[image: earth colors, 2009, JA Van Devender]
Matthew 6:10 (NKJV)
10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
The early memorized and often, rotely recited words flow so easily off the tongue. We confess God as "Our Father, who art in heaven, ..." (the King James version is always the most beautiful) without a second thought to the immensity of that affirmation. We blithely petition for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven without pausing, for even a moment, to imagine what we are indeed asking.
How is God's will done in heaven? How do the angels respond to His bidding? What types of decrees are thundered forth from the throne and provoke movements of super-abounding energy and earth shaking developments? Do we really want that?
We have a few metaphors given us in the Scriptures to provide an elementary perspective. We have the heavenly council chamber in Job giving us an intriguing glimpse of Sovereign charges to subordinate powers... and the result is not very comforting. We have Jacob's ladder, prophetically pointing toward the Lord Christ Himself, but portraying angels coming and going in rapid and focused manner, to do or to return after doing, the tasks assigned them. We have intriguing insights of angels and archangels fighting battles on behalf of God's people (in Ezekiel) and then there is John's apocalypse.... hmmmm.... God's will being done on earth is somewhat daunting in prospect.
Yet our God is just, righteous and full of mercy for those who live in mercy and long for holiness. The idea of God's just wrath can and should be a comfort to those who hate the sin and depravity that roots mankind's walk on earth in violence, blood shed and attendent natural horrors.
The bottom line is that God's will is being done on earth... but not AS it is done in heaven. It is not being done openly and willingly and joyfully by His creatures here. It is being done through His providential rule but at the expense and consternation of those who hate Him and despise His honor. Our prayer can be wisely offered if it is unto the end that we, first, give up our remaining hesitations, out-right rebellions, timidity and selfish ambitions, and submit our hearts and align our minds with His will, so that He is not guiding our steps in the same way He is directing the lives of unbelievers. We pray most rightly when, having humbled ourselves, we pray for the humbling of others - such that hardened, pride-filled, sinners whose numbers abound around us and even in our very families or range of acquaintance, might cease their striving and kiss the Son (Psalm 2) and embrace the pathway which alone can bring peace to their souls and hope for their future.
To pray for God's will to be done on earth is to long for the movement of the Holy Spirit to sweep aside the dominion of Satan and replace it with the temple of God. It is to long for revival and the prospect of joy. It is to fear judgment and to embrace the role of priest and priestess, interceding and pleading for those on whom that judgment would rightly fall. It is to live at risk and cling to faith in the face of evil intent and desperate malignancy.
The prayer, without hypocrisy, can only be offered up in total submission... it implies a release into the sovereignty of God such that He, and He alone, determines what the object of His will is to be. It is to embrace the call to bear what needs bearing, speak what needs speaking, do what needs doing, forgiving when called to do so, giving without hesitation, embracing the unattractive and different as well as the beautiful and charming folks, and treating others better than they deserve.
Is that really what we want?
There's a lot at stake in those words... they ought not to be offered up lightly. God might just say... OK... let's start with you.