Today was one of those picture-perfect days. Blue skies. White fluffy clouds. Bright sun. What a welcome change after several days of rain! The colorful flowers, gentle breeze, and vibrant sunshine filled my heart with gladness. It wasn’t long, though, before my gaze zoomed in on the weeds that had grown during the recent rainy days. In a moment, my grateful heart turned to a grumbling heart. Sadly, those weeds stole my attention and robbed my joy. Without a second thought I began to reorder the priorities of the day. Pulling out those weeds moved to the top of the list. But then an amazing thing happened. The heat of the sun beat down on me and I had to move my chair under the shade of the trees. From this new perspective, my gaze shifted from the weeds to the flower beds that my husband lovingly tended throughout the spring. In an instant, my perspective—and priorities—changed. My heart was filled with gratitude once again.
A Sovereign King
How quickly my focus shifts! One moment I am worshiping and praising God, creator of the universe, sovereign King over all, and then the next moment I am laser focused on myself and the weeds that entangle my life.
Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:10, Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, make it clear that there is a sovereign King who rules His kingdom and accomplishes His purposes. And believe it or not this King is not me, or you. Often, I live my life as if I am in control. My will clashes with God’s will. There is a tug of war going on for control of my heart and life. What will it take for me to dethrone myself and acknowledge Jesus as the sovereign King over all?
When we pray thy kingdom come, we acknowledge that God is our sovereign King. As we fix our eyes more intently on our King, our perspective changes. We see His beauty and experience His grace. We rest in His protection and provision. We remember His faithfulness and have assurance that His plans can be trusted. “God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church” (Eph. 1:22). Christ is ruling and reigning now and will continue to gather citizens of His Kingdom until He returns. As we wait, we pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done here on earth. We tell others about King Jesus. We pray that the sovereign will of God will be exalted. We willingly submit our lives to be molded and shaped by Him.
Gaze on the King
Shifting our focus re-orders our priorities. What our King loves, we love. What our King says, we do. Where our King sends, we go. When we face the truth that our hearts long to rule the kingdom, we humbly bow before the King and surrender our wills to His will.
Praying thy will be done requires us to know the will of the King. Spending time with Him becomes a priority. Reading His Word and meditating on His character helps us to see His heart and understand His purposes.
As I gaze on the beauty of the King and rest in His promises and provision, the Holy Spirit works within me to lessen my grip on control and creates a desire in me to align my will with His, surrendering with my hands open and my palms up.
Recently I heard Bible teacher Nancy Guthrie say, “The best thing about the kingdom is the King.” King Jesus, about whom the writer of Hebrews says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven” (Heb.1:3-4). King Jesus radiates His father’s glory and sustains all things. He saves and redeems. This King is the best thing about the kingdom. This King is worthy of praise.
The next time you gaze a bit too long on the weeds in your life, look up. Deeply gaze on the majesty and beauty of King Jesus. Begin praying for His kingdom to come and His will to be done, and then rejoice in how He transforms your heart and gives you a new perspective. All those little weeds that were so important, that demanded your attention and consumed your thoughts, will fade away as passion to tell others about the King grows.
 Heard during a recent taping of Nancy’s new study on Revelation
Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash