On earth in the same way it is in heaven?

May 12, 2007 at 8:50 pm 2 comments

I don’t usually post on the weekend.  Blogging is hard work, at least for me, and believe it or not I have other things to do. But, I am still in Redding, by myself, missing Linda and missing my mother who went to be with Jesus almost 3 years ago, so mostly what I have is time.  I don’t believe I have missed a Mother’s Day with the mother of our children in 35 years but she was adament that I needed to be here so she is going to spend the day with Brad, Summer and Canyon.  I left flowers for her before I flew down here on Wednesday and she will open my card of love to her on Mother’s Day, but for now I am alone and spending a lot of time today in worship and prayer.

Here is something I have been thinking about today, actually for several days, but today I have been fighting through a whole lot of my personal history, training and practise to try and answer this question as honestly as I can.  Here it is: What is the normal Christian life?  Or said another way: what should be normal expectations for a follower of Jesus who is empowered by the Holy Spirit of Jesus who declared before He left, we would do greater things than He, because He was headed back to His Father?  Or another way: Is what we experience in our day to day lives following Jesus, normal?

The reason I am thinking about these questions, and I hope you understand them, is because I am being challenged every day to not accept my past experience as normative for a believing follower of Jesus.

Pastor Bill Johnson writes in his book, When Heaven Invades Earth: It is abnormal for a Christian not to have an appetite for the impossible.  It has been written into our spiritual DNA to hunger for the impossibilities around us to bow at the name of Jesus. 

My training, experience, history etc would say to me, “it is normal for a Christian to not have an appetite for the impossible.  Almost nobody I know from my past life has any confidence that the Name of Jesus carries any power at all, let alone to accomplish the impossible. Sure we all believe it but we have no confidence in it.  That is a huge difference.

Mostly what the Christians I know do is talk.  We preach, we hold seminars, we go to Bible School and Seminary, we write books, we blog, we talk, talk, talk.  But in all of that talk there is so little power. Am I close in this?  What do you think the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote 1Corinthians 4:20? For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

A few years ago I spent several weeks preaching through the words of the Lord’s Prayer.  It was pretty good, as far as preaching goes, I even think I got some of it right, but I never was able to  accurately speak to this one statement: May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.  What was Jesus saying when He instructed us to pray this way?  He was telling us that there was extraordinary power in prayer that asks for the will of the Father to be done right here on earth in the same way as it is done in heaven! 

How would you think the Father’s will is done in heaven?  PERFECTLY!  Maybe I am just naive or ignorant or something but Jesus seems to be saying to us: pray in such a way, that what is going on in heaven, begins to go on on this earth.  Whatever is going on in heaven is in perfect and complete accord with what the Father wants it to be.  Apparently, and this is where I got myself in trouble a few years ago when I was preaching on this phrase, apparently whatever the will of the Father is for this earth is not going on as He wills it to or why would Jesus ask us to pray that it would?

So here is what I have been thinking about almost all day and now into the night (it is about 8pm here) Is there addiction in heaven?  Is there cancer in heaven?  Are there broken marriages in heaven?  Are people fearful, afraid, lonely, wasted, insane, and on and on in heaven?  Now really, is any of that in heaven?  Of course not.  Perhaps the reason those things exist here on earth is because His will is not being done perfectly here on earth. Could that be right?

Apparently if the Father’s will is to be done here on earth as it is in heaven, perfectly, then we have to pray it to be done.  All of the Father’s will is in heaven and so if we want the authority and power of that realm and reality down here, we are going to have to pray it into this realm and reality. 

We are to pray that His will would be superimposed over this world until this earth begins to look like the one where He lives.  We are to pray His Kingdom come, His will be done.  That is, we are to ask Him to bring the rule, order, and benefits of His world to be the reality in this one.

I don’t know for sure how it all plays out but when we begin to ask the rule and authority of HEAVEN to be the rule and authority on earth, well, that changes everything.

That’s all I have right now, but I am going to get more, a lot more. 

A special Happy First Mother’s Day to our daughter (forget the in-law stuff) Summer!

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Entry filed under: Christianity, Church, Culture, Faith, Jesus, Revelation, The Father, Thoughts.

Family. Question amid the Kansas rubble.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. renversgirl  |  May 14, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    right on, it is interesting how even those of us who so want to find God and an familial church, forget that just talking about it ain’t gonna cut it. I like your take on the “on earth as it is in heaven” i sometimes pray this when i am in bed too tired to try and remember who all i said i would pray for i have always wondered just what exactly might happened if i REALLY meant that, cuz honestly it is a little scary.

  • 2. Royal  |  May 13, 2007 at 9:57 am

    I must say that I have never thought about that particular verse of the Lord’s Prayer in quite the manner that you have just put forth. I recite that prayer every night before I go to bed, but I now realize I do it selfishly. I say it hoping for some sort of protection for my own little world and not the whole of the Earth. The verse says nothing about each persons realm, but Earth. Since the Earth is not just mine, I will change my frame of mind to do what is commanded. Thanks for pointing that out.

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