“Thy will be done.” Jesus not only prayed it, but He told His disciples and all of us to repeat it because it is a model of an appropriate approach to the Father. It is also intended to be more important than verses merely recited in public gatherings and church houses. God expects the prayer to be answered.
The Father desires us to not only be praying but also to be a very real and important part of the answer to Jesus’ prayers and when possible, the prayers of others. He wants His will accomplished on this earth through His family for His glory and eternal purposes.
Each one of us must recognize that His will can never be accomplished in us, individually or collectively, until His kingdom becomes a reality in our daily lives. This is not to be thought of only as the future rule of God beyond this earthly lifetime, but His rule in our personal lives now as Lord of all and God as our Father. Jesus told one of the most religious people He ever spoke to that he had to be “born from above or he would never see the kingdom of heaven.” The life Jesus offers is not a reference to membership in a church or some non-transforming religious affiliation or an affirmation of faith in word only. He is talking about forsaking our way to discover His ways and fulfill His will. This is a serious, life-changing commitment. We must lose our lives in His kingdom purpose to find it or actually miss it here on earth and for eternity. It really is more than just a profession of faith. It is a decision to receive what God freely offers through Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross and His glorious resurrection. Jesus died that we might live and He wants a personal relationship with us so He can bless us and others as we follow Him.
If we miss Jesus, the one who is life, there is no life. “God has given us eternal life and this life is in the Son.” “He who hath the Son, hath life. He who hath not the Son of God, hath not life.” The apostle Paul made it clear, “There is one God and one mediator between God and man. The man Christ Jesus who gave Himself a ransom for us all.”No one will find life, meaning for life now and eternal life apart from Him. “I am the way”—not a way, but the way. “I am the truth”—not merely a truth and the life, not just an existence. “No one comes to the Father apart from me.”Jesus said this forcefully and with finality.
C.S. Lewis, the British philosopher and author, made it clear that Jesus is not looking for someone’s commendation, compliment or the approval of some bright philosopher and thinker. In reference to people claiming that Jesus was a good person, but not necessarily the way to God, he answered, “Jesus is either Lord, liar or lunatic.” You decide! Jesus asked His disciples, “Whom do men say that I am? Who do you say that I am?” May I ask you the reader of this article, who does your life say Jesus is?
“It is time,” as Paul said, “for everyone to examine yourselves whether you be of the faith.” Are you? If not, He invites you to turn to Him with your whole heart, and begin seeking to live fulfilling His will because He has now become your King. Begin the journey looking to Him, and keep in mind, the glorious journey pursuing Him is, in so many ways, the goal.
I was christened into a church as a young boy, but did not trust Jesus personally. Several years later at age 14 after hearing strong testimonies of some teenagers and the compassionate witness of a pastor’s wife, I accepted Christ into my life. I went forward to publically confess Him and I have often said since, “I put my hand in the pastor’s hand, but I put my life in the Master’s hand.” The boy who never had a father suddenly came to knowthe Father of all fathers. Oh, what a Savior we have in Jesus! This relationship is so meaningful it has a positive impact on all of our relationships with others.
My wife, Betty, was a precious, pure, dedicated church girl. She was so good I often said she was the original church lady. But at age 19 she recognized Jesus was someone she had heard about and believed in, but had never trusted to be her personal Lord and Savior. She said, “Many of my friends and family members became members of the church, so as a young girl, I joined the church.” Tragically, as she shares, she almost missed Jesus as far as heaven is from hell. Her goodness and rule-keeping kept her as lost as the Pharisees or any notorious sinner.
One Sunday morning as a 19-year-old—after teaching her junior girls’ Sunday School class, singing in the choir, standing at the pulpit with her sister to sing a duet for the special music and listening to the pastor deliver the Sunday morning message—Betty left the choir, walked down to the front, fell on her knees and gave her heart to Jesus. She stood up and put her hand in the pastor’s hand and said, “I just gave my life to Jesus.” He said, “Betty, you’re the best girl in this church. What do you mean you just trusted Jesus?” She said, “Quit telling me how good I am. I’m so tired of trying to be what I’m not. I just gave my life to Jesus, and He came in to my heart.” To say that the entire church was in shock may seem an understatement, but they were. As a result of her decision, many others who were members only also trusted Christ. Many thousands have come to Christ when her testimony has been shared in citywide crusades and on television.
My friend, Betty’s decision to accept Christ personally was nearly 50 years ago and since then I have watched her continually pursue Jesus with her whole heart. Apart from the Holy Spirit, she is the greatest source of inspiration and influence in my life and family. We have not only been in love with one another, but we have been in love with the Jesus who became as real as the air we breathe. We are not waiting for eternal life and heaven. We already have it in us, it is real, and eternity is settled. This grace and life God freely offers to all who will receive it is free—but it was not cheap. Jesus truly paid it all. Remember, it is His grace and not our works, but the grace of God works and it works His life and will in us. When a person really meets Jesus, there is birthed deep within them a desire to know Him intimately and to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.
If you have never received this Lord and the life He offers, invite Him into your heart right now with child-like confidence, and let this loving Father know you are anxious for Him to transform your life and establish your steps. Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find.” I would like to make available to you absolutely free a book I have offered millions of television viewers around the world, Knowing God as Father. It briefly refers to my impoverished childhood without a father and my conversion to Christ. The book provides basic Bible studies and steps to help you begin growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord.