A King and a Kingdom

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Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your 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 Yours is the kingdom
and the power and the glory forever.
Amen.]
Matthew 6:9-13

lentThose of us living within the United States may have a more difficult time understanding the concepts of kings and kingdoms than people living in countries ruled by monarchs and royalty. However, these terms were a part of biblical times and were understood by Jesus from both natural and supernatural perspectives. Numerous times in scripture we find references to the kingdom of God. The Jews expected their Messiah to come as a king. On Palm Sunday when Jesus rode into Jerusalem, He was greeted and treated by people as a king. Jesus was a king, but He a wore a crown of thorns rather than a crown of gold. Still today we are assured of the promise in Revelation 19:16 that the time will come when Jesus will be known as “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

As we enter into the third week of Lent, I continue to explore and search for the deeper meanings hidden within the words Jesus shared with His disciples when they asked Him how to pray. So, today we will try to gain new understanding about kingdoms and why Jesus chose these words to be part of the Lord’s Prayer.

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

For me, these words of Jesus can be interpreted from two different perspectives. First, this verse can be considered an extension of the praise declared in verse 9. We can proclaim that God has an established kingdom. The other emphasis is to pray these words as a petition asking for God to bring His kingdom into reality on earth. As either praise or petition, I find power within these words. Let’s explore these words more closely.

Your kingdom come. Your will be done,”
You can’t have a kingdom without a king! I want to substantiate the fact that God is the king Jesus is referring to by quoting Psalm 47:7-8, “For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with a skillful psalm. God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne.” It is a fact that we have a spiritual king. A king rules through his authoritative power that results in his will being done. To honor a king, one submits to the king’s will; a king holds the position of being a lord or monarch or leader. This is true in both the natural and supernatural realms. Jesus further explains His words in the last line of Matthew 6:10.

On earth as it is in heaven.
Jesus is asking for God’s kingdom to be established on earth. However, He knows this is not easily done by human beings so He uses God’s kingdom in heaven as an example for what He desires. This kingdom of God is now fulfilled in heaven and one day it will exist on earth. Throughout the gospels, Jesus makes numerous references to the kingdom of God. I like the promise of Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Jesus sets the example for submission to God as His King when He prays in Luke 22:42, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.

Earthly kings often let their power dominate their thoughts and actions. They may not feel a need to associate with ordinary people. God as King has an entirely different perspective. He even allowed the veil in the temple to be torn in two when Jesus died upon the cross revealing His availability to all who call upon His name and pray to Him. One of Jesus’ seven last words on the cross is found in John 19:30, “It is finished.” Jesus was saying that now we can have an audience with our King, we can pray to Him, we can talk to Him. We do not need an appointment or have to go through red tape like we would have to do to communicate with an earthly king.

When I pray for God’s kingdom to be established in my life and the lives of those around me, I am allowing God to have priority in my life now and forever. These are not simply words to be uttered to the Lord without careful consideration.

My Reader, may we never forget the statement of Revelation 19:16, “And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” The day this scripture is fulfilled will also be the day when the words of the Lord’s Praying asking for “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven” will be fully answered.

Joyfully,
Cheryl

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