Yesterday, we were looking at the amazing truth that God’s Kingdom will last forever and ever, and that thanking God for that truth can make the uncertainties and the changes happening all around us in our world today, seem far less threatening,
In that same prayer Jesus also told His disciples to pray to the Father for that same Kingdom to come, and for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. His words still stand for us today, and it is worth remembering that those words were first spoken to the disciples who lived in a land occupied by a very brutal and pagan empire, lest we should feel completely daunted by this task in our increasingly secular world today.
I think God is speaking now to those of us who feel powerless to stop some of the destructive things that are happening around us in our society today. The secularisation of so many areas of life, the political correctness that prevents us from freely expressing our views, the unleashing of unpleasantness (the works of the flesh Galatians 5:19-21) in so many ways on the internet, to name but a few areas.
I am reminded of Gideon and how he felt, living in a time when Israel was in chaos. Their faith and values were threatened from within the nation by false religion and without by the Midianite invaders. Gideon is called by God to ‘deliver’ his people but his opinion of himself was that he was ‘the least in his family and his clan the least in his tribe of Manassah’. Judges 6:15.
When it came to it, the Lord was so faithful to Gideon and we read that before the first battle ‘the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon’ Judges 6:34. The same Spirit that came upon the disciples at Pentecost and throughout the Acts. The Spirit came and they were emboldened to pray and speak and preach in a hostile world. Acts 4:31
Now God might not be telling us that He is going to save our whole nation through our efforts, as He did to Gideon, Judges 6:14, but I believe each one of us has a family, a neighbourhood, a church, friends and colleagues, and the Lord is saying to us as He did to Gideon “the Lord is with you mighty warrior, go in the strength you have”.
I believe that the Lord wants us to know that, however small we feel in the face of all that is happening in our world, we are asked to pray to a very, very mighty God, and if like Gideon those prayers lead us to take action, it will be because His indwelling Spirit will enable us and give us boldness.
Today let us thank God that it is not by might, or by being humanly powerful, but by His Spirit that the Kingdom will come on earth where we are. Let us thank God as we pray those words, ‘Your Kingdom come, Your will be done’ that we are never asked to face anything alone, that it is His Kingdom and that it is also His power to bring in that Kingdom and that all the Glory will be His too.