On Earth As It Is In Heaven

We’ve talked about God’s kingdom (His rule, His reign) coming; we’ve talked about His will being done. And God’s will (has been and) will be accomplished, both in heaven and on earth. That’s made abundantly clear by verses such as Job 42:2 (“no purpose of yours can be thwarted”), Job 23:13 (“He does whatever he pleases”), Isaiah 14:27 (“For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him?”), and Isaiah 46:10 (“My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please”).

But there’s an element to how God’s kingdom and His will are done on earth that depends, in part, on us—those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ. Philip Keller says, “It would be absurd to ask or expect that the will of God be carried out by those who were in no way in harmony with God…. For it is in doing the will of God and responding to it positively that heaven actually does descend to this fragment of earth and becomes a reality within.”[1]

Now, to be very clear, the coming of God’s kingdom and the accomplishment of God’s will are not solely dependent on us (see the verses quoted above). What He has decreed, what He has declared to be His will, He will bring about. But He has astonishingly asked us to be involved in the process. Albert Mohler explains,

“The Bible teaches that God’s kingdom only comes as God’s people preach God’s Word, which, coupled with God’s Spirit, produces life and obedience. To use the language of Paul, God’s Word and Spirit change the hearts of sinners such that they are rescued out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of his dear Son (Colossians 1:13).”[2]

Once again, bear in mind, “We, in and of ourselves, cannot cause the kingdom to come. In fact, only the sovereign grace of God has the power to break through the darkness and establish his reign by changing the hearts of rebellious sinners.”[3]

We live on this earth as citizens of heaven. As such, we need to conform to the laws of our home country (heaven), while at the same time being respectful of the laws of our host country (earth). But we also receive the benefits of our heavenly citizenship, including all the promised blessings and protections which are included in that relationship. (A study of the book of Ephesians reveals a number of things we are or have as a result of being “in Christ.”)

In return, as Warren Wiersbe says, “To live and serve in the will of God means to mature spiritually day after day, to discover our gifts and use them joyfully, and to become all that we can become for the glory of God.”[4]

God has given us our assignment, our “Mission Possible” (with His help), in Matthew 28:19-20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Does it seem like God has given you a task too big? Remember, this is a partnership between you and your Heavenly Father. Wiersbe says, “I’m not personally responsible that the whole earth obey the will of God, but I am responsible to pray this prayer and see to it that I obey his will joyfully from my heart (Eph 6:6).”[5]

So, go forth and do your part to bring God’s kingdom and God’s will to earth, as it is in heaven.

Go Deeper

[1] W. Philip Keller, A Layman Looks at the Lord’s Prayer (Moody Publishers, 1976), pp. 89, 91. (By the way, his description and commentary on the potter and the clay in chapter 6 is worth the price of the book. It’s seriously good stuff.)

[2] R. Albert Mohler, Jr., The Prayer that Turns the World Upside Down (Nashville: Nelson Books, 2018), p. 88.

[3] Ibid., p. 95.

[4] Warren W. Wiersbe, On Earth as It Is in Heaven (Baker Books, 2010), p. 79.

[5] Ibid., p. 89, emphasis added.

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