Why does a child obey when a parent tells her to do something? How and why do you respond to an instruction from an employer? How do you respond when God instructs you how to live your life? In Matthew 6:10 Jesus tells you to pray about that.
Let God’s will be done. God has told you his will. God does have a secret will. No one can hold back his hand, Daniel 4:35,36. Everything is included in God’s will, Ephesians 1:11. Nothing is too small for God’s concern, Matthew 6:30. This eternal, secret will is always being done. This prayer refers to God’s revealed will, Deuteronomy 29:29. God once spoke to the fathers through the prophets, but he has now spoken in his Son, Hebrews 1:1,2. God has revealed himself in creation, Romans 1:20, and in conscience, Romans 2:14,15. You find God’s will revealed in his Word, the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, 2 Timothy 3:16,17. God’s revealed will reflects his holiness, Leviticus 11:44.
Pray for God’s will to be done. Seek to do God’s will in your life. Pray to know God’s will. Doing the will of the Father can take place in your life only when, by faith, you are untied to the Savior. Paul tells you in Colossians 3 that you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. “[A frequently overlooked strand of New Testament teaching] is that not only is Christ regarded as having died for the believer but the believer is represented as as having died in Christ and as having been raised up with him to newness of life. This is the result of union with Christ. For by this union Christ is not only united to those who have been given to him but they are united with him. Hence not only did Christ die for them but they died in him and rose with him. . . .” (John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, p. 48) Because you have died and been raised in Christ, you must put to death the sins in your life. The Holy Spirit is essential if you are to understand the Word. Study God’s revelation and apply it to your life. Submit to what God has said. You need a new will to obey, and that is the gift of God. Struggle against sin, Romans 7:24,25. Fight the good fight of faith. Pray for God’s will to be done everywhere. This is more than a personal request. It includes all of your life. The prayer includes all aspects of society. God’s people should be involved in politics, business, service organizations. You are the leaven in your culture. Pray that God’s will my be done by those in authority, 1 Timothy 2:1-3. Work to seek obedience to God’s law in all areas of life.
Obey God on earth as he is obeyed in heaven. Do God’s will on earth. Our sinful world is disobedient. Since the Edenic rebellion it has been characterized by hatred, crime, terrorism, and war. By nature man is a rebel in his relationship with God. (Even the Christians’s obedience is far from perfect.) You need to address your Father in heaven in this prayer. Self-improvement programs don’t work (as Ben Franklin discovered). Only God’s grace can save you. Only it can make you seek God’s will. God does hear and answer this prayer. Obedience (your sanctification) is not just something you do. It is God working in you by the power of the risen Savior. “The resurrection of Jesus is just as thoroughly messianic and adamic as are his sufferings and death. His resurrection is as equally representative and vicarious as his death. Believers no longer live to themselves but to the Christ, ‘who for their sake died and was raised’ II Cor. 5:15.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., The Centrality of the Resurrection, p. 66) The Messianic kingdom brings salvation to God’s people, but also institutes the rule of righteousness. Obey God now. Obedience to God’s will is not reserved for some future, heavenly reign. They must be a present reality. Thus Paul’s command for you to be what you are.
Obey God as he is obeyed in heaven. There is perfect obedience in heaven. The angels obey perfectly, Psalm 103:20-22. The glorified saints obey perfectly. Christ obeyed perfectly, as his prayer reflected, Matthew 26:39. While this obedience took place on earth, it was not of the earth. Only Christ’s obedience to God’s will can satisfy for sin. Because of Christ’s obedience, the Holy Spirit enables you to pray for God’s will and to do the will of God. “This petition does not merely express agreement with God’s decree or resignation to his will, but rather the longing that what God requires from man may be done on earth as it is in heaven. At present God’s will as expressed in his commandments is not being done on account of all that opposes God on earth. Both redemption and ethics are implied in this ‘will of God.’” (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 247) Obey God completely, heartily, and immediately. Don’t give the partial, excuse-filled obedience of Saul, 1 Samuel 15:22,23. Love and obey God with all that you are, Deuteronomy 6:4,5. Just as the angels in heaven stand ready to carry out God’s will immediately, do not delay your obedience. Pray for the day, which will be achieved perfectly only at Christ’s return, when the earth will be full of this kind of obedience.
This week pray that God’s will may be done more fully throughout the earth. And obey with the kind of reverent, joyful service the angels render in heaven.