PART 16 – GOD HAS A WILL (16/3/20)
Here's Sunday's message if you were unable to gather with the church.
‘Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’
Often religion or ‘spirituality’ is treated as something to help me to live ‘my best life now’. We take on morning routines of ‘prayer’, ‘fasting’, ‘meditation’ attending worship services, gratitude… for the benefits they give us in pursuing our goals and our health - it’s about “my will be done!”
This prayer makes it clear that God has a will and He wants us to know it, and be able to carry out the aspects that involve us. It teaches us that our lives, and the church, is about knowing and doing the Father’s will. This is a prayer of radical worship.
Your will be done in the earth
God has a will for all of creation. Paul writes about this great hope,
'He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.’ (Ephesians 1:9)
This prayer “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is a prayer for the Second Coming of Jesus to restore His Kingdom. Only in heaven is God perfectly obeyed. Only in heaven are there no opposing demonic powers. Only in heaven do men and women love, worship and obey perfectly. Only heaven is free from the corruption of sin that is in this fallen universe. And, only when Jesus comes will we have heavenly perfection in this fallen world. Only then will this prayer “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” be fully answered.
Your will be done in me
God also has a will for you and me. This is also a prayer for God’s will to be done in our lives and the lives of others. God, in speaking to Jeremiah reveals his will for him,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
Likewise, God has a will for our lives. We may discount ourselves. We may think that God can’t notice or value us. Jeremiah discounted himself, but God corrected and comforted him. We read,
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. (Jeremiah 1:6-9)
“Father, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Lead me. Speak to me. Make clear your will for my life. Help me to play my part in your great work to bless all nations. Amen.”
During this series, let's aim to memorise and meditate on The Lord's Prayer.
TIPS ON MEMORISING SCRIPTURE
We will only do this, and persevere in doing this, if we believe that it's truly important to hide God's word in our heart. So get faith!
Don't disqualify yourself if it's hard - it is hard!
Write the text somewhere that's easy to find and use - a note on your phone, a post-it on the fridge...
Include the reference (book/chapter/verse) throughout the process
Read it slowly and carefully x 10 (Don't rush or dismiss this accurate repetition)
Recall it, without looking as much as possible x10
Do this a few times through the day - a habit is best formed by doing this at the same times, and places each day.
Revise regularly (and revise previously memorised verses)
Make it a habit to learn new verses - skill comes over time
USE IT! Actively use it to pray, worship, counsel, prophecy, and counter temptation and lies by quoting truth - it’s the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
TIPS ON BIBLICAL MEDITATION - THE 'COME TO JESUS DAILY METHOD'.
Biblical meditation is to prayerfully read, repeatedly, a section of the bible and pray, worship and respond as God leads. Here are a few tips and questions, what I call the 'come to Jesus daily method', to help you when meditating:
PRAY - Ask for the Spirit to help you and to speak to you. Keep the goal in mind - having a relationship with God!
WRITING- Writing/journaling is often a great help as you answer the questions below. Remember, don't allow worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar, perfection... to stop you from writing - it's between you and God. In meditation, I encourage you to write in the first-person, speaking to God - "I see that you are...I sense you speaking to me about...I pray for...."
GOSPEL- What does God, through this text, say to you about salvation through Jesus?
UP- What does God, through this text, say you about Himself – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
IN- What does God, through this text, say about you, His church and how we are to relate?
OUT- What does God, through this text, say about non-believers and our mission?
RESPONSE – Is there anything else that you want to pray, worship God about, do, ask forgiveness about, ask God to help you to change…?
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – COMING SOON
Introduction - please read in your group
Pray - In groups of 3-4
In groups of 3-4 (Try to get into the same groups each week if possible)
Is there anything that you want prayer for out of this week’s study?
Is there anything that you want prayer for more generally?
How connected to God do you feel at the moment and how could you go deeper this week? (let's follow up on this when we next meet together).