I had an amazing opportunity to pray with a man at work. The man was telling me about His wife who was dealing with several medical issues. During the prayer, I prayed distinctly and specifically for the ailments in his wife’s body to be healed. When I had finished, the man looked both touched and a bit concerned. He proceeded to tell me how he was a Christian and he believed that God would answer our prayers. But he believe it would be in God’s way and in a His timing.
The man’s words, coupled with his tone and body language, came across to me as, “I don’t assume that I know the will of God. I am not going to pray as if it is God’s will to heal my wife, because it may not be God’s will for her to be healed.” This interaction motivated me to write this week about a somewhat controversial topic. That topic is quite simply, God’s will. Is God’s will a mystery, or is it something that He has plainly revealed to us?
Let’s start with the verse that so many Christians point to when talking about God’s will.
That verse is Matthew 6:10 KJV, and it is found within a section of scripture often entitled, “The Lord’s Prayer”. Matthew 6:10 says, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The man that I prayed with at work might be interpreting this verse in a way that I believe many people interpret it today, as if we are completely aloof to God’s will. For example, since he doesn’t profess to know God’s will for his wife, this man’s prayer may have sounded something more like, “Lord, if it is your will, please heal my wife.”
Is that really how Jesus was leading us to pray in Matthew 6? Some would probably argue that the answer is yes. Some would interpret, “Your will be done”, as if we should sit back and wait for God’s will to take form. It’s as if we don’t know His will, and by stating, “Your will be done,” we are simply acknowledging that we will accept whatever God’s will is whenever He chooses to reveal it. If I am being honest, up until recently, this is how I interpreted this scripture and how I operated in my walk with God. Recently, however, my thought process has been challenged. My paradigm has been shifted. Now, when I read Matthew 6, I read it a little differently.
You see, I now make the assumption that Jesus’ life was the perfect representation of the Father’s will.
In John 5:19 NKJV when Jesus says, “I only do what I see my Father doing,” He is telling us that His actions reveal the will of God. When Jesus is healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, and setting the captives free, He is indeed revealing to us the will of His Father. Jesus came and painted us a picture of what it looks like for “God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done on earth just as in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
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If the above assumption is true, and Jesus’ life really did reveal to us our Father’s will, then we will start to read Matthew 6:10 a little differently. It begins to sound more like, “Father, I know that it is not your will for all of this pain, brokenness, sin and destruction to exist all around us. I know that this is not the way that it is in heaven! I know that you want usher heaven into our earthly existence. Therefore, use us to make that happen! Use your people to bring heaven to earth!”
I am going to make an assertion. It is a potentially controversial assertion, but it demands major repentance and change if it is true. My assertion is that we already know the will of the Father. He has shown it to us plain as day in His Son Jesus Christ. Further more, Jesus has given us the authority to carry it out (Matthew 28: 18-19, Luke 10:19).
I believe that many people have been deceived into believing that we are always supposed to sit back and wait for the will of the Father to be revealed.
That may be true on a high level and a macro scale. For example, no one knows the day or the hour when Jesus will return. God Is still sovereign, and His ultimate plan will come to fruition no matter what. However, on an everyday, practical scale for how we are to live our lives, our Father’s will has been revealed. Jesus came to this earth, walked it out, showed his followers how to do it. He verbally instructed them to carry it out and gave them the authority to do so. He then sent the Holy Spirit, the very same spirit that lived in Jesus and empowered Him. Empowered Him to walk that way, to dwell within each one of us.
Sometimes sitting back and claiming that we don’t know His will is simply procrastination or fear. We either don’t feel prepared and equipped to carry it out, or we are simply afraid of the ridicule and persecution that may come if we do. The devil’s whole game plan is to lie and confuse us. The enemy is the one who over-complicates things. He is the one who’s voice says, “How dare you pray a prayer like that? Do you think you are Jesus or something? You don’t know God’s will.” Our God is not a God of confusion. He is the one who made His will simple and easy for us to understand by sending Jesus into the world. Sending Jesus so that we could see it lived out.
God confirms our identity as His sons and daughters. He has written it forever in His word that we have been given authority to carry out His will on this earth!
He has given us an official, signed letter of approval. Approval to bring the Kingdom of Heaven right into our earthly existence. I don’t know where you are parked on this topic today. You may completely agree with me, or you may passionately disagree with me. One thing I can confidently say is that what we believe about this topic matters. What we believe about this topic determines how we operate as followers of Jesus.
What we believe about this topic has a direct impact. An impact on whether or not HIS KINGDOM WILL COME into someone’s life around us. Someones life who needs healing. It could dictate whether or not HIS WILL WILL BE DONE in a friend’s life. A friend who is separated from God and has not received God’s free gift of salvation. Our belief about this topic will determine if we get to experience God’s miracles ON EARTH JUST AS IF WE ARE IN HEAVEN!