Matthew 6:10b

Setting and Overview
Continuing on in Matthew 6:10, we come to the third petition of the Lord’s Prayer: “May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” People are often confused by what is meant by “God’s will” and that can lead to misunderstandings of what it means to pray this petition. For us to pray that sincerely must reflect a strong understanding of what is meant by “your will,” and also a true desire to see His will done and a commitment to living out our part of it.
 
Exposition
The Bible will at times use “God’s will” to refer to His sovereign will or will of decree, which cannot be thwarted and will always come to pass (Psalms 139:16, Ephesians 1:11, Proverbs 21:1, Romans 9:19, Isaiah 46:9-10) and which will not always be revealed to us (James 4:13-16, Romans 11:33.) It can also refer to His moral will or will of desire, which can be resisted (Matthew 7:21, I John 2:17, Hebrews 13:20-21) but is revealed to us in Scripture (Deuteronomy 29:29, Micah 6:8, Romans 2:17-18, II Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 4:12.) When we pray that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we are recognizing that on earth, even though nothing happens contrary to His sovereign will (Genesis 50:19-20, Acts 2:23, Acts 4:27-28), people are disobedient to His moral will and we pray for a day that will no longer be the case (Revelation 11:15.)
People of feel like it is a challenge to know God’s will for them, and that often means that they are looking for some special guidance or evidence of God’s specific plan for their life and believe that the Holy Spirit will lead them into an understanding of what that is (Romans 8:14, Galatians 5:18.) However, while the Holy Spirit does lead us by aligning our heart with God’s will (Galatians 5:16-17), giving us wisdom to understand Scripture (I Corinthians 2:12-13), and giving us wisdom to recognize our abilities and limitations (James 3:17-18, Romans 13:3), that is different from showing us a specific plan for our lives. God can guide us by giving us a specific desire or insight that will lead us down a certain path for a work that He has prepared for us, but He doesn’t often seek our conscious cooperation in that work, until it reaches the point of biblical guidance.  
 
Examination and Application
As we look to Scripture, we can see extensive guidance for recognizing and living out God’s will. That includes following the standing commands of Scripture for who are to be and what we are to be consumed with doing (I Thessalonians 4:3-5, 5:13-18 I Timothy 6:11-12, Ephesians 4:12-16, 28-32, Philippians 2:2-3, Colossians 3:7-8, 12-17, Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 14:19, Hebrews 12:14-16, Romans 12:10-13, James 1:27), looking for the moral elements of every decision (Colossians 1:9-11, Romans 12:2, Philippians 1:9-11), seeking to glorify God and pursue His kingdom with every decision (Matthew 6:33, I Corinthians 10:31) and using common sense and being at peace with the results (Matthew 6:31-34.) Once we understand God’s will, then we have to be equally committed to doing His will. This may not always seem like the most exciting thing in the world, but we can be sure that it does mean that we will be accomplishing exactly what God has in store for us to accomplish. Finally, as we are committed to knowing and doing His will, then we follow Jesus’ exhortation to pray that God’s will always be done. Jesus set the example for us as He prayed for the Father’s will (Mark 14:36) and was fully committed to doing it at all time (John 6:38, 4:34.) Likewise we can pray that our every desire that is contrary to God’s desires would go unsatisfied, that we would be consumed in learning what pleases Him, that our greatest satisfaction would be in pleasing Him, that we would find comfort not in the hope that we would eventually get our way but in the confidence that He will get His, and that God would make it true of others as well as us.
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