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Thy Will Be Done

How many times have you heard someone say something along the lines of, “I wish I knew what God’s will for my life was?” If your background is anything like mine, I’m guessing you’ve heard it a lot. You’ve probably even said it. Growing up, I thought of the will of God as this mystery that is up to me to figure out. I was always on the lookout for a burning bush. I spent many summer camps praying that God would tell me which third-world country He wanted to send me to or which girl He wanted me to marry.

Now, there are a myriad of deep theological questions concerning the will of God that are far beyond the scope of this blog post. Theologians have killed many trees with their musings on the will of God. My hope in this post is to clear up this misconception that you might have about God’s will so that you can confidently pray as Jesus taught you to pray, “Thy will be done.” I believe there are primarily two ways that we pray, “Thy will be done.” We pray that God’s will be done in our lives, and we pray that God’s will be done in the world.

Many well-meaning Christians lose a lot of sleep over trying to figure out God’s will for their life. When they use the phrase, “God’s will for my life,” they’re usually talking about which job to take, which person to marry, where to move, etc. Now, God certainly does give us guidance in those things. And those things are important. But what if God is much more concerned with who you are than with what you do? The most direct statement in Scripture about the will of God for your life is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:3: “For this is the will of God: Your sanctification.” God’s ultimate purpose for your life is to make you more like Jesus (Romans 8:29). The starting point to living in God’s will is to consistently fight sin and pursue a relationship with Christ through prayer, studying His Word, and living in community with your brothers and sisters in Christ. So, when you pray “Thy will be done,” you are asking that God will conform you more into the image of Christ.

Second, when we pray, “Thy will be done,” we are praying that God would carry out His purposes in the world. We are praying that God’s law would be gladly obeyed. We are praying that the true God would be worshipped above all idols. We are praying that God’s will would be done here on earth as it is done perfectly in heaven. Our asking for God’s will to be done in our lives and in the world is an acknowledgement that God is God and we are not. That’s a reminder that you and I need as often as we need our daily bread.

That’s why we can pray, “Thy will be done,” when life doesn’t make any sense. As I type this post, I can’t help but think of the 50+ killed and 500+ wounded in the shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night. Many have been asking where God was when this happened. The truth is that the Lord was seated on His throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe fills the temple. We don’t understand why God, in His providence, allows these things to happen. But we know that we live in a broken world, and we serve a loving God who will one day make all things new, to the praise of His glorious grace. In the midst of confusion and pain, we can look to heaven and whisper, “Thy will be done.” And as we do that, we remember that our Great High Priest knows what it’s like to pray this prayer in the face of chaos (Hebrews 4:15).

Our Lord taught us in the Sermon on the Mount to pray, “Thy will be done.”  But this was not the last time that He prayed that prayer. “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). Jesus, facing the cup of the wrath of God for the sins of His people, begged God for any other way. But in the midst of anxiety and despair that you and I will never know, Jesus prayed, “Thy will be done.” May we all follow in the footsteps of our Savior by praying that the will of our Father in Heaven would be done.

Posted by Nate Weis with

Preparing to Worship Our Heavenly, Hallowed Father

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This week pastor Shaun will be preaching through the portion of the Lord’s prayer where Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matt 6:9b).

I want to do something a bit different on our blog this week. I want to remind you of the purpose of this blog and give you a challenge. First, a few quick notes from this text that will build the foundation for what I am about to tell you.

God is Father

This was revolutionary in the time of Jesus. Jesus teaches his disciples to approach the God of the cosmos as Father. Think of the intimacy! The Father, through the Son made it possible for His people to approach Him as “Dearest Father.” This is like “daddy,” but with a more reverent touch. This should invoke in us this desire to draw near to God and be grateful for Jesus, our Mediator.

God is in Heaven

To ensure that the disciples did not over sentimentalize or abuse this new-found truth of approaching God as “Dearest Father,” Jesus reminds them of the majesty of God. We have a difficult time with balance. We tend to fall on either side of the ditch and we certainly could in this prayer. We would either strip God of all his holiness and dismiss any reverence we have for Him simply because Jesus instructs us to call Him Father, or we would fail to draw near to him because He seems so distant to us. So, Jesus knows we have a difficult time with balance and he gives the disciples and us what we need. He emphasizes God’s immanence with the words “Our Father” and He emphasizes God’s transcendence with the words “in heaven.” Jesus gives us the perfect balance if we only listen.

Hallowed Be Your Name

God is wholly-other, meaning that God is completely different than anything else. We need not forget this. Our temptation is to humanize God, casting our emotions and imperfections onto Him when we think and speak of Him. Pastor Shaun this week will teach us that God is separate. He will use a few Scriptures that I want to invite you to meditate on as we draw near to the Lord’s Day:

Nahum 1:5
The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it.

James 2:19
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

Revelation 7:10-12
Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.

Now, the reason for this blog (and I will keep this brief). This isn’t to give you additional information. It is to prepare your hearts for the Lord’s Day. For some of you, the first time you think about the sermon or the worship music on Sunday is right before the service starts. There is no way for you to receive what God has for you if you aren’t engaging with the coming Lord’s Day prayerfully as you move through your week. Use this blog that is posted every Thursday as a means to set your mind and attention on worshiping corporately each coming Sunday. Here are a few practical suggestions for you as you seek to do that:

  1. Read the text we are preaching on each day.
  2. Pray through the text each week.
  3. Take advantage of the resources we post for you online.
  4. Get your family to bed at a decent hour on Saturday night so you’re awake and refreshed on Sunday.
  5. Get to the church service on time and spend time praying with your family beforehand.
  6. Sit toward the front so you’re not distracted by latecomers.
  7. Conclude your time at Coastal by thanking God for His Word.

 May the Lord bless you as we approach Sunday.

Order of Service

As It Is In Heaven
Our God Reigns (Psalm 97; Hebrews 13:8)
Lord of All (Psalm 24:1)
Offertory
Restoration (Revelation 21:1-5)
Sermon: Our Father by Pastor Shaun (Matthew 6:9)

Posted by Joey Tomlinson with

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