Part 6 of Above & Beyond! Matthew 6:10
Peter Foxwell. The Cornerstone Church. February 11, 2018.
The Winter Olympics began on Friday. For the athletes, a lifetime of training will culminate in a final quest for gold. Some athletes will break records and others will complete extraordinary feats of endurance. And some will be history-makers. They are the elite of the elite - what they do, is totally beyond normal people.
There is another way to be a history maker even if you are, like me, a regular, normal, ordinary person. Whenever we pray boldly, we work with God to make history. God doesn't need our prayers. But he wants them. He works with them. And our prayers combine with God's plans to change the world.
In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us his how to pray. Think of it as an outline to follow; a template to adapt. In verse 10, Jesus says this, "Your kingdom come." That's the boldest prayer in the Bible. It's the kind of prayer history-makers pray. It's the kind of prayer that God answers.
But what does "your kingdom come" actually mean? It's important to know, right?To understand what it means, we need to talk about GOD'S THREE PHASE KINGDOM and how to pray for it.
PRAYER IN LIGHT OF GOD'S THREE-PHASE KINGDOM
1. GOD'S ETERNAL KINGDOM IN HEAVEN.
This is God's absolute rule over everything, everywhere, forever.
Psalms 103:19 "The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all."
Isaiah 37:16. "Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth."
When we pray "your kingdom come" we're saying, "Rule my life God." This prayer is a combination of praise and surrender. We're saying, "I'm not god. I don't want to be god. You alone are God in my life. I praise you and I submit to you."
Back in Daniel's day, King Nebuchadnezzar tried to be god. He was boasting about all he had done by his own, "mighty power and majesty" (Daniel 4:30). That was a big mistake. The Lord struck him down. He lost his mind and started acting more like a wild beast than a god (verses 32-33). After a while, he had a moment of clarity and lifted his eyes to heaven - a sign that he was ready to let God be God. Sanity restored, he declared:
Daniel 4:34 "His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”
We all should take time every day to tell God: "Your Kingdom come in my life Lord. I praise you because you are my God. I surrender to you because you are my King."
Psalms 149:2 "Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King."
It takes just a minute or two to transform your whole day - you whole life.
2. GOD'S PRESENT KINGDOM ON EARTH.
This aspect of God's reign was first manifested in Jesus Christ. He embodied the Kingdom of God on earth. He proclaimed to the nation: Mark 1:15 "The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near" - Near? Yes! In King Jesus himself.
John the Baptist identified Jesus as the Messiah (John 3:28) - the King from Heaven. John said this about Jesus:
John 3:31, 35 The one who comes from above is above all ... The one who comes from heaven is above all. ... 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.
Jesus was "above all" because he was the eternal King - the Kingdom was "placed in his hands." God's eternal kingdom was located in Jesus and manifested in his preaching and miracles. These demonstrated the presence and power of God's rule. Jesus said:
Luke 11:20 "If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (See also Matthew 4:17)
He preached with undeniable authority - Mark 1:21-22.
He had authority to forgive sins - Mark 2:1-12.
He commanded nature and it obeyed - Mark 4:41.
He commanded disease and it surrendered - Mark 1:40-42.
He commanded demons and they bowed down - Mark 1:21-28.
He commanded death and it gave way to life - Mark 5:21-43.
When we pray, "your kingdom come," we are asking Jesus to manifest his Kingdom power through us. We want to be channels of his Kingdom - for the sake of the spiritually dead, the demonized, the sick, the oppressed, the poor, the prisoners. We want to speak and pray and serve with the undeniable authority of King Jesus.
One way to pray for God's present Kingdom to show up is so simple: "More Lord. More of you, more of your love, more of your power, more of your life and light."
3. GOD'S FUTURE KINGDOM ON EARTH.
When we pray, "your Kingdom come," we are praying for Jesus to return and to fully manifest God's reign on the earth forever. The angels in heaven will declare:
Revelation 11:15 The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”
This is sometimes called the millennial or one-thousand year Kingdom of Christ. But that is misleading because when Jesus returns, he will reign on the earth forever.
Here are some key descriptions of the kingdom on earth:
The Lord will return to reign: Revelation 19:15-16 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.
The Lord will reign over the whole earth: Zechariah 14:9 "The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name."
The Lord will reign over the whole earth forever: Daniel 2:44 "The God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever." (See also Daniel 7:13-18; Jeremiah 23:5-6)
The Lord will reign over all nations/peoples: Jeremiah 3:17 "At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the Lord. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts." (See also Daniel 7:18)
The Lord will reign in a new era of righteousness, peace and prosperity: Isaiah 2:4. The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." (See also Isaiah 11:1-10; 65:17-22)
Revelation 21:3-4 "God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”"
Asking for God's eternal Kingdom on earth is a revolutionary, world-changing, history-making prayer. This old world order (the kingdom of this world - Revelation 11:15 - and the kingdom of Satan - Luke 11:8) - a world dominated by the devastating effects of sin and death, this old world order will be dethroned and replaced by a better Kingdom that will endure forever.
Tyrants will fall. Oppressors will cower. Terrible judgment will cleanse the world. Darkness will hide. Disease and death will be erased. The devil and his demons will be plunged into oblivion. Justice and mercy will flow down like a river. Love will triumph!
When God answers our prayer, his glory will fill the earth and Jesus will be exalted over all. Isaiah 11 is a description of the millennial kingdom:
Isaiah 11:9-10 "They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. 10 In that day the Root of Jesse (the Lord Jesus Christ) will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place (inheritance) will be glorious."
CONCLUSION: PRAY BOLDLY
This week, make time to pray every day: "Your Kingdom come!"
First, you're asking, "Lord, change me."
Then, you're asking, "Lord change the world through me."
Finally, you're asking, "Lord change everything for the sake of your glory."
I see this call to pray as the greatest privilege of our lives. We stand in the gap on behalf of the church, the world, and of God. And God will answer. He told us to pray this way. He will answer!
HOW TO PRAY IN LIGHT OF TWO OTHER KINGDOMS
1. The kingdom of the world - Revelation 11:15. The people of this kingdom reject and replace God.
Psalms 2:1-3 "Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, 3 “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”"
How to pray: The kingdom of the world is full of people who are precious to God even while they ignore, reject, or replace in him in their lives. Pray for them to hear the Gospel and to turn to Jesus as God and Savior.
2. The kingdom of Satan. Satan rules over demons and people.
Luke 11:8 "If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand?"
Ephesians 2:2. " ... the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient."
2 Timothy 2:25-26 "Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will."
How to pray: Pray for the downfall of Satan's kingdom. Pray that the people he holds in bondage and blindness would be set free by the power of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4) and they would transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's Son (Colossians 1:13-14).