God’s Kingdom, God’s Will

I seemed to sleep well last night and woke up feeling refreshed. I actually made it pretty much on time to my Tuesday morning prayer time at Everyday Joes in Old Town. It is interesting how long it takes to get ready and going out the door. I was always one to push the limits and now I have a brand new set of limits.

It went to my fitness center workout just on time today. I wanted to be well rested to meet with my trainer and then I thought I would do some swimming after the workout. By the time the workout was over, I decided to come home and take a nap! What was interesting was how taxing the workout was, not using weights, but just focusing on muscle groups that are weak and under-developed.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” Matthew 6:9,10

These familiar phrases of the “Lord’s Prayer” are ones the are often viewed together without giving thought to the dynamic between the two. This morning a friend at our Tuesday prayer meeting stimulated my thought process in discussing the connection of these two petitions and how they impact our life.

If I were to attempt to put it in a phrase it would be, “God’ kingdom only comes, when God’s will is done.” The idea of “God’s Kingdom” can be a challenging one. As one theologian put it is the “already, not yet kingdom.” Christ came to establish his kingdom in the hearts of His people, but we realize that His kingdom rule over the earth will come to fulfillment at the “Second Coming.”

In order for Christ’s Kingdom to come, God’s will must be done. As we enter the advent season, that means we are aware of that in Christ coming to earth as that baby in Bethlehem’s manger; he had to experience life in this “world” and then be involved in three years of ministry before He was crucified and raised to life.

One day Jesus turned and asked His disciples, “whom do men say that I am, and who do you say that I am?” Peter spoke and declared, “You are the Christ the Son of the Living God.” But when Jesus began to tell His disciples about how He would be arrested and crucified, Peter rebuked Him. (Luke 16) Peter was able to recognize God’s kingdom coming through Christ, but could not accept what God’s will was to bring it all to pass.

In the same way, when we look at the world around us, there can arise questions about all that is happening and why. I want to say in my “child-like faith” response, “God’s will is taking place, so His Kingdom can come.” While that is a pat answer, it is not intended to dismiss the need to look at personal situations and world events in a prayerful and discerning manner. But it is important to understand that we won’t understand all we would like to understand as God’s kingdom comes in its fullness. Understand?

One aspect of that prayer that is important is the “as it is in heaven” part. I don’t think there are human forces that “muck up” God’s will in heaven. So perhaps it is good for us to add to the prayer, “and Lord don’t let me get in the way.”

We can place out trust and confidence in God working out His plan and purpose for our life and the world. Sometimes we don’t always understand everything His will allows, but we can trust Him and His love for us. After all, He is Emmanuel, “God with us.”