As In Heaven

Jun 16, 2003 10:43 AM EDT

Matthew 21:28-32 (NRSV)

"What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' He answered, 'I will not'; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, 'I go, sir'; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him."

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

- Matthew 6:10 (NIV)

WHEN I pray the Lord's Prayer, I often wonder: How is our Father's will done in heaven? I imagine faithful and loving angels and archangels as they set about doing God's will. I can see them waiting, breath held in excited anticipation, for God's decrees. Then I imagine them joyfully setting out to do our Lord's will perfectly and completely - for the sheer honor and glory of being included in such a gracious plan.

What a contrast to the way I usually do God's will, if I do it at all! Often I don't really wait or listen for God's will. When I do hear a clear command, I may pretend I don't understand just so I can go my own way. Or I may obey but slowly, grudgingly, giving the impression that I am making a great sacrifice. Oftentimes when I do honestly try to do God's will, I either crawl to the task reluctantly or teeter in helplessness to do a half-hearted job and then give up in frustration.

How different the world would be if we truly set out to do God's will as it is done in heaven! Let us pray for courage and strength to let God's will become a reality through our actions today.

Prayer: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."* Amen.


In what spirit have I done God's will this week?


For God's will to be done in my life

By Amy Osterholm (Bucharest, Romania)