judson's heroic sufferings have kindled missionary fires, and quickened missionary zeal in the hearts of multitudes of Christians in every land. God overruled the selfish materialism and hatred of the East India Company and, by fulfilling His own will, brought untold blessings to millions." (To Tell the World; pgs. 111, 112)

Livingstone was a great 19th century missionary whose missionary vision for Africa resulted in a great spiritual quest. Livingstone's sole passion was to keep constantly submissive to God's will. On the last day of his life he wrote in his

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diary, "My Jesus, my King, my Life, my All, I again dedicate my whole self to Thee." (God's Psychiatry; p. 101)

What wonderful examples to follow! To pray that God's will may be done in earth as it is in heaven is to pray that personal involvement may result in soul- salvation and Kingdom Building. The result of doing God's will is the establishment of God's Kingdom in the hearts of men.

CONCLUSION:

To pray 'Thy Will Be Done' involves inner Submission and it also involves outer Commitment. Professor Drummond says. "The maximum achievement of any man's life after it is all over is to have done the will of God. No man or woman can have done any more with a life." (To Tell the World; p. 116)

"God's will is peace, and plenty, and the power 
To be and have the best that He can give, 
A mind to serve Him and a heart to love Him, 
The faith to die with the strength to live."

(Ibid; p. 116)

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