Matthew 6:10 (NKJV): “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
This verse is within the passage where Jesus teaches us how we should pray to the Father. I will be focusing on the verse mentioned and exploring what it means, and hopefully gain a better understanding of God’s will.
Jesus is instructing us to pray that the Father’s will would be done in this world. The verse from Matthew provides us with a powerful picture: Jesus, being God, is telling us to pray that God’s will would be done on earth. God is telling us to ask God to carry out His will on the earth. This brings to light a tragic reality, but a truth that is evident every day. If Jesus is telling us to pray that God’s will would be done on earth as it is in heaven, then that would mean God’s will is being done differently in heaven than on earth. Why would Jesus tell us to pray for God’s will to be done on earth if it was already being done as it is in heaven? We know heaven and earth are not the same, because sin is an undeniable factor in this present mortal reality. Because of the impediments that God allows to exist within our frame of existence, this world we currently live in is broken. Heaven is not broken.
And why is heaven not broken? As we see from Christ’s words, heaven is what it is because of God’s will, and that His will is done there. In heaven, there is nothing that impedes the will of God. Of course, we cannot deny God’s sovereignty, and that He is still, and always will be, the author of what has passed and what will be. But God’s sovereignty doesn’t mean He wants sin, or that He caused us to sin. We know God does not tempt us to do evil, for God is entirely and perfectly good (James 1:13-15; Mark 10:18). Why would God want His creation to sin and separate themselves from Him? Jesus has told us that in this world we will have trouble; our sin has made it so. Yet, Christ also says, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV). The impediment of earth is sin, and in heaven there is no sin. Sin is simply acting contrary to God’s will.
So, how does one not act contrary to God’s will; how do we not sin? To not sin, and to be good enough to honor God’s will entirely and perfectly, is impossible of our own ability. There is no way to not sin while we live in this world of existence--it is impossible, because God alone is God. But, while we all have fallen short of the glory of God, there is One who did not: Jesus Christ. We know that God is holy; the first statement Christ tells us to acknowledge about the Father’s character is that He is holy. God is totally and perfectly good; everything that He does is infinitely laced with love, justice, truth, and wisdom. He is who He is. At the same time, however, we must acknowledge the reality of our own will. And it isn’t until our own will dies that we can begin to allow God to work His will out in our life.
Once our own self dies to the cross through faith, the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to new truths about His will and who He is. God’s will is to save, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV). God’s will is to love; “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34 NIV). God’s will is good, pleasing, and perfect, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2 NKJV). And above all, God’s will leads to one destination: Himself.
God’s will is so good and is so perfect, because God Himself is so good and so perfect. Thus, because of God’s holiness, God’s will can only have one purpose, and that is to glorify Himself. Just as the Son of Man must be lifted up, so too must God be glorified--because it is when God is glorified that heaven exists. Heaven exists because it is a reality where God is entirely and perfectly glorified. That is what worship is: an act of giving glory to something. Heaven is a place entirely centered on God, and because God is so good and heaven’s worship is centered entirely on Him, heaven is a perfect place.
Through prayer and worship, God grows our faith and continually moves us into deeper submission to His will. To pray and seek God in truth naturally means to also seek His will. It makes sense as to why Christ would instruct us in prayer in the way that He does. By first establishing that He is holy, it affirms the need that God’s will should be done (Matthew 6:9 NKJV). Why would we pray for someone or something’s will to be done if it is not good? But, because God is holy, we can pray with fervent desire for His will to be done, knowing He is working all things to His glory. By submitting our own will to God’s and our sin to die Christ’s death at the cross, we allow God to raise Himself up within us. Just like Christ’s resurrection, our death of the self is traded for everlasting life in Jesus. The Living God takes all of the baggage that we bring, and in return, gives us Himself--truly the most unfair trade imaginable. But it is through Christ’s bartering for our souls that we are given new hearts, and with our new hearts, we become vessels for the will of God.
Certainly, once we have been baptized into new life in Christ, a new spirit dwells within us--God’s own Spirit. And it is through the Holy Spirit that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds, and that we actively and increasingly live out God’s will (Romans 12:2). In this way, we are bearers of that good light of heaven; that perfect and pleasing will of God. When we carry Christ, we are carrying the same power that entirely enables heaven’s perfection. This is why Christ akins Christians to being lights on a hill that cannot be hidden--God’s will is being done on the earth through those that let their light shine before men, “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16 BSB).
The creation is not the creator, and we Christians are not the Light itself. But, when a person believes in the name of Jesus and loves Him, God says that He will come to them and make His home with them (John 14:23). When God makes His home within our hearts, we shine the light of Christ to the world around us. In so doing, we carry out the will of God, and establish pockets of heaven across the earth everywhere we go. Looking forward to the hope that is Christ’s return, we must press on in loving God with all of our hearts, souls, and minds, and loving our neighbor as Christ has loved us. In this way, God will shine His light through us and into the darkness--the same thing He has been doing from the beginning (Genesis 1:1-3).