SermonOnTheMountLonging and Waiting

Matthew 6:10 “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Here in South Carolina, many people like to spend their early mornings during the Fall months, way up in a tree waiting on a prized deer to harvest. I’ll admit I enjoy the sport the tracking, the waiting, the reward of the harvest, and most importantly, the eating. But, this is not my favorite part. My favorite part is the sunrise. Watching the sun break the tree line and watching nature begin to glow orange radiance is one of the highlights of this season for me. If you have never seen it, it is worth a million words.

Not many days ago, I got to see a sunrise that left me captivated. I vividly remember sitting there staring at God’s creation seemingly come to life as the sun began to shine its light. The birds began to fly, the dew on the grass began to glisten, and the sun was peering back at me through some stray limbs. It was absolutely beautiful. This sight mesmerized me, but I still felt like something was missing. I wanted someone to share this moment with me, and just not any someone, but my wife. I longed for my wife to be there. I took pictures, but I knew they wouldn’t do any justice; I wanted my wife to enjoy this sight alongside of me. Then I knew that this moment would be complete.

The Longing for Eternity

This same longing is how we should live our life. This is not our eternal home and we should long for the Day that we get to spend eternity in Heaven, face to face with Jesus. As we long for this Day, we should also pray for this day. Jesus, in teaching His disciples how to pray, is teaching us to ask the Father that this Day might come quickly.

In Revelation 22:20, there is a promise made – Jesus will return soon. In response to this promise, the Apostle John beautifully writes, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” How we should respond in this same manner! We should be in such a place in our lives that we are always looking and anticipating our Savior’s return. We should be living in a way that is always quick to say, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

When we glance at the headlines in our newspapers and watch our favorite news networks, it is easy to see that we live in an evil world, which seems to be getting more evil with each passing day. As Christians, fully convinced of God’s promises, shouldn’t looking forward to the Day of the Lord leave us yearning for eternity with Him?

Believers do not think it is wrong for you to cry out to God and ask, “How much longer?” Do not think that you cannot ask our Father when is “soon?” We long for our eternal home. We long for the defeat of evil. We are to long for no more sickness and death. We should earnestly long to be face to face with Jesus.

Think about this. On the Day that Christ comes back for His people, there will be no more terrorist attacks on prominent cities, no more murders of innocent babies by abortion, no more race-related hate, and no more Christians dying because of their faith. Evil will be eradicated. Furthermore, there will be no more cancer, no more heart conditions, no more paralysis, no more chronic pain, and no more death. Sickness and death will be eliminated.

Here in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:10), Jesus is telling us to let these petitions, this longing, be known to God. “Father, let your kingdom come.” This is a stunning picture of a heart changed by the gospel. When our heart can peacefully say that we desire for this earthly life to be no more that is a heart fully trusting Jesus. When we can pray to God and ask, “How much longer?” we see a heart that is fully convinced of God’s promises to His people.

The Waiting for Eternity

Let’s not miss a major point in this one verse. Jesus is also speaking on how we should live while waiting for Christ’s return. Look back at the verse. “…Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

While we are waiting and longing for eternity, we are to pray that God’s will happens on this earth. Heaven is the throne room of God. He is sovereign and sits high on the throne. Just as His will is done there, so shall His will be done on earth. Not only is God sovereign over all in heaven, He is also sovereign on earth. Not only does He sit upon the throne in Heaven, He is also to be high and lifted up on earth.

In our prayers, we should be seeking God as the King of kings and the Lord of lords even in this present life. Yes, we long for His eternal Kingdom, but we also acknowledge that we are living in His creation even today. We should desire for His sovereignty and His providence to be done in our lives and in our world, just as it is so in Heaven.

We must also recognize that this portion of the Lord’s Prayer is teaching us that God’s Kingdom is growing and one Day will come to full glory on this earth. Right now in Heaven, the will of God is being done immediately; however, because sin is rampant in our world, there is hostility towards God’s power and glory. In this, we are praying for Christ’s Church as it is growing in the midst of the most hostile society the world has ever known.

Therefore, while we are waiting for God’s eternal kingdom, we are also praying that God’s Church, His will, His power, and His glory will increase in our world. This one verse is a cry out to God and a surrender to His sovereign will, all the while longing for all His promises to come to fruition. While we wait, we are to live with eternity in our minds, always ready to see God’s perfect design come to pass.

All of this reminds me of Peter’s words in in 1 Peter 4:7-11:

The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Christ’s Longing for Eternity

As we are longing, as we are waiting, and as we are praying, Christ is longing for eternity as well. Christ is longing to be with His people. Take a look at John 17:24, these are the words of Jesus as He prayed to the Father in what many know as the High Priestly Prayer:

Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

This is Christ, praying to the Father, longing for His people to be with Him for all of eternity. Just as a husband longs for his wife in times that they are apart, Christ is longing for His bride. Christ desires to sit down and share the heavenly feast with us. He desires to spend eternity with His people.

What a glorious thought! Christ longs to be with us, just as we long to be with Him! May we always be quick to say, “Come Lord Jesus, come quickly, Amen.”

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