Saturday, February 4, 2012

February 5, 2012

"Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10

John Cassis is one of our nation’s finest motivational speakers. He told a story recently about a time when he was serving as one of the chaplain’s for the Chicago Bears during their glory years of the 80′s.

As John tells it, Mike Ditka was about to deliver a locker room pep talk one day. He looked up and saw defensive tackle William “Refrigerator” Perry. How could he not see him? At 338 pounds the Fridge stood out even in a crowd of pro football players. Ditka gestured to the Fridge. “When I get finished,” he said, “I’d like you to close with the Lord’s Prayer.” Then the coach began his talk.

Meanwhile, Jim McMahon, the brash and outspoken quarterback, punched John Cassis. “Look at Perry,” McMahon whispered, “he doesn’t know the Lord’s Prayer.”

Sure enough, Perry sat with a look of panic on his face, his head in his hands. He was sweating profusely. “Everybody knows the Lord’s Prayer,” said Cassis to McMahon in disbelief. After a few minutes of watching the Refrigerator leaking several gallons of sweat, McMahon nudged Cassis again. “I’ll bet you 50 bucks Fridge doesn’t know the Lord’s Prayer.”

When Coach Ditka finished his pep talk, he asked all the men to remove their caps. Then he nodded at Perry and bowed his head. It was quiet for a few moments before the Fridge spoke in a shaky voice, “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord, my soul to keep…”

Cassis felt the tap on his shoulder. It was Jim McMahon. “Here’s the 50 dollars,” he whispered. “I had no idea Perry knew the Lord’s Prayer.”

Like the Fridge and Jim McMahon, you may not know much about the Lord's Prayer. Or, you may not know as much as you think you do.

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, they had no idea how much He actually would teach them! He taught them not just about prayer, but about how they should think about God and about how they should relate to God and a lot about themselves.

The Lord's Prayer is about worship because it connects you with the Person of God and brings you into His presence and can actually shape your life into a living praise for Him!

Not only in this prayer about worship but it is about His will. When you pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done you are asking for Him to reign and rule in your life.

For this prayer to be answered you must accept His will.

The will of God is for you to acknowledge Him as King of your life. You must surrender to Him before you can accept His will. You must acknowledge that He is King and you are not!

Accepting His will and His kingship over your life requires that every decision you make choose His will and desires above your own. Kings aren't negotiated with or nagged or told "no". Kings are obeyed and honored and served.

Have you accepted God as your King? Have you sincerely prayed - "Your kingdom come"?

Second, you must align with His will.

Prayer is not for the purpose of trying to persuade God to get in line with your will. Prayer is to ask Him to help you align with His will.

Ancient mariners were able to navigate vast oceans and large seas after they discovered the North Star. It is a fixed point in the sky that they can use as a point of reference in determining their direction. When they face toward the North Star they immediately know that west is to their left and east is to their right and south is at their back. Aligning with the North Star gave them their bearings and lead them to their destination.

The will of God is to be your North Star and you are to line you life to that in every decision and with every step you take.

When you pray - "your will be done" - you are asking God to help you come into line with His will. His expressed will is to "Love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself". That is where it begins.

Third, you must act on His will.

God's will exists for the purpose of shaping your life in a way that pleases and honors Him! When you live out His will in your daily decisions and deeds you allow His kingdom to come and His will to be done through you right where you are!

Jesus accomplished the will of God because He accepted God's will, He aligned with God's will and He lived it out until the day He died - and in the way He died!

God's great gift you is a free will. But a free will in the hands of a willful sinner brings judgment upon Him. If you use your free will to live according to your own lusts and desires you will reap the consquences of sin.

The purpose of the Lord's Prayer is to give your free will back to God and let Him have control of it so what you desire will align with what He desires for you!

Will you pray - "your kingdom come, your will be done IN ME  as it is in heaven"?

Will you crown Him King in your life and spend your days serving, honoring and obeying Him?

February 4, 2012

"Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven".  Matthew 6:10

One of the things that makes our dog, Tyrod, so much fun is that he has such a strong personality. Either he is sleeping or he is charging full speed ahead. When he wants something he is relentless! It is safe to say that he is strong willed. And that very thing that makes him fun also makes him very frustrating to train. Thankfully, he only weighs 10 pounds and I weigh 200 or it he would completely have his way. Training Tyrod is an ongoing project.

What makes it further frustrating is the fact that we only want what is best for him and what is best for him is what is best for us! He has yet to figure that out. He knows he needs us because he is less than a foot tall and has no thumbs, so he is severely limited in what he can do for himself. I think he has figured out how dependent he is on us he just hasn't figured out if he likes it or not.

Life would be much better for the entire Snyder household if Tyrod would just look up at us with his goofy little underbite and his one trick eye and say, "Your kingdom come, your will be done."

Perhaps today will be that day! It hasn't happened yet, though.

In teaching the disciples how to pray, Jesus first addressed the issue of worship. Prayer is essential to worship because it connects you to the Person of God, brings you into His presence and empowers you to live your life as a praise offering to Him.

That makes complete sense, but the second thing He addresses is your will. God gave you a free will. It is one of the greatest gifts He has given you. He knows that how you exercise your free will make you or break you. Guess what? The enemy knows that, too! And therein, is the problem - he has contaminated your will with a self-centered bent so that your will and God's will are in conflict.

Praying, "Your kingdom come your will be done" is vitally important because it is telling God, "I give my will back to you and I surrender to yours!" THAT IS HUGE! And, by the way, you will have to pray that prayer many times during the day.

Tyrod reminds me of a painful truth, I am hard to train. I have a hard time bowing to the will of God in my life. I forget that what He wants for me is what is best for me. I slip into the illusion that I know what is best for me! And what is true for me is also true of you.

I will keep working on Tyrod to subdue his will. And I will allow God to keep training me and shaping me after His will. I will pray today, "Your kingdom come and your will be done" IN ME!

What will you do with your will today?