Matthew 6:9-13 New Life Version (NLV)
9 “Pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, Your name is holy. 10 May Your holy nation come. What You want done, may it be done on earth as it is in heaven.11 Give us the bread we need today. 12 Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
13 ‘Do not let us be tempted, but keep us from sin. *Your nation is holy. You have power and shining-greatness forever. Let it be so.’
How many times have we spoken the Lord’s Prayer in church, spouting out the words, Thy Will Be Done. We say them from rote memory and sometimes we even try to mean them, at least for that very moment. But what are we really saying? We are asking God to bend our will’s to His own. To show us what He wants for our lives. We are promising to seek what God seeks.
Do any of us really want that? Sure, not one of us is going to say, I don’t want God’s will for my life but, are we really asking God to make our will match His or are we asking God to make His will match ours? Do any of us truly and deeply believe that God has our best interests at heart? Do we believe all that happens is for our good, even if it involves suffering? If you still say yes, you might need to think a little deeper.
I think of Joseph whose brothers sold him to slavery and left him for dead. God helped him to prosper but he lost his entire family in the process. He must have grieved them everyday. Then he was thrown into jail and even there he began to prosper but he was not with his wife or children or any friends he had made along the way. Yet, when his brothers came to him for help, when they feared his retaliation, his response to them was, “But don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.” Gen 45:5 He later says to them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” Gen 50:20 Joseph truly understood the role of God’s will in his life and in the world. Would that have been the response of any of us or would we be posting on social media, the injustices we had suffered?
Are any of us willing to say, take all my money if it is your will because I know I will be better for it? Empty your bank account and out it in the offering plate at church or give it to someone in need. No? Are any of us willing to say take my job and all of my own means of supporting myself and family because we know God will take care of all our needs as He promises? Maybe some.
Lets go farther, are we willing to give up our own lives? How about our homes? How about chasing after love? How about our children? Would we hand them over to God as Abraham did with Isaac and say do with them as your please? Can we say, this is your child and I know you desire what is best for him even if that means taking him from me?
Some of us may say these things. Some of us may even think we mean them but, when the time came to hand everything over, would we really be able to do it? Think hard. How did you react the last time you lost something or something didn’t go your way?
When we lose our job, do we say praise God He has a better means of providing for me? If we lose our homes do we say, Praise God He will provide me a better home? Do we say, God is great even if I am living on the streets because He is teaching me lessons and helping me grow close to Him? Do we praise God for illness and trials? No. Instead, we beg to get out of them. We beg for our own will to be done. We give no thought to the greater plan or purpose, rather the immediate relief and gratification. If we only knew what were to come, we wouldn’t think twice about bending to God’s will. But since we don’t know, we don’t trust, we don’t look beyond the immediate. I know for sure that I myself am very guilty of this, despite the many times God has proven me wrong.
The next time you pray, Thy Will be Done, be sure you know what you are saying. Give it some serious thought. In the meantime, try to apply it to your lives. Wait for God’s blessings, wait for His promises. Trust that there is good to come. Know that there is a perfect plan and that you are a part of it. Next time you face trials or difficult circumstances, remember your prayer, remember God’s promises. Praise Him for He is about to show you something wonderful.
Learn from Job who says these words, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” Job 1:20 These are the words of Job after he has lost everything. I don’t know anyone that lost as much as Job and I doubt you do either yet, he never cursed God and he continued to fear and praise God. He didn’t get it all right but, in this he succeeded. Even after Job curses the day he was born, he says the following: “At least I can take comfort in this: Despite the pain, I have not denied the words of the Holy One.” Job 6:10 If only I could look at trials this way!
What a great example. How many we have in the wonderful book God gave us. I encourage you to read it more. I encourage you to spend time in prayer both speaking and listening. I encourage you to spend time in praise. In doing each of these you will not fix the problems of your life however; you will find peace, wisdom, hope, joy, comfort and love in the changing of you own heart, mind, body and soul.