“Thy will be done.” (Matthew 6:10)
If you have ever prayed the Lord’s prayer with sincerity of heart, I’m pretty sure you have shared my experience in cringing a bit on some occasions when reaching that phrase. I don’t always wince when I pray this from an earnest heart, and you probably don’t either. But when I really want my way to work out, there can be a big split between where my mind goes with “Thy will be done” and where my heart goes, even when I’m trying to be candid before the Lord.
It Gets Easier
As self-absorbed and shortsighted as we humans may be, there are a couple of factors at work that make it a whole lot easier to pray to God, “Thy will be done,” with no reservations and no duplicity. Scripture tells us that truth sets people free. (John 8:32) It releases people from slavery to sin and from bondage to our own misconceptions, among other things. That is certainly the case when it comes not only to accepting God’s will on earth, but even more, to yearning for God’s will to be done in our own lives and in the world around us.
Consider this freeing truth. The biblical book of Romans ends this way:
… to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be glory forever! Amen.
God’s wisdom is infinite. Through Jesus Christ, God in His infinite wisdom made the world and sustains the world. (Proverbs 3:19-20; John 1:3) If God were capable of being foolish, His foolishness would still be wiser than any human’s wisdom. (1 Corinthians 1:25). But He can’t be foolish. Foolishness is a flaw, and the Supreme Being can have no flaws. He makes no errors in judgment. Scripture further reminds us that all the treasures of God’s wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ. (Colossians 2:3)
My point is this. To pray “Thy will be done,” is to invite infinite wisdom to rule both globally and specifically. Yes, we know what we want. But when we begin to wrap our minds around the absolute wisdom and knowledge of God in Jesus Christ, how much better for us and for the world will it be to have His will done, even when it’s not exactly what we were thinking would be best? No pun intended, but it’s a “no brainer!” It gets easier to wholeheartedly pray, “They will be done” when we realize and believe this.
Take a Look Around
How’s it working out in a world where human reason has been exalted to a point where it supposedly rules over all? Historically, the track record is not very good. Take for example the French Revolution. Currently, humanist wisdom is “killing” us in every area from employment policy to mandatory sentencing to so-called fairness policies. The further we move from God’s standard, the deeper society sinks into the quagmire. “Man’s will be done” is resulting in more conflict, more persecution, more litigation, more wasteful costs, and more corruption. “My will be done” has led to increasing demolition of the family as society’s basic building block, increasing vitriol in public discourse, and increasing numbers of cases of STD’s, just to offer a few examples. But it’s actually more personal and real than the way I’ve just put it. Life hurts more.
Thy Will Be Done
“Thy will be done.” This plea to God–this request–has so much potential and power for good. Consider what God said about the laws He gave to His people under Moses.
Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you except to revere him, to obey all his commandments, to love him, to serve him with all your mind and being, and to keep the Lord’s commandments and statutes that I am giving you today for your own good? (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
We have no reason to fear praying to God, “Thy will be done.” God is good, and He is wise enough to know perfectly what is truly good for the people He has created. His ways for us are for our provision, our protection, our peace, and our overall prosperity.
Jesus Christ Himself said to the Father, “Not what I will, but what You will.” (Matthew 26:39) He did suffer, but the result on the other side of that suffering was His glorification (Philippians 2:8-11) and our salvation. (Hebrew 10:14) With results like those, there is every reason for every one of us to say to God trustfully, not fearfully, “Thy will be done.”