Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Prayer series #8: Thy Will Be Done

It is a terrible affront to the Lord Jesus Christ to insist on having our own way while at the same time piously and hypocritically praying “Thy will be done.”

Is not God’s will always done?
We might wonder why we are to ask such a request. Isn’t God’s will going to be accomplished regardless of whether we pray for it or not? That question is answered by considering which Greek word for WILL is used here. There are two Greek words for WILL.

Theleema is an entreating, desired will.
Boulomai
is an insistent, determined will.

God’s determined will is always accomplished. Whether we fulfill His entreating, desired will is up to us, though of course, God in His omniscience knew from before the foundation of the world, what our choice would be.

We are free to obey Him or disobey Him.
Note from Scripture how God has always given us a free will to obey Him or disobey Him, to trust Him or reject Him.

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden were commanded by God not to eat fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was His entreating, desired will that they obey Him, but God did not overrule their will. They chose to disobey God and He allowed it. In Adam each of us have inherited his sinful nature. God, of course, knew the decision Adam and Eve would make and He provided salvation from sin for them and us from before the foundation of the world.

God delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage to enter the Land of Canaan He had promised them. It was His will for them to go to Canaan. They refused to believe God and as a result the older generation died in the wilderness and the new generation entered Canaan forty years later.

Marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship with His Bride, the Church. His will is clearly spelled out in Ephesians 5:22 that a wife submit herself to her husband, just as it is His will that we, His Bride, submit ourselves to Him. He does not expect husbands to force their will on their wives just as He does not force His will on us. The only obedience that pleases Christ is our glad, willing obedience and submission to His will. We still have the freedom to rebel against Christ if we are foolish enough to accept the consequences.

Jesus came to earth to fulfill His Father’s will.
Jesus did not come to fulfill His own desires as a man, but to do the will of His Father in Heaven.

“Thy will be done,” Jesus prayed to His Father in Gethsemane. Matt. 26:42

“My meat is to fulfill the Father’s will”, He explained to His disciples in Samaria. John 4:34

It is His desired will that we pray for in Luke 11:2. We should pray that His desired will and purpose will be worked out in our lives and in the lives of others for whom we pray.

God’s Will and our Salvation
Don’t ever forget this! God is “NOT WILLING that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.” II Peter 3:9 It is God’s desired will to save the lost. Matthew 18:11-14 makes it clear that Jesus came to seek and to save those who were lost. To be saved we must desire to trust Christ. The last invitation in the Bible is found in Revelation 22:17 “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

At the same time we must understand the other side of God’s will as it applies to our salvation. In John 1:12-13 we learn that our salvation does not originate with our will, but with God’s determined will. In James 1:18 God makes it clear that is was “Of His own determined will (boulomai) that we were born again when we believed and received His Word of Truth.

“We love Him because He first loved us.” I John 4:19. To put it another way, We chose to trust Him as Saviour because He first willed or determined to save us. Nevertheless, don’t blame God if you are not saved. It’s your choice. John 5:40 “Ye WILL NOT (ye desire not) to come to Me that ye might have life.”

You don’t understand how God can determine to save a sinner from before the foundation of the world and at the same time give him a free will about the matter? Neither do I. I simply gratefully receive His gracious Gift of salvation and leave the hidden things that I do not understand to Him. The Apostle Paul, after dealing with this doctrine of election in Romans 9,10 and 11, concludes the matter in 11:33-36 with a doxology of praise to God for His unsearchable wisdom. I am thankful that my God is so great and awesome that I cannot begin to fathom the depths of His love and wisdom

God’s Will and Our Sanctification
I Thessalonians 4:3 teaches that it is God’s desire and will for Christians to be sanctified. That is, when a person is saved, it is God’s will for Him to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and to become like Him. True, we will not be perfect as He is until we are in Heaven. But this is the direction of our life as a Christian. Romans 12:1-2 shows us that it is God’s will and desire for us to be fully surrendered to His control. Everything God allows in our lives is His will and desire for me. I Thessalonians 5:18

For Which Will are We Praying in the Lord’s Prayer?
In both Luke 11:2 and Matthew 6:10 it is God’s desired will for which we pray. It is clear that God wills all be saved. It is also obvious that all men have not chosen to be saved. So God’s desired will is limited by man’s choice.

It is also clear that God wants all Christians to progress in sanctification. It is also obvious that many Christians are not progressing in sanctification. For many, the idea does not ever cross their minds for they are in rebellion to the will of God.

HOWEVER, God’s desired will is going to ultimately be accomplished in the lives of those who are truly His, in spite of a Christian’s rebellion. Our bridegroom, Jesus, is still going to use whatever tools are necessary in our lives to bring us through the process of sanctification. He promises to one day present us, His Bride, to Himself without spot or wrinkle. Ephesians 5:25-27 If necessary, He will use chastening and suffering to accomplish His will. Hebrews 12:5-8 I Peter 5:10

Two parallel facts are true of every Christian.
1. God’s determined will MUST be fulfilled in our lives.
2. Yet WE must surrender to Him to experience it. Romans 12:1-2

So when we pray “Thy will be done” we are rejoicing that His desired will shall be accomplished in us; but we are also praying that we will surrender our lives to Him to allow Him to work out His desired will in our lives.

What can we do to see our prayers answered concerning His will in our lives?

First, we can reject the will or desire of Satan to influence and control us. James 4:7

Second, we can renounce our flesh nature. I Peter 4:1-2 With Jesus we can pray, “Not my will but Thine be done.” Matthew 26:39

Third, we can beg God for wisdom to know His will and then search His Word to find it. Proverbs 2:1-6

Fourth, we can ask God to incline our hearts to do His will. Psalm 119:33-36

Fifth, we can ask God for strength to do it. Philippians 2:12-13, 4:13 Hebrews 13:20-21

What is our standard for doing His will?
Perfection! “On earth as it is in Heaven.” As His will is fulfilled perfectly in Heaven by the saints and angels, so we are to pray for that kind of obedience while here on earth. His will is not to be carried out hypocritically, reluctantly or sullenly.

How are we blessed for doing His will?
1. Those who do His will know His Truth. John 7:17
2. He hears and answers our prayers. John 9:31
3. We prove we are in His family. Matthew 12:46-50
4. We prove to ourselves that His will is perfect. Romans 12:1-2

Let us pray for ourselves and for others the prayer of Colossians 1:9-13

The best prayer we can pray for another is the prayer of Epaphras in Colossians 4:12

May God help us to pray with understanding and submission to Him whenever we pray “Thy will be done.”

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April 21, 2006 - Posted by | Prayer Series

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