I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.(Philippians 3:12)
The seeking of God begins at conversion. Though we may proclaim to the world that we “found it,” the finding of God is, ironically, the beginning of seeking after God. To seek God is a lifelong pursuit. The seeking after God is what Jonathan Edwards called “the main business of the Christian life.”
To seek God’s kingdom is to fulfill the last command of Jesus as well as the crucial petition of the Lord’s Prayer: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”(Matthew 6:10)
The last question His disciples asked Jesus was, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?(Acts 1:6) Just moments before Jesus departed this planet in His glorious ascension, His students pressed Him with one last question. The question was about the kingdom, Jesus answered the question first with a mild rebuke and then with a command: “You shall be witnesses to Me.”(Acts 1:8)
We are called to seek the kingdom by bearing witness to the kingdom. We are to seek to show the world what the kingdom of God looks like. For the kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven means that loyal children of the King do the King’s will here and now. We bear witness to God’s kingdom by serving God’s King. This is the will of God. This is what pleases Him. There is a reason why Jesus links the coming of the kingdom with doing the will of God. “Your kingdom come” and “Your will be done” belong together. They ate two sides of the same coin. The kingdom comes on earth where God’s will is done on earth.
The conclusion we reach is this: The great overarching goal, of the Christian life is obedience to the King. And He is pleased when we obey.
R. C. Sproul
How we long for the day when the troubles of this world cease. Again and again man has attempted to usher in times of peace and tranquility. Treaties have been written, pacts have been made, and nations have attempted to act upon the agreements their diplomats have worked out. The League of Nations and ultimately the United Nations were both formed to bring the world together. Unfortunately for the most part they have not succeeded. Yet we pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Do we pray this in vain? Can it ever be seen answered?
The answer is yes, but not through the work of humans and not by treaties, pacts and agreements. The kingdom comes in and through hearts that have found the Lord as Savior and then Lord. One heart at a time and one life at a time the kingdom comes.
Salvation is not an event but the beginning of a journey. That journey begins with Christ and cumulates with Christ in eternity. We first know Christ through the new birth. If we see salvation as an event then we will stop in that moment and never move farther in our relationship with Christ. If salvation is just a single event in a moment in time, then it would be like the bride and groom seeing the wedding as an event rather than the cumulative of courtship and the beginning of the journey together as one. When the kingdom comes in our hearts, we will hasten to obey the requests and desires of God long before they become commands. When Christ is truly our king, our lives take on new meaning and new purpose. That purpose is fulfilling the plans of God on earth with the same delight as it is carried out in heaven. This is literally what we pray. We ask that the kingdom come establishing that Christ is our king and we are his willing enthusiastic servants. We ask that first in us and then through us His will, desires and plans come to pass.
Our journey with Christ has as its purpose that we surrender more and more of our wills and that we embrace and carry out His purposes more and more.
Often we spend fruitless time and effort attempting to pressure the world around us to conform to our perception of the Christian ideal rather than introducing it to the only life-changer, Jesus Christ. True change can only come through changed hearts. Changed hearts can only come with an overthrow of the king of our hearts(self) and the seating of Christ on the throne of that heart. Once His kingdom is established in our hearts then we seek to know and carry out His will. And the more we pursue and know Him, the more we surrender until at last the kingdom of God is established on earth as it is in heaven.
From the beginning Satan has desired to steal or diminish the glory of God. One way he has attempted to do so was in his own rebellion and the drawing away with him of a third of the angels. His next attempt and somewhat a success was when he convinced Adam and Eve to rebel. He lost badly as Christ chose fully to surrender and obey the wishes of the Father. He succeeds in diminishing God’s glory when we seat anything other than Christ on the throne of our hearts but fails when we choose the surrender our will and seat Christ on that throne.
Let it be more than words of a prayer. Let us live “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.”
Dr. John Thompson