Your Kingdom Come

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Worship. “Our Father who is in heaven,”
Reverence. “hallowed be your name.”
Desire. “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Dependence. “Give us this day our daily bread,”
Forgiveness. “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
Deliverance. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

To Pray "Your Kingdom Come"

This part of the Lord's Prayer is a prayer of the missionary heart. While we look at this area of the Bible today, I’m going to position it in two ways. One, that we pray this prayer and understand it’s implications in a very personal way. And two, as a forward-looking, hope-finding, promise-keeping, world-redeeming, finalization of all things the Lord has planned to accomplish. We want to pray this prayer with both a personal and global perspective.

Seek first the kingdom

In Matthew 6:33 we read, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Shortly after Jesus teaching his disciples how to pray, he told them to seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness above all things. He said it in the context of people's worry and unrest. It is a prayer and position to counter the little faith and lack of trust people had in God, as a provider, sustainer, and fulfiller of life. But the dependency on God is what we’re going to cover next time (which in part is the “all these things” of Matthew 6:33). Right now we're focus on the coming of his kingdom and what it means to seek it and desire it.

Personal prayer

So as individuals, more specifically as redeemed children of God, we seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness in our lives. The cry of the heart is, Lord I want to see you as holy, as you are holy. I want to know you as truth, because you are Truth. Lord I want my life to be in full and perfect submission to you. Drive out the impurities in me. Transform my life. Prepare me for your coming kingdom. Lord I know the end of all things is at hand, as you have said it so, and we wait eagerly for adoption as sons. 

The glory of God and his kingdom
When we are kingdom focused, the trials and worries that often encompass our lives—which make themselves giants—shrink down to the reality of what they are. And then we can say with Paul, “... this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17 ESV)! Remember that Paul says this in his “light” affliction of being whipped, hungry, scorned, shipwrecked, and imprisoned, among many other things…

When we seek God’s kingdom, we are praying for God’s will to be done. One of the simple and practical motivations to pray like this, besides that Jesus told us to, is that the Lord’s will is being done. If we have a life of despair and fear or feeling of defeat, it could very well be because we don’t know nor pray nor trust the will of God in our lives.

In Job’s life we see that Satan himself is subjected to the will and authority of our almighty God. God permitted Satan to go after everything in Job’s life, but he restricted him from taking his life. God tells Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand” (Job 1:11). Job suffered a great deal and suffered great loss over an extended time. His struggle through the ordeal tested his faith, which weakened over the course of his trails. Nearing the end of Job’s trials (ch. 26-31) we see the renewed faith of Job and his reinforced trust in the sovereignty of God. One of the great lessons of Job’s suffering is to hold fast to God, whether in a season of deep suffering or great prosperity, God is good and in control. We can trust him in his being out for our ultimate good.

Likewise we read Jesus talking to Peter in Luke 22:31, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32). Here again we read of Satan desiring to defeat God’s chosen. (1) Satan comes in to destroy, (2) in mans strength he would fail, (3) but God intervenes:
"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." - Isaiah 40:28-31
You know Jesus prays for us in the same way he did for Peter. In John 17:15 he prays: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” Jesus did not pray that we be taken from the danger of the world and opposition, but to preserve us in the midst of conflict. Though Jesus would soon be taken from the world, his followers would remain in it.

We are in a time where perfection has not yet come. We can at times in our flesh have confidence in-and-of-ourselves, as Peter did after Jesus told him that he had prayed for him that his faith not fail, Peter responds with boasting in his own strength, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.”. Jesus reveals what Peter's own strength is in prophesying his upcoming denial. But not just his denial, also his restoration, when he says "after I strengthen you, strengthen your brothers".

This is our prayer in, "your will be done, Lord". 

A Global Prayer

When we put focus on “the brothers” of Luke 22:32, we can segway into a global perspective of the coming Kingdom of God. Psalm 103:19-20 says,
"The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all. 20 Praise the Lord, all His angels of great strength, who do His word, obedient to His command." - Psalm 103:19-20
David declared the Lord’s dominion over all the earth. Therefore all of God’s creation in heaven and on earth should praise the Lord. But… not all do… What does this future rule look like? We read in Revelation 5:9-14 (HCSB):
"And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slaughtered, and You redeemed people for God by Your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation. You made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign on the earth. Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels around the throne, and also of the living creatures and of the elders. Their number was countless thousands, plus thousands of thousands. They said with a loud voice: The Lamb who was slaughtered is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing! I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say: Blessing and honor and glory and dominion to the One seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever! The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped."
The magnificence of God’s glory, specifically here in the full revealing of the triune God, and the anticipation for his full revealing should light a fire under us! The excitement of being part of all peoples to come together in perfect worship of our King should be what motivates us in this fallen world.

Not all creatures in heaven and earth sing praise to the King today. Missions exist because worship doesn’t. Loving people and desiring their rescue is a good and godly motive for sharing the hope of Christ, but the ability to love people we don’t see or know can be an impossible task. God can and has given people a burden for faceless nations. But the primary purpose in our hearts for shouting out the praise and glory of Jesus Christ and him crucified should be for the praise of his name, not just from us, but specifically people from every tribe of the world. You see, our fuel for the days work should be knowing that there are places, or more specifically peoples, where God is not yet worshipped where he desires worship. That is God’s Word and will that went out from his mouth and is being done today, which we are either in that and doing that or we’re simply not. That is to live each day for our created purpose, to the praise and glory of his great Name amongst all the nations.

The question is, is that our hearts true desire? Do we really pray for the will of God in our lives and throughout the world? Are our prayers saturated with: Worship (Our Father in Heaven), reverence (make your name holy and honored by all), and desire (establish your Kingdom over all creation). Do we get excited with God for the day he proclaims, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

Listen to these words from Andrew Murray (the south African writer, teacher, and pastor):
As we seek to find out why, with such millions of Christians, the real army of God that is fighting the host of Darkness is so small, the only answer is… lack of heart. And that is because there is so little enthusiasm for the King. (Andrew Murray, key to the missionary problem, 133)
Here’s another one from Peter Beyerhaus’ book Shaken Foundations:
We are called and sent to glorify the reign of God and to manifest His saving work before the whole world.... Today it is extremely important to emphasize the priority of this doxological aim before all other aims of mission. Our one-sided concern with man and his society threatens to pervert mission and make it a secular or even a quasi-atheistic undertaking. We are living in the age of apostasy where a man arrogantly makes himself the measuring rod of all things. Therefore, it is a part of our missionary task courageously to confess before all enemies of the cross that the earth belongs to God and to his anointed....Our task and mission is to uphold the banner of the risen Lord before the whole world, because it is his own. (Peter Beyerhaus, Shaken Foundations: Theological Foundations for Missions, 41-42).
I ask again, does the thought of being able to worship God excite and motivate us? Does the thought of God’s rule and His glory filling all of creation make our knees shake and bow with reverence and praise of his name? Does the thought of being present in worship with all of the elect from all the nations, the peoples that he redeemed for himself for all eternity, singing praise to his name for the rest of existence… does that bring you joy and excitement?

In Isaiah 55:10-11 we read:
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
God decrees and it is done.

A future hope

We are praying and anticipating that which he has established in heaven to come and be established on earth. When Jesus says in Luke 22:18, “For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes”, he means that the kingdom is not merely a present, personal experience but also a future, historical event. Christ is going to come with his angels and “gather his elect from the four winds” (Mark 13:27) and establish his throne on the earth. Jesus described the second coming like this, “The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:41-43 ESV).

Also in Malachi 3:17-4:3
“They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. 18 Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him. 4 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. 3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts." - Malachi 3:13-4:3

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