Saturday, February 08, 2014
Your Will be Done
Here again, we must go where angels fear to tread, and turn to the context of 'The Story' of Scripture!
'And I will sanctify My great Name, which you have profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I [ AM ] the Lord, says the Lord God, when I am hallowed in you before their eyes'. Ezekiel 36:23
Israel, rather than fulfilling God's Will, and blessing the nations, had profaned His name before the nations and had become a curse to the nations around them; this is why Jesus taught His disciples to pray 'Your will be done', because Israel had neglected the weightier matters of the Law, and refrained from loving and practicing Justice, Mercy & Faith!
The Will of our Creator is always done, yes, because He is infinite and we finite, but our guilt & responsibility is not lessened when we fail to do justly & have mercy! We should pray for His will to be done for two main reasons; one, because prayer is open communication with our Heavenly Father ( which ANY father loves ), and two, because need His strength strength to do His will, for men are weak!
‘Your will be done’ is the natural predecessor to the prayer of Jesus in the Garden, where He prayed, ‘Your will, not Mine be done’. It also echoes the events in the original Garden, wherein the will of the creature seemed to thwart the Will of the Creator. Though the Fall was part of the Plan so that in the fullness of time, the Son of God would be revealed in all His Glory, the will of the creature, not the revealed Will of God, led to the downfall of many in Israel; this is what the Story is about, it is a record of how God’s Will, in spite of the will of man, triumphs in judgment!
Human beings are, at the very core, selfish creatures: we would rather see our own wants and needs fulfilled before anyone else’s! This is where the trouble began in the original Garden, and this is why, when Jesus faced His Garden Temptation, He prayed, ‘Your will, not Mine, be done’. Jesus introduced the New Humanity, one that through the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit was able to squelch that natural human lust, and seek the Will of the Father rather than the selfish will of the Child!
Israel, as Adam & Eve in the Garden, had sought to do things their own way for countless years! Rather than wait for Gods perfect timing, they, throughout their history, had sought their own righteousness ( through the Law ) and so had failed to attain True Righteousness and to Accomplish The Will of their Creator!
When Jesus gave His disciples this Model for Prayer, He reminded them of this History, and set the mold for the Reformed People of God, a People that would seek His Will before their own, who would seek His Righteousness, love Justice & practice Mercy!
As we pray, then, knowing the History of this Model for Prayer, and that it was fulfilled in the first century with the marriage of Heaven & Earth, let us ever pray to our Father in Heaven, as Jesus did, ‘Your Will, not Mine, be done!
Let us, through His strength, ever fulfill His Righteousness as we Work, Pray, Eat & Rest!
Charles Haddon Shank