[This sermon is one of a series entitled “Sermon on the Mount, Concentrating on the Beatitudes,” which is being preached on Sunday mornings by Pastor Tim Senter.]
It is a glorious thing to see souls getting right with God. I pray that many of you have been doing that very thing as we study through the Lord’s Prayer. We should be especially mindful of the need for our individual spiritual cleansing and chastening as we consider the words used here in our Lord’s Prayer. He says, “Pray ye therefore in this manner” and then tells us to demand things of God.
Demanding that God do things for or give things to us takes us to a new level in our spiritual and prayer life. It makes us consider our true heart’s condition. When we opened the discussion of verse 10, we found that we first demanded that God’s kingdom come. Understanding that this is a demand we are making upon God, we realize praying in this fashion calls upon God to bring about His wrath upon the sin filled Earth. This prayer demands that God’s kingdom be established here, now, on Earth. In fact, we found that the believer was actually calling for God’s kingdom to already have been established. In this prayer, with this attitude, believers would be calling for the end times to not just be underway or in process, but completed. Christian, do you realize what people would think if you began praying that God’s kingdom would be established upon this Earth and that the end of this Earth would come about? Even believers would have a hard time with that kind of prayer because they know they are not ready for it. They know they are not prepared to meet their maker. They know they are not worthy of His kingdom. Even to the most penitent, it is a frightful thought.
We then considered “thy will be done” and found it equally as challenging. If we call for the perfect sinless kingdom of God, and then call equally for the perfect, sinless will of God, we call for the perfect judgment of God upon all sin. We never visited Deuteronomy chapter 7, however if we had spent any time there what we find is that God is dedicated to providing a pure place for His chosen people that is free from corruption and soul contaminating sin. God wanted Israel to completely annihilate the Canaanites. This was not because He hated the Canaanites but because they would contaminate the Israelites. They would corrupt the souls, hearts and minds of the Israelites. This would render the Israelites incapable of being in the presence of God. They were already bad enough; they really did not need any help. Eliminating sin and the influence and corruption of sin upon the believer is a consistent theme in scripture. From God’s judgment in the time of Noah, to the end time judgment on the whole Earth, God eradicates sin when it is too prevalent. When His longsuffering has been exhausted, God will judge evil. This is why Jesus tells us He left here to prepare a home for us in Heaven – so Christians, as the chosen children of God, can have a place free from sin to worship and be with God. This perfect will is what we pray for when we call out “thy will be done.”
In the next phrase, we find yet another disturbing truth. We pray for God’s kingdom, and His perfect will to be done in Heaven and on Earth equally. It does not surprise us to call for His will to be done in Heaven, and for most it is not alarming to hear talk of His will being done on Earth. Calling for God’s perfect kingdom to stay sinless in Heaven is not alarming. It does not affect anyone directly on Earth. Calling for His perfect will to be done on Earth is equally as concerting. People experience harmony with both of these thoughts because one deals strictly with Heaven in one aspect and the other with God’s perfect sovereignty on Earth. We are accustomed to either or both of these ideas. We know life happens here, and it is perfect in Heaven. What puts the natural man all in a twist is to think that these two things will meet here on Earth – God’s kingdom and His perfect will.
When God’s perfect will is implemented here on Earth, such that His kingdom can be established here, the Earth as we know it will be destroyed. There will be a new Heaven and a new Earth to fulfill His perfect will. This scares people because it calls for God to take severe action (i.e., exterminate the Canaanites in Deuteronomy 7, destroy the Earth in Genesis 7).
We know from history and from our own recent historical actions as a nation, that we are not willing to do all that needs to be done to eradicate evil. The truth is, man likes evil. He enjoys chaos. Man actually thrives on it in a number of ways. All this will come to an end though when God implements His perfect will and His kingdom on Earth.
This is why we need grace. We need God’s perfect sustaining grace to know His perfect will. We need God’s perfect sustaining grace to be able to enter into His kingdom sinless and spot free. This is where Christ has us go next – to the throne of grace seeking that sustenance for our lives.
Matthew chapter 6 and verse 11 has always been a verse that is quoted for requesting daily physical sustenance. It is used in a way that says we understand He is our provider. He is the one to give us our needed food. This verse has been correlated with the wilderness wanderings and God’s provision there for the Israelites. However, the truth is that we find great instruction in Job 23:12, where Job, in his defense against Eliphaz’s accusations (chapter 22) claims he has hungered and thirsted after the righteousness of God in His word. God’s word, Job says, has been more important than “my necessary food.” This spiritual provision is also the call in Proverbs 30:8 where we read, “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches: feed me with food convenient for me.” The call is for us to be absent from sin or the temptation of sin, but given the food good to the body and soul. This is food that feeds the whole Christian (body and soul) bent upon God, and at enmity with sin. Continue reading