“Your will be done . . .” (Matt. 6:10b). The good life is not found in the success of my will, but in the submission of all things to God’s will.
It was a 1950s television program unlike anything that would be broadcast today. Even its title is politically incorrect in today’s culture (despite this, its episodes are still being aired). Father Knows Best was the says-it-all title of this iconic TV series. Maybe today the program would be called Everyone but Father Knows Best.
Perhaps Father Knows Best is not such a bad title for this section of the Lord’s Prayer. Here’s what we all need to keep in mind at all times: the One who rules over this world is the ultimate definition of everything that is good, wise, right, loving, faithful, and true. Hope in life is never about doing whatever you need to do to get your way. Hope in life is not found in expending all your resources, time, energy, and gifts to realize your personal dreams. Hope in life is not found in working yourself into as much control as possible over the people and situations in your life. In a word, hope is not found in your will being done.
Hope is found in only one place—in the wise and faithful rule of your Father in heaven. With his “before origin to beyond destiny” perspective, he really does know what is best for you and for everything he created. Prayer is never about asking God to submit his awesome power to your will and plan; prayer is an act of personal submission to the always-right will of God.
Now, here’s the problem—we all go through times in our lives when we slide into thinking that we’re smarter than God, that is, that what we want for ourselves is better than what he wants for us. We chafe against what he has put on our plates. We rebel against how he has told us to live in his Word. We wonder why our lives seem harder than those of the people next to us. We wonder why breaking one of God’s little laws to make things better is such a bad thing.
So cry out for grace. The war between God’s will and your will has not yet ended. The desire for God to exercise his power to deliver your personal dreams is not yet gone. The temptation to think that you know better still has the power to capture you. Reach out for the help your Savior died to give you. Ask him again to rescue you from you. Pray for the sense of heart to know that there is no safer place to be than in submission to the will of your Father in heaven. And have the courage this morning to look toward heaven and say, “Your kingdom come, your will be done right here, right now in my life as it is in heaven.” And thank God that he cared for you so much that he exercised his will for your welfare and salvation. When you’re joyfully willing to submit to the will of this One, you know grace has taken residence in your heart.
For further study and encouragement: Isaiah 26
Taken from New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul Tripp, © 2014, pp. 132-162. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.