Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
It began in the Garden of Eden. You know the story. The devil tested Eve and Adam and they disobeyed. Genesis 3, and following, describes the entry of sin into the world and God’s punishment for sin here on earth and in eternity. God’s will was disobeyed and people were separated from God.
God was not going to let the people of his creation go, for he is a God of love who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). As we journey through the Old Testament stories, we learn of God’s plan for all nations to be saved. He chose faithful men like Noah, Abraham, and Moses to save and lead his chosen people. Nothing worked.
Sadly, none of these people could keep God’s commands perfectly. They were bound by religious and ceremonial laws. The God they knew was one of anger and punishment. There was always that cycle of forgetting God, descending into sin, deserving punishment, and beginning again and again. Yet God persevered with the faithful fragment, promising a Saviour, the one who would bruise the serpent’s head, but would have his heel bruised too.
Only God’s Son could fulfil his will perfectly. Jesus, son of man and son of God took our sins and the sins of the whole world to the cross. He prayed in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, not once but three times, My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done not mine. Matthew 26:39 (NLT).
What is the good and gracious will of God that Jesus paid the price for? It is that we keep his name holy and that his kingdom comes as he has promised.
We are called to follow Jesus, Matthew 16:24, If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross and follow me. We will need to be prepared for the daily fight against the “unholy trinity”, the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh. Paul advises us, in Ephesians 6:10-18, to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armour.
If I’m honest, there are many times the hymn, Take my life and let it be, ends right there as I make my decisions and bring them to God for his stamp of approval. As followers of Jesus, spending time in his Word and prayer remembering what God has done and is doing in our lives, thanking, and praising him for these gifts is part of understanding God’s will for our lives. Confession and absolution, participation in the Lord’s Supper keep me focussed on my daily walk with Jesus, certain that, as a redeemed child of God, heaven is my eternal home.
Temptation and suffering will come. St Paul encourages us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Jesus says, My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, your Word gives us so many promises of your continual presence with us as we journey to our heavenly home. Your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
LHS 377, v1 and v5, though you may like to use all verses
Take my life, and let it be –
Consecrated, Lord to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.