“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10b
In heaven, all live in accord with God’s perfect and holy will. The psalmist writes: “Bless the LORD, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure” (Psalm 103:20-21).
On earth, since the fall of mankind into sin which is recorded in Genesis 3, it is not so; but man, as he is by nature, rebels against God’s perfect will and seeks to go his own way. Again, the Bible tells us: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way” (Isa. 53:6).
Jesus, in the prayer which He has taught us to pray, directs us to pray that God’s will be done on earth — in our own lives — as it is in heaven! And what is God’s will? We find His perfect will recorded for us in the Holy Scriptures; God would have us faithfully believe and teach God’s Word and live according to it, submitting our will to His perfect will for us.
Jesus, God’s Son, faithfully carried out the will of His Father in heaven, even praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42), and being “obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). We, on the other hand, so often say with our words and actions, “Not Your will, but mine be done!”
But God the Father laid all our sin and guilt upon His Son, Christ Jesus; and Jesus paid the just penalty for our sins (Isa. 53:6). Jesus died on the cross, making full atonement for our sins and the sins of all, and rose again on the third day (1 Cor. 15:3-4).
God’s will for us is that we repent of our rebellion and sin against Him and trust in Christ’s shed blood for forgiveness and life. And, as a fruit of our faith in Christ, God desires that we conform our lives to that of His Son.
This is His will for all mankind (cf. 1 Tim. 2:3-6). And thus we pray: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Dear Father in heaven, I am by nature sinful and rebellious. I have not lived in accord with Your holy and perfect will. Forgive my sins for Jesus’ sake. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and grant me both the desire and the strength to live in accord with Your perfect will. “Not my will, but Yours, be done”! “Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Amen.
[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]