During last weeks study I brought up the question of “what does it mean to do the will of God”. Since this should be a priority in the lives of all Christians, I want to start this week to take a closer look at that.
Jesus taught us to pray for God’s will to be done earth as it is in heaven.
Mat 6: 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
What then is in heaven that is not on earth?
John 3: 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
The saved – or, those that do the will of God!
Heb 10: 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Though Jesus is talking to his apostles in the next verses, once we understand his word and believe it, they also apply to us.
John 15: 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
Here Jesus condenses it a bit, but says the same things in Acts.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
The previous two examples are telling us that we must go out and spread the message that Jesus gives us from the Father to the whole world. And that is the message of not only salvation through Jesus Christ, but to love each other as he commands us to. Since we are called to be God’s representatives on earth, we need to reflect his will, and his kingdom.
Jesus tells us that he has come to save the lost.
Mat 18: 11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. 12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? 13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.(see also Rom 5: 8)
Luke 5: 31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. 32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
That’s why we must also love our enemies as Jesus commands us. And that’s also why we will suffer persecution.
We can only overcome evil by doing good.
Mat 5: 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you……..46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?…….48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect……. Rom 12: 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Our battle is not with flesh and blood.
John 19: 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Eph 6: 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
We must endure for the sake of doing God’s will.
2 Pet 3: 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Mat 28: 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
We can see that following Jesus Christ isn’t any picnic to say the least, but because we deeply believe in his word, and because of our faith in him, we gladly do what he commands of us.
When I was a kid, whenever my dad would give me a chore to do he would always say “and do it like you mean it”! I never really understood why many of those things were so important to him, so of course, while I did the chore, my heart wasn’t really in it. As Christians we should try our hardest to fully understand God’s will to the point where it becomes our own will, otherwise like in the parable of the sower(Mat 13: 18-23) our faith will soon wither away. Our hearts should be in it, and we should not be just going through the motions(Psalm 119). By obeying Jesus’ commands to us with this kind of understanding, we are also obeying the commands of our Father in heaven.