Sermon by Rev. Dr. Isaac Mills-Owoo (Senior Pastor)
When you pray “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.“
“Do you really mean that?
Key text, (1 Samuel 1:3-20)
Year after year Elkanah went up to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the Lord who rules over all. Like Job, Elkanah was devoted to the worship of God.
Every time the day came for Elkanah to offer a sacrifice he would give a portion to Peninnah and her two sons but to Hannah her other wife who had no child, he gave a double portion of meat because he loved her.
Because Hannah was barren Peninnah kept provoking her.
Beloved God is so great and marvelous that no man can understand Him.
Vs 14-15 Hannah kept praying until Eli, the priest told her she was drunk. But she replied, “I’m not drunk! You don’t have the faintest idea of what I’m going through Eli then said “may God grant your request”
Vs 19 Early the next morning Elkanah and his family got up, worshipped the Lord and went back to their home in Ramah.
Elkanah laid with his wife Hannah and the Lord remembered her.
Thy will be done!
Remember that, Hannah’s problem was not her problem, the problem was God. But to God it was not a problem because it was a plan which would be accomplished in His own appointed time.
Beloved, may the Lord know and see all what you’re going through and remember you at His own right time. In His own glory may He show His might.
THE COMPELLING PURPOSE OF GOD
How many of us would traverse a course knowing very well that we would be ambushed and killed?
But this is exactly what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did. By telling His disciples that they were going to Jerusalem, He knew very well that He was going to be killed in Jerusalem. Jesus took the twelve aside; He…said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem…” Luke 18:31
What has been written about the Son of Man by the prophets?
He would be used as a sacrifice, but that did not deter Him.
Jerusalem to Jesus represents the place where He reached His utmost of His Father’s will. Jesus said, “I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 5:30).
Sometimes the will of God does not seem palatable to us, but Jesus teaches us that, doing the will of His father was His dominating concern.
The place where He reached His utmost commitment to the Lord.
Therefore, if going to Jerusalem to be killed was what was going to reveal God’s glory then may His will be done!
Beloved if your Jerusalem, is to endure hardship for a while so that God will be glorified then so be it.
Jesus said in (John 5:30) “I do nothing by myself …I do not try to do my own will but the will of the One who sent me.”
Sometimes the will of God does not seem palatable to us, so whether He (Jesus) encountered joy or sorrow, success or failure, He was not deterred from that purpose, that was why He said steadfastly let us go to Jerusalem.
As Christians we need to remember that our Jerusalem is to fulfill God’s purpose.
Sometimes we run from ‘Jerusalem’ to ‘Judea’because that is where we find comfort.
To some of us it doesn’t matter how we make wealth or how we get a child but ask yourself is it the will of God?
If Jesus meant what He said in John 15:16, then whatever we ask in His name the Father will give to us.
Bear in mind that God’s compelling purpose is non-negotiable.
We are not taken into a conscious agreement with God’s purpose -God’s calling is not with our agreement.
> We are chosen to accomplish God’s purpose not ours.
> His calling is not for our purpose but we appear to be so shortsighted that we have no idea what God’s goal would be.
> When we were of the world we owned our lives but as Christians we have no goals of our own.
If an architect starts designing a skyscraper on paper it may appear meaningless to us but when it is brought into fruition we marvel. In the same way we have no idea what God’s goal may be; as we continue, His purpose becomes even more and more blurred, but always remember that there is a process and an end result. We pray for the end result but God does the processing. In the process we may have to go through difficult, disgraceful, and turbulent times, but through it all, He is transforming us into his own likeness. 2 Corinthians 3:18. Stop comparing yourself to others because God’s purpose for our lives are different and don’t judge people because of what they are going through because our processes are different.
GOD’S TRANSFORMING POWER
He does what He does.
Psalm 115:1-3 “Not unto us, O LORD, but unto thy name be the glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, where is nowtheir God? But our God is in the heavens: He does what pleases Him.”
So if God does what pleases Him then do we have to continue praying? The answer is yes! As a Christian you may have been ridiculed by people because of an adversity you are going through, they may ask you where is the God you claim to have? Take heart and reply them, my God is in Heaven, He does what pleases Him and in His own right time He will remember me!
To “suffer as a Christian” is to have no answer when the world’s satire is turned on you, as it was turned on Jesus Christ when he hung upon the cross, when they turned his words into jest and jeer; they will do the same to you. He gave no answer; neither can you. – Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)
If Jesus taught us to pray;” thy will be done” then He had to demonstrate it.
Praying for His will to be done provides the very foundation for our prayers. We are asking that God’s will be done in our lives and in the world surrounding us. I suspect that we often get it in reverse and pray as if we expect God to change the universe just to accommodate us.
We make our wish known, we expect God to change the universe to give us what we want.
Notice you are not asking God to change His will but to align your will to His.
The first time Jesus used the phrase thy will be done was when He taught the disciples the Lord’s Prayer.
The second time Jesus used thy “will be done” was in the garden, Father if it is possible let this cup be taken from me but not as I will but your will be done” (Matt 2:39-42)
The third time was in vs 42 “If it is not possible then thy will be done.
In vs 39 Jesus says “If it is possible”, then in vs 42 He says, “If it is not possible”.
In vs 39 Jesus was acknowledging God’s omnipotence and in vs 42 He was acknowledging His sovereignty.
He chooses what He wants to do according to His will and purpose. Therefore, we don’t depend solely on His omnipotence but also on His sovereignty.
Jesus was modelling for us and taught us how to depend on God’s sovereignty.
God can do anything but we must submit to His sovereign will.
If your prayers conform to the will of God then He will grant your request.
Sometimes you would be chasing after a particular job for a very long time thinking that landing that job would be your turning point in life, but God knows what is best for you. Because in the end it is His glory that would be revealed.
DEVELOPING AN ATTITUDE TO BE ABLE TO SAY THY WILL BE DONE!
1. The attitude in us is what makes us do what we do. Therefore expression of our opinions is based on in-built attitude. There are two types of attitudes: Mediated socio-cultural attitude is the type which a child learns from his family as early as five years. Self-incubated attitude is what is learned from outside.
2. Jesus learnt to be obedient through what He suffered. Therefore our experiences should be a learning curve until we come to a point like Job and Meshach, Abednego and Shadrach where we can say “Father, thy will be done”
As we Live our lives we should have an attitude of “Thy will be done”. Live in accordance with God’s will. God’s purpose should be our priority.
Seeking God’s kingdom should be our primary focus.
If we do as God commands us then in the end He will say, well done thou faithful servant.
According to Romans 12:2, it is our privilege to submit to that “…good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (NKJV)
God wants His children to rely solely on Him and grow in their ability to trust Him fully. This is why He calls believers to positions that have the potential to stretch, mature, and transform them into the people He wants them to be.
God’s processes can be very bitter. If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably does not lead anywhere.
In order for Abram to receive the promised blessing, he had to be willing to break out of his “Comfort Zone”, and leave the things, people, and place with which he was most familiar.
Prayer is not a way of making God conform to our expectations but rather aligning our expectations to His will. So when we pray, what we ask for should fall in Gods will.
May we grow to a point where we can proclaim your will be done – regardless of the pain and suffering.
God richly bless you. SHALOM!