“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10, KJV).
This was probably the easiest part of the Lord’s Prayer for me to memorize because it rhymes, but it’s the hardest part of the prayer for me to live.
Dave mentioned a couple of options for what “Thy kingdom come” could mean in his sermon on Sunday: a reference to the Second Coming and a reference to our true citizenship being elsewhere. The way I’ve always thought of it relates to the latter, but is much more specific (and weirder, so hang with me here) way.
As we established last week, we are children of God. As children of God who exist in a world outside of that kingdom, we are ambassadors for God’s kingdom in this world. If we believe that God has called us to certain things, this means we will change part of the world through those things, and as ambassadors of God, those changes will cause the world to look more like God’s kingdom. His kingdom comes here, to Earth.
Not that this is easy. I recall being in a volunteer meeting once and Pastor Alan talking to the greeters, saying something about how a lot of people’s first impressions of God would be based on us. That all but made me sweat just thinking about it because I am not always a shining example of God’s love and grace.
So, no, people won’t always see God in us because we’re human, and there will be times that people won’t believe that we have a place in God’s kingdom or that His kingdom will come through us. So it is up to us to pray that His kingdom comes anyway, that we would not hinder it. It is up to us to seek God so much that the moments we do are fewer and farther between as we grow closer to God.
It makes sense that Jesus would follow this with asking that God’s will be done if He’s wanting Earth to look more like heaven, like God’s kingdom.
My will gets in the way. It’s self-seeking and based on how I see the world, which is a very limited view. I don’t see as God sees, so my will often hurts others as well as myself. That is not the way of heaven. God’s will is perfect and complete, even in the moments when it doesn’t feel like it, and that is heaven’s atmosphere.
Heaven is a place where everything works in harmony to glorify God. It also rests our souls. All of that is a result of God’s will, but it’s also part of life in God’s kingdom. Praying for His kingdom to come and for His will to be done means that we set ourselves up to experience part of heaven in our lives here on Earth. It brings us peace and rest, and it brings God glory, and it changes our world for the better.
The point of this part of the Lord’s Prayer is to turn our hearts and minds to God and His kingdom. That we would long for its perfection and want to bring it here. That we would strive to share it with those who don’t know it. That we wouldn’t take our positions as ambassadors lightly. That we would recognize our own faulty nature and pray prayers that overcome that nature through faith in God. Because we could all benefit from Earth being more like heaven.
By Carrie Prevette