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  • Writer's pictureRevive Church Lakeland

Praying Like Him: Seeking His Kingdom | Deeper Study with Annie Tibbs



“Thy Kingdom Come.’


Like the phrase “Our Father,,” or “My Father,” which was so often on the

Master’s lips, so the phrases, “the Kingdom of God,” or, “the Kingdom of

heaven” were frequently uppermost in His thoughts and teaching. It is no

wonder then, that He would introduce this theme into His prayer. It was such

an important concept that He makes it a very pointed petition to God, His

Father:


Thy Kingdom come!”


Praying, “Thy Kingdom come,” means asking the heavenly Father to help us in

our own lives to be faithful, obedient, authentic, and effective Christians. We

spread God’ s kingdom and the observable qualities of our character. (Matt.

7:16, 20, John 13:35 , John 3:10)


Even in the time of Jesus, His most ardent followers had real difficulty in

comprehending the Kingdom of God. Most of them were quite sure it referred

to an earthly empire which He would establish. The people of Israel were

weary with the burdens and angry at the abuse they bore under Rome’s rigid

rule. They were convinced Christ was their great, new emerging monarch who,

by supernatural force, would overthrow the oppressor. They were positive the

might of the foreigners would be shattered, and they would be set free again.

Because of this belief, the disciples especially were baffled and beaten by the

final bewildering sequence of events that led their Lord to a criminal’s

crucifixion at Calvary. It Seemed strangely impossible to them that their

Messiah, their Christ their Anointed One, should suddenly meet an

ignominious end. After all, was not the “Kingdom of heaver” always on His

mind and heart? Yet now it had suddenly come to nothing!



And in some measure, it is true to say that the Kingdom of God, even to this

day baffles people. For example, there are those who assert that “the Kingdom

of heaven,” referred to throughout Matthew; s writing, is quite distinct from

“the Kingdom of God” spoken of by Mark, Luke, and John.

Other scholars assert that “the Kingdom of God” is the social activity and

outreach of the church during this era of human history.


When Jesus uttered the simple request to His Father, “Thy kingdom come,” He

was not only thinking of the Messianic kingdom, but also implied that He was

inviting Him to establish His Kingship in the hearts and lives of men. In fact,

when any human being utters this prayer, if it is done in sincerity, it conveys

the request to have divine sovereignty, God’s government, sit up in a human

life.


So what our Lord is saying in this prayer is.”Our Father... in heaven, hallowed

be thy name; thy kingdom come, meaning, “You, oh God, our Father, who art

Ruler of heaven and earth, whose authority is utterly paramount throughout the

universe, come and establish Your sovereignty as well in the hearts of people

on earth, and eventually upon the earth itself.”



PEOPLE PRAY IT BUT DO NOT MEAN IT.

When all is said and done, most of us from our earliest childhood believe we

are the king of our own castle. We determine our own destinies; we arrange

our own affairs; we govern our own lives. We become specialists in selfish,

self-centered living where all of life revolves around the epicenter of me, I,

mine.


So, if I sincerely, earnestly, and genuinely implore God to come into my life

and experiences, there to establish His Kingdom, I can only expect that there is

inevitably that there will follow a formidable conflict between His divine

sovereignty and my self-willed ego.


When I pray, “Thy Kingdom come,” I am willing to relinquish the rule of my

own life, to give up governing my own affairs, to abstain from making my own

decisions in order to allow God, by His indwelling Spirit, to decide for me

what I shall do.



Paul emphasized this concept in (1 Corinthians 3:16) Don’t you know that you

yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

Also, you are the temple of the living God. As God has said, “I will live with

them and walk among them, and I will be their God , and they will be my

people.” Therefore “Come out from them and separate, says the Lord.” Touch

no unclean thing and I will receive you. And “I will be a Father to you, and you

will be my sons and daughters,” says the Lord. (2 Corinthians6:16-18.

So when Christ said the simple yet profound petition, “Thy kingdom come,”

He envisaged His own future kingdom on earth and also the very Spirit of the

living God coming into a human heart at regeneration to make it His holy


habitation. He saw a human being as a temple, and abode, a residence of the

Most High. But He knew that only when such an occupied heart is held and

controlled by the indwelling Spirit could it be truly said that here indeed is a

part of the spiritual Kingdom of God where His will was done on earth.

An awareness of this fact can revolutionize our whole life. A keen sense of

God’s presence within can change our entire outlook, alter all our attitudes,

redirect all our activities.


The basic difference between a defeated, dismal Christian and a victorious,

vibrant Christian lies in whether or not God, by his Spirit, controls the life. If

He has there taken up sovereignty as well as residence in the soul, establishing

a bit of the Kingdom of God in this human heart, that person will know the

presence of God which will transform his entire being. It will become to him a

delight to do god’s bidding. It will be to him an honor to be God’s subject.

When there steals over our spirits an acute awareness that God does in fact

choose to reside within us, it is not nearly so difficult to vacate the throne of

our own lives in His favor. We find it is a joy to pay deference to Him. As

with David, we can say, “I would rather be a doorman of the temple of my God

than live in palaces of wickedness.”(PS 84:10)



We see ourselves now in an entirely new light. We see our lives as the

residence of divine royalty. We re the temple, the habitation of the Most High.

We are no longer kings in our own castles or bosses of our own houses. We are

but the doormen, the doorkeepers, whose responsibility it is to see that these

temples shall not be desecrated, damaged, or defiled.


This is the role of the priest. Peter, in his first epistle, chapter two, points out

clearly that as God’s royal priesthood, we have this honor and responsibility

before our King.


When that Kingdom does come, when it is established, what are its chief

attributes and characteristics? Paul tells us very plainly in his letter to the

church at Rome, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but

righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (R 14:17).


In other words, the government of God within my life establishes an inner state

in which righteousness, peace, and joy in a spiritual dimension dominate my

days.


The Kingdom spoken of here is no outward, external empire of erratic

emotions. Instead, it is an inner condition of mind, will, and spirit in which

God’s will becomes my will.


Finally the joy which is a hallmark of God’s Kingdom is not a state of

happiness dependent on changing circumstances or on what is happening

around us. It is, rather, a serene, stable spirit known only to those who enjoy

the presence of God’s person within their lives. They sense and know that the

King is in residence. In this awareness, there lies enormous assurance and

quiet joy. They can be confident that, under Christ’s control and through the

guidance of His Spirit, their relationships with others, as well as themselves,

can be free from fear and joyous with the strength of God, no matter how

tempestuous life may be.


All of this is bound up in the coming of God’s Kingdom into a man’s life. The

benefits are beyond our fondest hopes. They can be ours if, in sincerity and

earnestness, we mean what we say in addressing our Father and requesting.

“Thy kingdom come.”



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