[b]"Thy Kingdom Come"[/b]
[i]by Zac Poonen[/i]
In Mathew 6:5-15, the Lord taught us to pray Our Father who art in
heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on
earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And
forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not
lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the
kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
The man who prays, "Thy kingdom come" is one who has set his mind and
his affection and his desires on things above. He's not one who has
put on a dress of Christianity and holiness. His spirituality is not
superficial. It goes right through to the very fibre of his being. He
is more interested in laying up treasures in heaven than treasures on this earth.
A Christian's attitude to money is one of the clearest tests of his
spiritual level, and of whether he is really longing for the kingdom
of God to come or not.
I remember hearing a story of a farmer who told his wife one day,
"Our cow has just given birth to two calves, a white one and a brown one.
And I thought that when they've grown up, we should give one of them
to the Lord." His wife asked him, "Which one are you going to give to
the Lord, the brown one or the white one?" He replied, "Well, we can
decide that later when they grow up." The calves grew up and they
became fatter and fatter. One day the farmer came home with a sad face
and told his wife, "I've got sad news for you. The Lord's calf just
died." And his wife said, "But how did you know which was going to be
the Lord's calf? You hadn't decided on that yet." He said, "Oh well,
all along I had it in my mind to give the brown calf to the Lord; and
it just died this morning." It is like that with most believers. It's
always the Lord's calf that dies! They give God what's left over after
all their own needs have been met. And because they're not "rich
towards God" they remain spiritually poor all their lives (Lk. 12:21).
In the Old Testament God had made a law that the Israelites had to
give their "choice firstfruits" to the Lord (Exod. 23:19). This was
the only way they could "honour the Lord" (Prov. 3:9). It's the same
today. We cannot honour the Lord if we don't give Him our best.
What do we find in our life? Is there always some excuse why we cannot
give the best to God. Then it shows where our heart really is. Where a
man's treasure is, there will his heart be also. But the man who
prays, "Thy kingdom come," is a man who has been delivered from the
love of money and material things. He lives for God and for eternity now.
The kingdom of God means the government of God, the absolute rulership
of God. It means making Jesus Christ absolute Lord over every area of
our life. If we want the kingdom of God to come, it must first come in
our hearts, in our homes, and in our churches. In these places we must
give no place to Satan or to the flesh. Our longing should be that the
kingdom of God should so fill our hearts, our homes and our churches
that there will be no room there for anything else.
The Holy Spirit came to bring "the kingdom of God with power" to earth
(Mark. 9:1). Our local churches should be a demonstration to the world
today of what the kingdom of God is like - that which will one day
cover the whole earth. Here is where we have failed the Lord.
When Jesus told us to seek God's kingdom first and not to be anxious
about earthly things, what He meant was that if we really wanted to be
anxious about something, we should be anxious that the kingdom of God
should come on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:33). How many of us
are burdened with that type of anxiety - for the purity of the church
and the coming of God's kingdom? May God find many among us who will
seek His kingdom first.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon