ARE YOU PLAYING THE HYPOCRITE PART SIX
There are two very important biblical truths that are plainly revealed in Scripture Two biblical truths in reference to the word “will" . The sovereign will and efficacious will of God; two doctrinal truths that God decrees from eternity past.
What do these terms mean?
The “sovereign will of God” is revealed when God created the heaven and the earth, He didn’t ask permission. When He spoke “let there be light” there wasn’t a debate to whether He could do that or not. The light just simply came on. This is a manifestation of the sovereign will of God. What God wills must come to pass. And nothing will stop that. According to the prophet Isaiah this was the warning given to nation as they fell to idolatry. "Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,' Isaiah 46:9-10. Not even a rebellious people who sought after helpless idols could pull the wool over a sovereign God. Remind yourself of the “ancient of days” the past, he says; as He sovereignly willed and made all things come to be. Despite your rebellious hearts, God continues to preserve His people in the valley. The sovereign God will succeed in His glorious purposes for His stubborn people.
God’s sovereign will is over what appears to be the most random acts in the world. “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.” Prov 16:33 You put this verse in modern language we would say, “The dice are rolled on the table and every play is decided by God.” There are no events so small that God does not rule for His purposes. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matt 10:30-31. John Piper said “Every role of the dice in Las Vegas, every tiny bird that falls dead in the thousand forests…all of this is God’s command.” What God decrees will come to pass. “The LORD has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” Prov 16:4 The Lord has done everything for its own end; and this includes the appointment of an “evil day” for “the wicked” that deserve it. Even the wicked will bring glory to God in the day of their judgement and eternal punishment.
Though! What is true over creation and nature is also true in the redemption of souls.
God sovereignly decreed His grace upon us and brought us to Himself. This is what we would call the “efficacious will” as distinguished to His revealed will. This is where God sovereignly bestows His grace over one’s life, which the Holy Spirit draws us to believe in Christ as irresistible through the gospel. In Matthew’s gospel we read “For many are called, but few are chosen." Matt 22:14 As one theologian said “Nation after nation has been called; but few, have yet showed that they were real Christians, the elect of God. It is also true that many who are in the church may prove to be without the wedding garment, and show at last that they were not the chosen of God.” The Apostle Paul describes the true call on one’s life in the letter to the Romans. “And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.” Rom 8:30. The called are “justified and glorified” How? Through the saving efficacious work of God through the gospel.
What God wills and decrees is a place of security and rest for the child of God as we go through our chapters of this life. It’s not some fatalistic doctrine, as some see it when you talk about the efficacious will of God. The thinking “What will be will be? So what the point in praying at all”
Think about it! It’s not God’s will that people die, why would God send His Son to destroy death. It’s not God's will that people go to hell, why would God send His Son to have the penalty of sin placed on Him? This is an important truth that we need to get settled in our hearts, especially in light of this prayer. Why? Because it settles the argument to what it truly means “for His will to be done” in our lives.
God’s decrees’ is….
Single in mind… “the counsel of His will” Eph 1:11
Comprehensive… “works all things” Genesis 50:20
Unconditional and not based on outside influences…..Rom 8:29-30
Eternal…..2 Timothy 1:9
Effectual…… “declaring the end from the beginning” Psalm 33:11
Ordaining sin and controlling its effects… As Paul said “God gave them up . . .” Rom 1:24
Purpose of the decree to manifest and bring praise to God’s glory…Rom 11:33-36
As John MacArthur said “God’s decree is His eternal plan, whereby, according to His decretive will and for His glory, He foreordained everything that comes to pass.”
These are important truths to understand because to pray and utter the words that Jesus is teaching here. Have great implications about our heart’s condition, motivation, and attitude to how we approach prayer. Think about how many times this prayer has been uttered by people who have never had any intention of doing God’s will. For us to seek God in this petition it begins by recognizing the place of reverence which is our upward adoration and focus of worship. It begins with the character and perfections of God as we focus our attention to His wondrous works and ways.
This is a vital as we exercise
real faith in prayer.
And that is affirmed by what follows next in this order of our vertical worship. (v10) Praying “Your will be done” is completely submitting our wills before His as an upward positon seeking His downward position, over our lives as it is in Heaven. Martin Luther called this a “fearful prayer” Do we realized what is being requested here? To pray this with insincerity only exposes and reveals that we truly don’t understand what we’re praying for.
See! I truly believe we fail to understand the implications that are being requested here. The problem with this request is not God, but our apathy not His absence. The real problem is our apathy to God’s presence in our own lives. This is true because of our self-centeredness and self-concern over God’s. As one theologian said “This in turn crowds out our ability to love and honor others, especially the God who created us.” Paul warned Timothy about this in his last letter. “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Tim 4:3-4. In the book of Revelation John wrote this to the Dead Church. “Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.” Rev 3:2. There is an apathy that we can all be susceptible to, especially when it comes to prayer.
How often do you find yourself in deep sorrow and praying that God’s kingdom and purposes are being disregarded?
Do these prayers make into or onto your list
of things to pray about?
See what Jesus is radically teaching here is that… We are to cry out to God for these things, not because He needs us to do them. But because we need to desire them over our self-centeredness. For us to pray “Your will be done” is for our agenda to be removed from that prayer list. Our agenda conflicts with His and our affections are what ultimately shape our prayers. It is easy for each of us to pray when our……honor, our kingdom and our purposes are being dishonored, disrespected and mistreated. We easily pray that others respect us and honor us, for who we are and what we do. And we have little to no problem praying this, because we feel that we don’t deserve to be mistreated in this way.
Our agenda is what gets in the way of God,
not His absence in our lives.
That is evident when we are angry! We pray “God, help them to treat me with the respect that I deserve” When we are doing that we are ultimately saying in our hearts “God please let everything work out the way I want it to. Help me build my own kingdom.” It’s that person who takes David’s psalm out of context to fit their agenda and wants for their own kingdom. “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will act.” Psalm 37:4-5. This sounds like a God I can control through my goodness and actions, my Christianese.
“I can have anything I want” I could do something, and in return, God would give me what I wanted. I could achieve a certain outcome because of my own behavior and God will give me what I want. To delight in the LORD is to make Him the most important Person in our life. When He is the number one desire, He will give Himself to us. When we have God, we have all we need. God will plant His desires into our heart and they will become our natural desires to seek after; because they are His for my life. It’s not about my kingdom, but His, and this prayer exposes our hearts to whose kingdom we are trying to build…..Mine or His?
These requests roll very easily from our lips, because we
are self-focused and not Heavenly focused.
We are not seeking the starting point…..”Our Father” whose name is above all names. And according to Jesus we are to set apart His name as we approach
His throne for my will to be done. Right? J
NO! We seek Him for His will to be done in our lives as it is heaven. What God wills in heaven is what we are requesting here for our hearts on this earth.
Unfortunately and naturally we are
prone not too!
Why? We don’t understand what Jesus is teaching here; because our self-interest clouds our own thinking as we approach prayer.
1. When You Are Praying Realize The Starting Place.
2. When You Are Praying Realize How Holy Is His Name.
3. When You Are Praying Realize Its Always Been About His kingdom And Sovereign Reign.
4. When You Are Praying Realize That We Are Yielding Our Wills For His Will To Rule Over Our Lives. (v10)
Jesus is calling us to pray for our own obedience, for God to conquer us. To pray this prayer is to say with David “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; and let those who hate Him flee before Him.” Psalm 68:1. To pray this prayer is to pray Satan’s will to be undone. And that is “yielding” and desiring God’s will over my life, because there are many occasions I am at war with His will over my own. Our lives must match up with His, not the other way around.
It’s yielding to the control of the Holy Spirit and
living for God’s kingdom purposes.
As Jesus said to His disciples, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on his own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that He will take what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:13-15
That is, truth which pertained to the foundation of the Christian life, which they were not yet prepared to hear. It is obedience to the will of God through the Word of God and having that deep rooted desire to accomplish His purposes in my life. The Scottish writer Robert Law wrote this. “Prayer is a mighty instrument, not for getting man’s will to be done in heaven, but for getting God’s will done on earth.” It involves praying with obedience and surrendering our will for Christ as we anticipate seeing Him as He went to pay our penalty. “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." Luke 22:42
Many good questions asked by the church are “How can I know God’s will for my life? What they are really asking is “How can I see God’s hidden will for my life” To which the answer is “No one can know the hidden will of God because it’s none of our business.” As R C Sproul said “We need to spend far less time worrying about the hidden will of God and more time focused on the revealed will of God.”
What is the revealed will of God?
The most direct answer to that question can be summarized in one small sentence. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess 5:16-18. In 1 Thess 4:3 it starts this section with the revealed will for God’s children. “This is the will of God, your sanctification”
What is the will of God
for my life?
1. To pray this prayer is to be bent to God’s will. This is your sanctification.
It is first starts with repentance; we don’t get to do what we want under the blanket of grace. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." Mark 1:14
2. To pray this prayer demands commitment. This is your sanctification.
In Luke 9:62 we read “Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."
3. To pray this prayer is to be pursued above all else. This is your sanctification.
In Matthew 6:33 we read this truth. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
4. To pray this prayer is for those who have profound dependence upon God. This is your sanctification.
In the Beatitudes we remind ourselves “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 5:3. No one has the kingdom expect those who have come to end of self and lean in heavy to God, it demands deep commitment from us.
To pray “Your will be done” is to rest in the plan that God has for your life, despite how you feel about or the outcome at times.
Whatever job you have.
Whatever town or city you end up living in.
Your personal plans or retirement.
The person you marry or the person you don’t marry.
The names you give to your children.
All these are all secondary importance to the primary will of God for your life.
Your sanctification is for His will to be on earth
That is the will of God for my life and yours! To give up, forfeit yours; because His will is all that matters.
Can you pray that this morning?
What Jesus is teaching in this prayer is what He would later say to His disciples. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15. If you truly love His commandments you will be praying “Your will be done”. To pray this prayer…. you’re asking God to will and work in us to obey His will on earth as it is obeyed in heaven. To pray this prayer…. is to seek the very heart of God who is seated on the throne in heaven. Those who are in God’s kingdom strive to do God’s will. This is to be exemplified through us…humbly, cheerfully, impartially, promptly and constantly; as we live out the chapters of our lives for His great Name.
As David prayed and gave thanks to the sovereign, efficacious will of God who is over us. “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. "But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.” 1 Chron 29:11-14
Can you truly pray “Your will be done?”
Your will be done in my family, my job, my town,
my country, and in my church. I hope you can, because the greatest battle you will face praying this prayer is ….You. Our self-centeredness is like gravity; it pulls us down, what Jesus is teaching us is to seek, to pursue His heavenly Kingdom. Our prayer is that every person and thing, be brought into conformity with God’s perfect will. Let’s submit and rest in Him, as it is in heaven; as He directs our lives on earth in the same manner.