Thy Will Be Done
Sunday, July 18, 2021
Pastor Deb Kielsmeier
The Lord’s Prayer. It is a prayer many of you know by heart. In fact, this prayer is so familiar to some of us that we can put our brains in neutral and the words come out without having to think too much. Easy to say. Easy to Pray. But hard to carry out.
We are in a sermon series called Powerful Prayers. There are some prayers that are so powerful, so muscular that – if we truly mean them – they can transform our lives and turn our world upside down.
Your Will be Done – is one of those prayers.
Jesus modeled what praying and living this prayer looks like.
Just before he was arrested by the Roman soldiers, Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was so burdened by the ordeal he was facing that he began to sweat drops of blood, Luke tells us. Yet, this is what he prays to his Father. “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” (Matthew 26:39) Not my will but your will be done.
Jesus is honest about his struggle and his desire to bypass the suffering that lay ahead, yet, knowing it would bring life and salvation to you and me… he lays down his will and very life. Wow. Jesus not only prayed this way, but he lived this way. In the gospel of John, he declares, “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me”. (John 6:38)
Obviously, Jesus has a will. And at times, what he desired in his humanness… what he wanted, was not congruent with God’s will. But Jesus was honest with God in prayer. And we can be as well. God knows our struggles and our longings and wants us to come with all of that in prayer. But ultimately, when we pray, Your Will be Done, we are asking for GOD’S direction and path for our lives, not our own.
Have you heard of the Prosperity Gospel? Sometimes it is called the Health and Wealth Gospel. It is quite popular in the United States. It goes something like this.
If you come to God in faith and obedience, claiming God’s promises, God will bless your family, your career, your finances, your health, and your aspirations. It is rather transactional. You conjure up faith, tithe, and claim God’s promises. And God will bless you.
Do you see the inversion here? This is not Your will be Done, but God bless MY will. My pocketbook, my career, my dreams. My will. Of course, God desires to bless us. But God is NOT a sugar daddy to call upon to do our bidding. God is not a cosmic genie sprinkling fairy dust on our own plans. Your Will be Done is not bending God our way — it is bending us God’s way.
The problem is: it is hard to always want to do God’s will. We want what we want when we want it. We think we know what is best for us – and we are not sure we can truly trust God with our lives.
Friends, God’s will for you and for me is good. Here is where faith meets life…
If you fear giving your life to God. Ask yourself. Why? What am I afraid of? You might pray, “God, show yourself to me. Let me know who you are. I want to trust you. But I am afraid you will screw up my life.” Or you might pray: Lord, I want to get to the place where I want to do your will. Where I can truly say “Your Will Be Done.” But I am not quite there yet. Help me to be willing. Help me to trust you. To fall in love with you. To be willing to give myself to you as a living sacrifice.
Romans 12:1 exhorts us to present ours bodies as living sacrifices to God. Many of you here have done just that. You have given your lives and will to God and you want to serve God. But still. It is hard. The problem with being a living sacrifice, is that we have a way of getting back down off the altar. We get distracted. Other plans call to us. Jesus is still in our lives, but we keep him in our back pocket. You know, as an ‘add-on’ in case of an emergency. We love him, but we are not living for him.
I would like to read this devotional I found called Pedal.
When I first fell in love with Jesus, my life seemed like a bike ride. It was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Jesus was in the back helping me pedal.
I don’t know just when it was that He suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since. When I had control, I knew the way, it was rather boring, but predictable…It was the shortest distance between two points. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places, at breakneck speeds, it was all I could do to hang on! Even though it looked like madness, He said, “Pedal”
I worried and was anxious and asked, “Where are you taking me?” He laughed and didn’t answer, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure.
And when I’d say, “I’m scared,” He’d lean back and touch my hand.
He took me to people with gifts that I needed. Gifts of healing, acceptance, and joy.
Then he said, “Give the gifts away; they’re extra baggage, too much weight.” So I did, I gave them to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.
I did not trust Him, at first, In control of my life. I thought He’d wreck it; But He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, knows how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten scary passages. And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places and I’m beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.
And when I’m sure I just can’t do anymore, He just smiles and says…”Pedal.”
A new life is waiting for you to step into. It is not always easy. But it is GOOD. Full of grace and deep joy. And it comes when you dare pray, Lord, Your Will – not mine – Be Done.
Let it be so with us.