Preached at Cornerstone Church in Cascade, IA on June 22, 2014
Today we will, once again, be examining the Lord ’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. As most of you know this has become the summer of prayer for us at Cornerstone Church. Today marks our forth week studying how Jesus teaches His disciples to pray. It is interesting; when you focus on one thing for an extended period of time you tend to see it everywhere.
For example, at our Wednesday Bible study group that meets during lunch in Anamosa we have just begun studying the book of Acts and last Wednesday we examined the first Church meeting after the ascension of Jesus. So before we get into our main text, I want us to listen to Acts 1:12-14.
With that said, lets quickly review what we have learned so far about prayer through Jesus teaching on how to pray.
In doing this, I feel that I should mention that it is never my goal to cover a lot of ground and race through the Bible as quickly as I can. It is my goal to mine the riches of God's Word, and sometimes that requires looking at only four words, which is what we are going to do today. I want these four words to sink deeply into your hearts. I want these four words to ring in your ears, not just for the next 30 minutes but the next 30 years. Therefore, let us read out text, pray that God’s will would be done in this moment, and then examine our text.
The first thing I want us to understand is that these four words are the most dangerous words in the entire Bible. These words have the ability, the capacity, to utterly wreck your life. In fact, I want to start this sermon with a word of warning, if you pray these four words from your heart, “Your will be done”, you should expect the months and years to come to a glorious tragedy in the eyes of of the world.
Why are these words the most dangerous words in the Bible? Because they fly in the face of our nature and our world. Last week we talked the first part of verse 10, “Your Kingdom come.” The reality is that until the Kingdom of God comes into our life through faith in Jesus our King, we are servants of another ruler.
When the Kingdom of God comes into our life, and we accept Jesus as our King, we stop following Satan, and start following Christ. As we said last week, as Psalm 2 says, we kiss the Son. We kneel before him by faith and give our allegiance and trust and our life to Jesus the Messiah.
However, let us be fair to ourselves and fair to the scriptures. When we pledge our allegiance to Jesus as our King, we become his eternal people, it is a guarantee. We are told that God will never leave us nor forsake us. However, on this side of the cross and before the return of Jesus we live in a Kingdom realm of what is called “Already, but not yet.” I have mentioned this phrase before at Cornerstone, but I want us to become familiar with it. “Already, but not yet” means that we live in two worlds, an overlap of worlds if you will. Yes, Jesus is King. Jesus has been ushered in, inaugurated, anointed as King, but his Kingdom has not been fully consummated, or brought fully about. We still live in what Paul calls “this present evil age.” Living in the realm of “already, but not yet” recognizes the overlap of these two ages. Jesus is King, yet Satan still rules the World.
This reality of “already but not yet” is true both in the world, which has both followers of Christ and followers of Satan, and in our own personal lives. Even though we are followers of Christ, and true faith is an enduring faith, we still struggle with sin. No matter how long you have walked with the Lord, you will always be a sinner as long as your alive, or until Jesus Christ returns.
As I mentioned, praying these four words, “your will be done” can wreck your life. For the will of God is not health and wealth. Let me give you a couple examples of God's will. First let us look at the disciple Peter.
The second example is Paul. In this text we see Jesus sending Ananias to Paul to lay his hands on him right after Paul was converted to Christianity.
Last example, the greatest example, Jesus. The Son of God. Prior to coming to Earth he was perfectly satisfied in the presence of His Father; basking in His glory and being glorified in return. Yet he obeyed His Father and came to earth, and the night before his arrest we see the Jesus himself implementing his own teaching on praying “your will be done.”
The list could go on and on. It is near impossible to find a Hollywood “happy ending” in the Bible. The saints were hated in this world. This is what is so abhorrent about the prosperity Gospel that is preached by people like Joel Osteen. It is just not in the Bible. The will of God is that His people would face trials and tribulations. This is why Jesus tells people that you have to count the cost before you follow him, because when you submit to the will of Christ you are guaranteed persecution.
Yes, praying this prayer is very dangerous, and this is why very few people actually pray it. Instead they pray for their own will to be approved by God. We lay out our wish list before him and say make it happen. Give me a new job, a new house, a new husband, a new family. We covet things in this world and we, like spoiled little brats, say “Daddy, If you love me you will get it for me.” Listen to what Jesus says in Luke 9:23-25.
Many of you may be saying, “But doesn't God want us to be happy?” Oh yes he does. God desires you to be happy far more than you realize, and this is the beauty of having God wreck your life. The prayer “your will be done” is actually a prayer for joy. Listen to what Peter says about suffering and joy in 1 Peter 4:12-12
So let us today chose whom we will serve. Let us pray that God would convict our hearts to be living sacrifices holy and acceptable to him. Let us pray that God cause us to pick up our cross and follow Him. Let us pray that we will commit our lives to do his will above all things, all for His Glory and all for our joy.