Sermon: Your Will, Or God’s?
Scripture: Matthew 6:10
In this week’s lessons, we learn what it means to pray that the Lord’s will be done, rather than ours.
Theme: Many Wills
The third petition of the Lord’s Prayer asks that the will of God might be done in earth, as it is in heaven. This request is an important one, for the only things we can properly pray for as Christians are things that are in God’s will. No Christian can pray, “Lord, I am about to commit adultery, and I want you to keep me from getting caught so I can get away with it.” No Christian can pray, “Lord, help me to cheat on my income tax and be clever enough to outwit the computer.” No Christian can pray, “Lord, make me smart enough to cheat my partner on this deal.” No Christian can ask the Lord to help him lie convincingly. A Christian simply cannot pray this way. A Christian must always pray, “Thy will be done in my life, as it is in heaven.”
If we are to understand the fullness of what this statement means, however, we must begin by realizing that all of the troubles that exist in this world exist because somebody or some group of people wants his will instead of the will of God. The Bible says, “As for God, his way is perfect” (2 Sam. 22:31; Ps. 18:30). Only God is perfect. Consequently, any way that is not God’s way is imperfect; it is sinful, and thus it is contributory to the problems of this world.
I believe that this truth can be most clearly illustrated from the fall of Satan, from the act of the will by which Lucifer, the son of the morning, became the devil, the one who disrupts or destroys. The story is told in Isaiah 14:12-14. The most interesting feature of the story is the number of times the phrase “I will” occurs. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, who didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” In that short passage Satan says, “I will…” five times. The point of the passage is that this event marked the entrance into the universe of a second will, one in opposition to God’s, and that this was the origin of sin.
Notice what Lucifer says. He says, first, “I will ascend into heaven.” This phrase teaches us that sin began on earth where Satan had been placed to do God’s bidding and that Satan’s first rebellious thought was to move into heaven and to take charge of its government. His second cry was, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” Since the word “stars” is often used in the Bible as a symbol for God’s servants or messengers (Job 38:6-7; Rev. 1:16, 20), this statement must mean that Satan was determined to take a place above that of God’s other creatures.
What is said to be the basic reason for the problems and ills in this world?
Explain the meaning of Satan’s first two expressions of his will over God’s will.
Reflection: Are there areas in your life where you struggle with God’s will? Pray for greater peace, patience, and faith as you wait to see how He continues to work in your life for His glory and for the good of others. Also, use your difficult times to remember to pray regularly for others who are dealing with similar situations.
For Further Study: To learn more about the will of God, download and listen for free to James Boice’s message, “God’s Good, Pleasing, and Perfect Will.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)