The Purposes of God
November 17, 2019 Speaker: Dr. Rick Gregory Series:
Topic: Discipleship Verse: Luke 11:2–11:2
The Disciple’s Prayer
“The Purposes of God”
Luke 11: 2d
Theme: To pray for the Kingdom to come is to yearn for God’s purposes to be fully realized.
Introduction: The desire to rule – or the sense of dominion – is something that each person knows innately. Our desire to be “self-determinative” or autonomous causes 2-year olds to test their parents, teenagers to rebel, and adults to defy anyone who gets in their way. Kingdoms war against one another for power. Nations fight against one another for dominance. Empires extend themselves for greater territory or wealth. Men will give their lives to serve these kingdoms and to enable them to reach greater levels of success.
However, there is one kingdom that exists that brings blessing, forgiveness, and fulfillment to all of its subjects – called the Kingdom of God. All of us ought to desire to live in such a way that this kingdom would thrive.
In our text, The Kingdom of God is something that Jesus instruct His followers to call out to God that He might enable His kingdom to become all the more pervasive, powerful and relevant. To pray “Your Kingdom come” demonstrates several spiritual insights necessary as we approach God: 1) An Awareness of the Rebellion of Sin; 2) An Aspiration for the Resources of Salvation; and 3) An Anticipation of the Reign of the Savior.
I. The Awareness of the Rebellion of Sin
A. The Antagonism toward God’s Authority
- As Jesus provides instruction with reference to this first portion of the prayer, that half that addresses the believer’s love for God, He instructs us to possess a priority for God to exercise His sovereign purposes in this world: “Your kingdom come.”
- One of the realities that such a request acknowledges is that there is another kingdom that exists and which seems to prevail – the kingdom of darkness – cp. Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 6:12.
- This “rival authority” is governed by the enemy of our souls – the Devil who is called the “ruler of this world” – cp. John 12:31; Ephesians 2:2; Matthew 12:24-28
- The world is that principle of the flesh or system of thought that sets itself up against God – and is hostile against God – cp. Romans 8:7; James 4:4.
- This domain of darkness is evidenced in our own desire to rule our own souls – to be the “captains of our own destiny.”
B. The Alternative to God’s Authority
- Given the option, men default to a rebellion against God – we are born alienated and hostile and constant choose to remain so.
- When sinful man was presented with the opportunity to see the kingdom of God presented, their response was to reject it – cp. Luke 4:43; 8:1; Acts 1:3.
- Those who reject the Kingdom of God, will also reject the King and prefer a less “intrusive” or more “permissive” of moral corruption than is God – cp. John 19:14-15.
- Such rejection of the King results in the souls of such men being desolate, without hope, and delusional – cp. Matthew 23:37-39.
- Hence Jesus teaches us to pray for the Kingdom of God to “come” – to become relevant both by inception and increment.
In what was does the domain of darkness still govern your life?
In what ways would your life specifically change if you were to be free from the dominion of sin?
In what ways does your life demonstrate that you have been made part of the Kingdom of God?
When you pray “Your kingdom come,” you are praying for greater submission to God, greater dominance by God in your life, a greater influence of God’s Spirit so that you might serve God in your life. It is a form of abdication from the throne of your own life and a confession that Jesus Christ is the only rightful Ruler of your own heart. You are saying that you do not want to live for the priorities of this world where it is all about you, you are declaring to God that you desire that He prevail and that you desire His priorities to be your priorities – cp. Matthew 6:33
II. The Aspiration for the Resources of Salvation
A. The Aspiration for the Power of the Gospel (Inception)
- Given the rebellion against the kingdom because of sin, Jesus instructs the disciples to pray that the present, worldly kingdom be vanquished through the righteousness that the Kingdom of God brings – “Your kingdom come.”
- As such, the Gospel of the Kingdom is the good news that this power of this world is able to be vanquished through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His work of defeating Satan – cp. 1 Thessalonians 2:12.
- As Jesus instructs us to pray “Your kingdom come,” He is encouraging us to pray for the progress of the Gospel and is thus a prayer for God to save sinners from the domain of darkness – John 3:3, 5.
- This is something that is constantly thwarted by false teaching and Satanic blinding of spiritual eyes so that people do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ – cp. Matthew 23:13.
B. The Aspiration for the Progress of Godliness (Incremental)
- As a believer progressively realizes the power of God’s Spirit in their lives and are conformed to Christ Jesus, the Kingdom of God becomes all the more visible in and through their lives – Romans 14:17.
- This is where the conquering power of God’s grace claims more and more territory in your own personal heart.
- As you pray “Your kingdom come” – you are praying that you personally will become increasingly subject to the authority of God and compliant with His will.
- You are seeking to see the rule of God in your life become all the more pervasive, powerful, and persistent and thus it is a prayer of submission to the will of God – cp. Matthew 6:10b.
Through Christ, the power of God and His Kingdom are made available to you – have you personally benefitted from this power?
In what way have you made the Gospel available to others God brings into your life?
Have you taken the message to anyone so that the Gospel of the Kingdom might be spoken to others? – cp. Matthew 24:14
When you pray “Your Kingdom come,” you are asking God to enable His Gospel to extend in this world. The primary way that He has determined that He will do that is through you speaking of Christ. Young person, Let me ask you – have you considered the possibility of being a missionary, taking the Gospel to places where it is not readily available? – cp. Luke 18:28-30. Young man, have you considered being a pastor? Why not? Can you pray “Your kingdom come” and then look to someone else to promote it?
III. The Anticipation of the Reign of the Savior
A. The Anticipation of the King’s Arrival
- Yet in the fullest sense, the ultimate “coming” of the “kingdom” is when the Lord Jesus Christ returns in power and great glory - this was the yearning of the disciples – cp. Acts 1:6-11.
- They knew in their study of the Old Testament, that the Kingdom of Heaven would be established when the Messiah comes – and through the benefit of the New Testament revelation, we know that it will be when He comes again – cp. Revelation 19:11-16; 20:1-6.
- This is when the Messiah – the Lord Jesus – will make all things right through a restoration of how things ought to have been since the Fall – cp. Acts 3:19-21.
- When Jesus comes, all rival kingdoms will be totally vanquished and Christ alone will stand as the sole authority over our lives with each of us as subject to Him in glory – cp. Revelation 11:15-17.
B. The Anticipation of the King’s Authority
- Ultimately, even this will usher into an eternal reign by Christ in a New Heaven and New Earth.
- At this point, even as when the name of God will be truly hallowed, the kingdom of Christ will be turned over to the Father for His glory – cp. 1 Corinthians 15:24.
- The expectation and hope for Christ’s return is a cause of most of the Christian disciplines and pursuits that occupy us until He comes.
- Without the “blessed hope,” the church becomes complacent, corrupted, and compromised; but, with a sincere yearning for Christ to come, there is a zeal, purity, and clarity of purpose and pursuit that is summarized by the phrase “Maranatha” – “even so come Lord, Jesus!” – Revelation 22:20.
What hope does the promise of Jesus’ return provide for you?
How does Jesus return to rule motivate you to serve Him now?
The great motivation of looking for the Lord to return is less about your situation than about His glory … how can you begin living for His glory now? What changes should you be making?