God, as our Heavenly Father, has a heart that loves and beats for each of us. From the day that Adam and Eve disobeyed God, he has been working to provide us redemption and bring us back to himself. God is, himself, our redeemer.
God plan culminated in Jesus, who was sent to earth to announce and demonstrate a new kingdom that would be placed here on the earth. It is God’s kingdom. By coming to earth, Jesus established God’s kingdom and then took on the burden of providing for us by being a sacrifice for us for our sins. Before Abraham sacrificed the ram instead of his son Isaac, Abraham told Isaac that God will provide the sacrifice. In the same way, God provided Jesus, the visible form of God himself as the sacrifice for our sins.
So by coming to earth and dwelling with us, and then becoming the sacrifice for our sins, Jesus established the kingdom of God here on earth. This kingdom isn’t a geographical location or a political nation like a kingdom built by men. Instead, it is a group of people who look to God as the king and ruler of their lives. They willingly give their allegiance and obedience to God, receiving Jesus’s sacrifice in faith for the forgiveness of their sins, and live their lives as ambassadors of this kingdom for the purpose of seeing others become subjects to that same kingdom.
As Jesus was teaching the people, he spoke to them about how they should pray. He told them:
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Jesus goes on with his teaching of prayer, but it is an astonishing start because it lays the groundwork for how God thinks about people. Here are the parts of the prayer that I find so amazing:
- God is our Father. He is in heaven, not here on earth, but he is our Father.
- He says that we should both recognize and call out the holiness of God in worship.
- We should pray for real change. God has a kingdom and we should pray for it to come and spread out across the earth.
- And how will we know that the kingdom has come? When God’s will is done here on earth in the same way that it is here in heaven.
What would that look like, that God’s will is done here on earth, just as it is in heaven? What would be different? What would be different in my own life? What would be different in the world that I live in every day? What would the TV news look like if God’s will were done here on earth just as it is in heaven? Wow, what an amazing change that would be!
This is the first thing that Jesus teaches when he teaches us to pray. God himself is on a mission to see his kingdom, consisting of his rule and reign, done here on earth, and so I believe that we can say that this is foundational in understanding the Father’s heart for his people.