We are now on to the next request to God. We have recognized and kept in mind that the Lord is sovereign over us; it is by His will alone that we live, move, and have our being (Acts 17:28). We remember that He is our Father, our Creator, our judgment giver, and the one from whom the purest love comes. In the previous post, we were reminded that we want God’s kingdom to come. We want Him to reign in our hearts, in our lives, and someday for us to praise Him in His presence in a new creation. With this in mind, we ask that our Lord’s “will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10).
To begin, who dwells in heaven? It is Christ who dwells there with and in the Trinity. Heaven is pure, for in God’s presence there can only be good, not evil. His perfect and holy will is done there. As we are vessels of His Spirit, and our bodies are temples made holy by Christ, we must also act according to God’s will on earth as His will is done in heaven (1 Cor. 3:17, 1 Thes. 3:13, Heb. 10:10). And who is a better example to follow than Christ Himself?
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any king of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. … For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.
~ Ephesians. 5:1-10 ~
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you and example that you should follow in his steps.
~ 1 Peter 2:21 ~
And we should remember that not only are we following Christ because He is an example, but we also follow Him in response to our being made new in Christ.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 ~
As we walk this path of Christ, we must not abuse what freedom we have. Nothing is hidden in Christ, and nothing we do will be kept from judgment, neither good nor evil; all will be given account of (2 Cor. 5:10). We are to live as imitators of Christ not only in our religion but also in our daily lives. We are to live without reproach so that others may see Christ in us and may also enter the salvation freely given to us (Titus 2:1-15).
We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.
~ Hebrews 2:1-3 ~
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the hearer. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to who we must give account.
~ Hebrews 4:12-13 ~
And we will have many trials and temptations to face along the way. While things physical that cause us suffering might be taken to account, we must also keep in mind trials that are not of the physical respect. Indeed, the devil will try to keep us from the Lord and following His will. He has been such an accuser and tempter since the beginning (Gen. 3:1-19).
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.
~ James 4:7-8a ~
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
~ 1 Peter. 5:8-11 ~
But even in this, we know that we can come to the Lord in prayer and meet Him in His Word, finding comfort, solace, and peace in the knowledge that He has rescued us and will always be with us.
In addition to the devil, we also must remember that our sinful nature is at war with our spiritual nature. We are by nature sinful. It is for this very reason that we need Christ, for we cannot save ourselves. In the same way, we cannot serve Him without his aid.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not what to do – this I keep on doing. Now I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law, but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!
~ Romans. 7:15-25a ~
Because of this, we must subject our bodies, our sinful natures, to Christ as they are subject to Christ (1 Cor. 9:24-27). We must be diligent in our study of Scripture, in prayer, and in the way we live our lives (Eph. 6:10-18). We must ask for the Lord’s help and grace. Many things will have the appearance of goodness but are not actually good, as we are reminded, “’Everything is permissible for me’ – but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’ – but I will not be mastered by anything.” (1 Cor. 6:12) In addition, we must ask for strength to keep from falling into the temptation of abusing the freedom found in Christ (Gal. 5:13-15, 19-21, 24-26).
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
~ Galatians. 5:16-18 ~
For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under the law but under grace.
~ Romans. 6:14 ~
And indeed, we need God’s grace. We know that it is by faith we are saved, though grace, and that we cannot boast even for the “good” that we do in following the will of God (Eph. 2:1-10). We need to ask for forgiveness when we fall, which will be daily. We need to ask for the Lord’s strength as we strive to follow Him in His ways and do what He has commanded us.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
~ Hebrews 4:14-16 ~
Finally, after we ask for God to help us to do His will on earth and that His will be done on earth, we are to do His will on earth. We will in some ways know that we are fulfilling His will by the fruit that we produce (Mat. 13:1-23). We also will be doing the Lord’s will if He can be read on our hearts by others, if His love is shown to all people (1 Cor. 13, 2 Cor. 2:17-3:3).
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is now law.
~ Galatians 5:22-23~
A new command I give you. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
~ John. 1334-35 ~
For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness.” Made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
~ 2 Corinthians 4:6 ~
This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
~ 1 Timothy 2:3-4 ~
Thus, we are to ask the Lord for His will to be done on earth. We are to ask for the Lord’s help in fulfilling His will in all that we say and do. We remember that the devil is working against Christ and His servants. In addition, our sinful nature will also war with our spiritual nature. We need and must ask for Christ’s aid. We ask for God’s help and grace to do His will on earth as His will is done in heaven so that we too may share in His kingdom and be His lights in this world so that others may come to a knowledge of Christ.