By Ryan Shaw
Your Kingdom Come, Your will be Done
God is glorified and exalted through the growing manifestation of His Kingdom and His will being done on earth. The second petition of the “Lord’s Prayer” calls forth the big picture purposes in the heart of God.
Jesus is setting before disciples the call to be change agents by participating in bringing His Kingdom in the nations. We are to raise our sights from what immediately surrounds us and answer the call to pray in the very Kingdom of God on the earth.
Jesus’ injunction is not to primarily “work” to see the Kingdom come but to wholeheartedly “pray” that Kingdom in. It is not the “work” of the Kingdom but the acts of prayer toward this end that Jesus is bringing emphasis.
To rightly align with Jesus’ intent, we need to understand the Kingdom of God as both a present reality (in and through born-again disciples operating in God’s power and authority) and a coming hope.
The Kingdom of God is absolutely central to the purpose of God. Jesus taught more about the Kingdom of God in the gospels than any other single subject.
By praying “Your Kingdom come” we are crying out for God to not delay the building of His Kingdom on the earth in this age and to complete that work through His Second Coming on into the age to come.
In this age the Kingdom is a hidden Kingdom, known only by faith. Many will reject Jesus in this age so we are not looking for the “Christianization” of the world. Instead, we pray the powerful Kingdom in us would be openly manifest among as many people and places as possible in this age before Jesus’ return.
At Jesus return His full fledged Kingdom will emerge from its present hidden-ness, exposing all to its might and authority. His is a Kingdom which will have full victory. We invite the outworking of His perfect will in our midst and around the world, speeding His return and the full manifestation of His Kingdom before all.
The Kingdom of God and the Church are two different things. Many make them synonymous but the Bible teaches otherwise.
The Church is the family or the community of God made up of born again believers in relationship together with the Father. The Church is the primary vehicle God uses in establishing His Kingdom in a corporate way.
The Kingdom of God is anywhere God’s will is done and His power to transform lives and set people free is manifest. The Kingdom is present where the rule & reign of God is having more of its way in an individual life, a family, a business, ministry, church, town, city, etc.
When an individual or body of believers is allowing God’s rule over them, they are releasing the authority of the Kingdom in that place. Obedience to Jesus, growing love and adoration of Him, maturing in hearing His voice and responding with abounding love for those around us are just part of what that Kingdom looks like.
Those manifesting the Kingdom are hungering for God’s will and concerned about daily aligning themselves with it. The Kingdom of God is the only “community” and “way of life” able to truly transform human hearts and society itself.
Communism couldn’t do it, capitalism hasn’t done it, Islam binds people instead of setting them free, Buddhism is a nice philosophy without any relationship with the divine and the list goes on. It is only the manifest presence of the Kingdom of God that transforms lives and society as a whole.
A faithful prayer is “Your Kingdom come and start with me! Make me obedient to your Kingly rule in every sphere of life.”
A common error surrounding the Kingdom is a person with a heart for the Kingdom of God but without the commitment to inner purity and walking according to the standards of obedience Jesus calls disciples to.
This is growing in the mission movement. We work hard for the Kingdom and think we’re being faithful to Jesus’ injunction, “Your Kingdom come.”
We are more interested with the task then we are with the person of Jesus Christ as King and obeying His Kingdom standards. Instead Jesus is getting at the matter of each individual heart as they labor for the Kingdom.
God cannot release through us that which is not yet present in us. If we are not allowing the rule of God and will of God to be manifest within us we should not be expecting He will use us to transform nations and bring in the Kingdom of God.
One of the greatest needs today is encouraging workers of the Kingdom to evaluate ourselves and make sure we are living according to Jesus’ Kingdom ways. We cannot allow our work in the Kingdom to substitute our growing intimate relationship and obedience to God’s will, as it has for many.
Often a disciple’s will is at odds with Jesus’ own. Jesus knows this and graciously teaches us to pray often for a surrendering of our will that His will might supersede mine in my heart. That my desires and passions might cease to be about me but about His eternal will alone.
Such a prayer truly examines us. We confess where we have indeed fallen short in self-centered praying and realign ourselves to seek only His will being done in and around us and in all spheres of the world.
In praying “Your will be done” we are not resigning ourselves to whatever might come. We do not pray to a fatalistic God but a caring Father known by His children.
Praying “His will” requires seeking God to know His will. We listen to His voice and are moved by His heart.
We begin to discern His Spirit-revealed will in a circumstance and contend to see that thing taking place. To pray “Your will be done” we must first know His will and pray it into existence. Too many pray this in a rote way that resigns itself. This is not the will of God at all.