HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
All of this—the victory, the overthrow of Satan’s right to rule, the transfer of authority, power, and dominion to the Son of God—this is what Jesus was referring to when after his resurrection he said,
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. — Matthew 28:18
Let that sink in; the relief of it will lift a mighty weight off your shoulders. All authority in the “heavens”—the spiritual realms—and all authority on this planet has been handed over to Jesus Christ! Think of the redemption that can now take place because of that one fact.
“Yes—that is my point,” you might say. “I believe Jesus won. So why don’t prayers work better than they do? Isn’t Satan defeated?” Stay with me now, because this has staggering implications for you and the way you pray. The invasion of the kingdom of God is something that is still unfolding, right now, today. Jesus is not merely seated upon a throne somewhere up in the sky:
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.— 1 Corinthians 15:20–25
That “until” gives us a very different way of understanding how Jesus is reigning at the current moment (and why world events still seem so chaotic). Are all his enemies under his feet? Clearly not; the verse says not, and the evening news illustrates it. Jesus, Son of God, Lord of angel armies, is “reigning until” he has finished what he began. The image that comes to mind is the terrible battle for Grenada. Island, bunker by a bunker, tunnel by tunnel, a bloody battle had to be waged until the enemy was thoroughly and completely rooted out. Yes, they took the capital and the airstrip. The enemy was defeated, but still, he fought on; subduing the entire island was an unspeakably savage undertaking.
Much as you see in the world today. Oh yes, Jesus has won. But his kingdom has—obviously—not fully come on this earth. This brings us to the famous model for prayer, held high by the church down through the ages, the “Our Father,” the “Lord’s Prayer.”
We Invoke the Kingdom
After this manner, therefore, pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. (Matthew 6:9–11)
Held high, repeated ritually, but rarely understood. Have you ever wondered why the Lord’s Prayer begins with us praying, “Your kingdom come . . .”? The man who knew best how to pray is telling us to invoke his kingdom. We are, after all, partners in this mission. And this is what he wants us to begin prayer with. The obvious implication is that his kingdom is not always come, his will is not always done on earth as it is done in heaven—or what a ridiculous thing to tell us to pray. Why would Jesus urge us to pray for something that has no meaning? He does not tell us to pray that the sun rises tomorrow; we are never urged to pray that the sun will rise again each day. God’s will is going to be done, every sunrise. You can rest on that one; nothing to pray about there. But you are told to invoke his kingdom, from heaven to earth.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW …..