Thy will – or my will – Be Done?


Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

OK – you’ve probably heard these words before. Do you know the context? It comes from Jesus’ teaching on how to pray – from Matthew 6:5-15 –

Prayer

Mt 6:5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Mt 6:9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“ ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Mt 6:10 your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Mt 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.
Mt 6:12 Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Mt 6:13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’ 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


I originally wrote this on May 21, 2011.  I’m moving it over now, since it’s referenced in The Lord’s Prayer series.  If you’re interested in a deeper and probably different look at The Lord’s Prayer, there’s a link to that series at the top of this page.


What we’re going to talk about here is whether God’s will is always done.
Or does our will win out (sometimes)?
This article is somewhat related to the one on quantum computers – quantum God? If you haven’t read that one yet, it may be useful to do so before proceeding. Don’t worry if you think it’s too technical or scientific. Hopefully it’s not – the point was to make some comparisons and to look at science from a different light.

To examine this, I’m going to look at Stephen Hawking – who made the news again – this time saying “There is no heaven”.  (sorry, this article from msn.com is no longer available”.)

It’s quite sad, really.

He’s an extremely smart person – in some ways.
There are many articles on this site about the contribuons that science has made to showing that God must exist – towards showing how things in the Bible, even the extraordinary ones, could have taken place (not how they really did, because we don’t know – but showing how they could).
Unfortunately, many people can’t quite get to the conclusion that God must exist.
Instead, they insist that He does not exist.

I’ve also written many times about Romans 1:18-20 –

Ro 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

– which says that evidence of God is all around us – and plainly visible.

And yet – so many in the field of science – who know that evidence better than most – don’t see Him in it.

And so we have Stephen Hawking saying –

“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven of afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people who are afraid of the dark.”

The computer comment is why I recommend reading the Quantum Computers – Quantum God? article.
You can also read the entire original article from the Guardian UK – titled Stephen Hawking: “There is no heaven; it’s a fairy story”.
One additional item from the Guardian article –

In his best selling 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, Hawking drew on the device so beloved of Einstein, when he described what it would mean for scientists to develop a “theory of everything” – a set of equations that described every particle and force in the entire universe. “It would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God,” he wrote.

Again referring to the Quantum Computers – Quantum God? article, the concept of the human mind being a computer while at the same time claiming to be able to know the mind of God is very telling of where Stephen Hawking is at.

So – on to the idea of who’s will is going to be done.

It would seem that there’s a conflict here.
The prayer, as taught by Jesus says –
Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven

In other words – the prayer is this –
God’s will is done in Heaven
and we are to pray that it is also done on earth.

Given that God gives us free will, it’s a foregone conclusion that His own will isn’t going to be done all the time – at least not here on earth.

Once we accept Him as our God – we can pray that He will have enough of an influence on us that our will can be aligned with His will. We choose to want ours to match up with His – and then both our will and His will can be done at the same time. Life – the way God meant it to be – life lived to the fullest.

But what if our will is different – and we don’t want to do God’s will?
What if we don’t even believe in God? What if we think He’s just a fairy tale?

In this life – Stephen Hawking and those like him can deny the existence of God and of Heaven.
They have the free will to do that.
By the way – they got that free will from God.

So – God’s will is done in that regard – even those who deny Him are exercising the free will that He gave all of us. The free will to do whatever we want, with no regard to anything else. Life not lived to the fullest.

But what about when this life ends?

Whose will is done then?
“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven of afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people who are afraid of the dark.”

Let’s take a look at this.

  • He may be right that there’s no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers. There’s nothing in the Bible that says anything about an afterlife for any of man’s “creations”.
    He starts to go wrong with believing that his brain is a computer. Here he rejects his creator, as told in Genesis 1:26-27 —

Ge 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

Ge 1:27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

  • Then, with his God given life, he goes on to learn so much about the world around him – even the universe around him – and yet rejects God there as well. Now he’s into the Romans 1:18-20 scenario –

Ro 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

  • And he goes on to say that Heaven is a fairy tale for those afraid of the dark. Now we’re into Matthew 18:5-6 –

Mt 18:5 “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6 But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

I’m guessing teaching people that Heaven is a fairy tale would count as a sin.

And what of God’s will for someone with Hawking’s abilities? In Luke 12:47-48 – in a section titled “Watchfulness” – Jesus says –

Lk 12:47 “That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

A great deal was given to Hawking. A great deal was likely expected.
But Stephen Hawking exercised his God given right to free will – and used his knowledge to lead people away from God.

So – whose will do you think is winning out here?

Let’s keep going.

The earlier quote from Hawking where he says his brain is a computer was an answer he gave to a question —

Q: You had a health scare and spent time in hospital in 2009. What, if anything, do you fear about death?

A: I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first. I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark. 

I would submit to you that Stephen Hawking really isn’t afraid of dying.
It’s living that people like this are afraid of.
Living the life we were meant to live.
Living a life where we realize and acknowledge that God is greater than we are.
Living a life where we try to have our will molded to match up with God’s will.
Living a life where we live to the fullest – more than we could ever have accomplished on our own.

So – whose will is going to be done?

Ultimately – I believe – both.

People who refuse to acknowledge God – who refuse to allow Him to help them reach their full potential – they do exercise their free will to reject Him – and in that, His will is done.
One may say that His will isn’t really done, because the person’s potential wasn’t reached.

But maybe that wasn’t the point.

Maybe God’s objective for us really is for us to choose to love Him – as He first loved us. But – if it’s a choice – truly a choice – then the option chosen is ours. The fact that we have that right is because having that right was God’s will. In other words – the actual choice made isn’t God’s will – it’s His will that we have the choice to make. It’s His desire that we choose to love Him – but He doesn’t force his desire on us.

Maybe Hawking’s potential, in this case, wasn’t reached. But that was his choice – not God’s.

God offers the gift of salvation to all – and many reject it.
God gives talents and capabilities – gifts – to all. Some use them – some don’t.
God loves everyone. Some accept that love and return it – some don’t.

The fact that each of these things come with an option to accept or reject them – doesn’t mean that God’s will isn’t done no matter what the choice we make.

Free will is a really tricky thing.

We cannot assign the choices we make to God – if our will is truly free.

If we look up “free will” at dictionary.com – we see –

free will

–noun

1. free and independent choice; voluntary decision: You took on the responsibility of your own free will.

2. Philosophy . the doctrine that the conduct of human beings expresses personal choice and is not simply determined by physical or divine forces.

That second one really makes the point. It shows the difference between free will – and divine force.

God could force us to love Him. But He doesn’t.
Even in the end – He doesn’t do that.

As it is written in Isaiah 45:22-25 –

Isa 45:22 “Turn to me and be saved,all you ends of the earth;for I am God, and there is no other.

Isa 45:23 By myself I have sworn,my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked:Before me every knee will bow;by me every tongue will swear.

Isa 45:24 They will say of me, ‘In the LORD alone are righteousness and strength.’ ” All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame.

Isa 45:25 But in the LORD all the descendants of Israel will be found righteous and will exult.

In the end – every knee will bow.
Some of us will bow because we want to – because we already have some little picture of just how great God is. That’s free will – ours aligned with God’s
Others will bow because they recognize just a little bit – too late – just how great God really is. That’s force – God’s will imposed.

In the end – both wills are done.
In the case of Stephen Hawking – he will get to go to a place where Heaven is just a fairy tale – because God doesn’t exist there –
after he will get to bow to the God that he thinks doesn’t exist – he won’t have to go to the place that he doesn’t believe exists.

He won’t have to face life.
He will get to face the death that he claims to not be afraid of – eternal death.
He won’t have to hear about God any more – or explain how God doesn’t exist.

Jn 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

 

God’s will.
It’s going to be done.
I pray that you will be bowing for the right reason – that your will and God’s are the same.
I pray that with whatever time Stephen Hawking has left – that he also will come to bow for the right reason.

 


image from nathanrouse.org

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