Wednesday, July 26, 2006

On Earth as it is in Heaven

Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
Speaking of this verse, someone asked, “Is there sin in heaven? There is here.” Yes, there is sin here. And sickness. And demonic oppression. And strongholds. And enmity. And unforgiveness. And death. But there are none of those things in heaven.

And that is why Jesus taught us to pray, “Kingdom of God, come! Will of God, be done on earth as it is in heaven!” (the Greek has it in the imperative mood).

If the will of God were already being done on earth as it is in heaven, we would not need to be calling for it. But it is not fully being done yet on earth, and so we call it forth.

The kingdom reign of the Lord Jesus Christ has already begun, and His kingdom has been breaking into the world ever since He came. But it has not yet arrived in all its fullness. We are now living in the in-between time, in between the inauguration and the consummation. Some theologians call this "already/not yet." That is it has already begun, but it is not yet completed.

Our job is to keep calling for the kingdom of God to come and keep coming, and to call for the will of God to be done and keep being done on earth exactly as it in heaven.
  • When we see sickness, we have the authority of the Lord's Prayer to call for the will of God to be done in that sick body just as it is being done in heaven.
  • When we see demonic oppression, we have the authority of the Lord's Prayer to call for the will of God to be done in that person or place just as it is being done in heaven.
  • When we see death, even then we have the authority of the Lord's Prayer to call for the will of God to be done in that body as it is in heaven.
  • Where there is sin, we have the authority to call for the name of God to be hallowed (that, too, is in the imperative mood), for the kingdom of God to come, and for the will of God to be done on earth as it is in heaven. And we have the further authority to preach the good news of Jesus Christ, who came to destroy the works of the devil, take away the sins of the world and reconcile us to the Father.
Church history is full of people being healed and demons being exorcised. There have also been many people raised from the dead in the name of Jesus. These have all been increasing in these latter days.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we have the privilege to pray the prayer the Lord Jesus taught His disciples, and it is a very powerful, world-changing prayer. It does not happen by a passive and rote recital of the words (that would be treating the Lord's Prayer as nothing more than magic), but by an active exercise of the authority we have been given therein.