Matt 6:9-10 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Matt 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Charlie Peacock wrote a song entitled Aim a Little Higher. In it, he describes how a boy was taught by his father to shoot straight with a shotgun by aiming at a can which his father threw in the air. The boy missed. His father told him to aim a little higher. That is how the boy learned to shoot straight.
Later in life the boy returned home, got drunk, after having been away from home and having lived a very low life. His father said that he should aim a little higher, because he was not living at all. “If you aim for the dirt you will never know God’s redemption and a heavenly hope. Aim a little higher.”
The Scripture we quoted is what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer.
- unknown to most, this prayer is not something to be quoted word for word, but is a framework from which to build our prayers, AND it teaches us how to come to God.
- It explains so much about how we are to approach the issue of the kingdom of God.
- Above all things, the first request we must make, said Jesus, was to ask for God’s Kingdom to come.
- And after all the prayer is over and the requests made, we are to recognize that we must be delivered from evil by God’s hand – not on our own – and all for the reason that “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever and ever.”
- In other words, the Kingdom is God’s Kingdom and we are to involve ourselves in it as HIS SERVANTS.
- we cannot cope in life with the evil around without God and His Kingdom delivering us.
- we are not to come to God as though we are on equal basis with Him
- He is God and we are His children – and serve Him.
- He is not a remedy to our illnesses which we cast aside after He has served our purpose.
- God is in control. Not us.
- When we come to God, we must AIM A LITTLE HIGHER than we may have when we came to Him
- God RULES – not us.
- we cannot exist without God – we need him to deliver us because the Kingdom to which we are seeking help is HIS Kingdom.
- When we come to God we need to pray to Him and begin that prayer by immediately recognizing that our first priority must be for HIS KINGDOM and that KINGDOM IS RULED BY HIM
- He’s a great GOD!
I. HOW TO BE A CHRISTIAN
The prayer is a layout of what it is to be a Christian – what we must understand – and the route to be saved.
- It is requesting for God’s rule to have influence over us
- God will not have anything to do with us unless we come to Him humbly aware that we need Him, not that he needs us.
- “I need you to rule my life. I cannot do it alone.”
- “My life will be submitted to you.”
II. OUR FATHER
The prayer begins by calling God our FATHER.
- And that speaks much about God’s nature.
- He loves us as a Father loves his own children.
- And as children, we depend upon our father God
- From verse 16 to the end of chapter 7, Jesus explains each part of the prayer.
- verses 16 to 18 speak of fasting but there is a connection to the prayer because a very similar statement is found in it which is in the prayer.
Matt 6:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
- Thy Father which is in secret
- Our Father which art in Heaven
- Heaven is secret.
- heaven is a spiritual place
- our direction in prayer ought to be towards heaven
- WE NEED TO AIM A LITTLE HIGHER
- And I don’t mean faces uplifted to the ceiling as though heaven is above the planet earth somewhere in space.
- Heaven is secret
- Heaven is a spiritual place.
- and Jesus is saying we must pray to God who is in secret rather than blow our own horns and let everyone know how much we know about God and the Bible and how much we can do for God.
- Jesus is setting our attitudes right.
- some men study to debate
Isai 58:4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
- many people seek God with the ulterior motive of being know-it-alls and being able to brag about how much they know.
- they do not love God, but they love themselves and use God to get others to love them, too.
- Jesus said that we must pray to Father in secret who will reward us openly.
- be concerned with God knowing you rather than worry about what people think of you.
- do not advertise yourself
- let God promote you
Psal 75:5-6 Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
- be concerned with God and what he thinks.
- we can be so upset with people when they hear an untruth about us and be driven mad until we can get to them and let them know the difference.
- God is King and we are in His Kingdom
- let him choose what people should know about us and what they should not know.
Get your attention on the spiritual world.
- Aim a little higher
- address GOD WHO IS IN HEAVEN
- Our major concern must be what the Bible advises us it should be
- that is how important the Bible is and knowing what the Bible says.
- it is secret – spiritual
- it is not some hazy, cloudy and misty place
- it is not “up there.”
- it is totally different than the physical world
- it is something that is incorporeal – another dimension
- But it is REAL
- it existed long before the physical world existed
III. THE SPIRITUAL REALM
We must be aware that we are involved with a dimension that is superior and greater than the natural realm.
- we can touch the realm which can actually alter and affect the physical realm, making changes in it when nothing in the physical realm itself can do that.
- if no answer can be found in the physical realm for a problem here in this world, men say it is IMPOSSIBLE.
- but we can look tot he spiritual realm, to heaven, and find an answer for an impossible situation
- all things are possible to God.
IV. THE “RICH YOUNG RULER” MENTALITY
Matt 19:16And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
- This young rich ruler honoured God and sought for the things of God
- eternal life is of God
- this man’s concept of religion was so narrow and limited that he actually thought he could achieve something spiritual through natural means
- we see this in his responses to Jesus
- he said he did not steal, murder, commit adultery, dishonour his parents, for hate his neighbours.
- these things can be done in the natural
- but when Jesus asked him to sell all he had and give to the poor, he realized he could not do it.
- he walked away sorrowful
- that tells us a lot
- he accepted Jesus’ requirements to receive eternal life as true
- he believed he could not get eternal life because he could not do what Jesus asked him to do.
- and he so believed that Jesus was right that he grieved terribly thinking he could not get eternal life.
- Jesus then told the disciples they would hardly ever see a rich man enter God’s Kingdom.
- the rich man is a man who is surrounded by an overabundance of material possessions
- more natural possessions than the common man
- the rich man is occupied over the natural things since he is surrounded more by these things than anything.
- his mind is more heavily concentrated upon the natural than the average person.
- business once told me he only had 1 hour a week to spare to go to church
- (and I imagine he didn’t go half the time)
- he could not spare 60 cents to buy potato chips
- but he said he could go to Hawaii every year
- I would rather be middle income or low income than high income if it meant having more time with God, going to church each and every service, and my family
- I can commit my mind and time to the things of God
This young man had wealth and POWER
- all of that made him and forced him to think a small percentage of the time upon the things of God
- but even when he did think of God he was restricted by the stress of natural thinking to think of eternal life as something he could physically do or not do to achieve it.
- because of his natural infatuation, he did not even stop to think that he could sell all and give to the poor by calling upon God who could something for him that man finds impossible to do
- give him the strength to sell all and give to the poor and follow Jesus.
- THE SPIRITUAL REALM CAN ALTER AND INFLUENCE THE NATURAL REALM AND THE PROBLEMS WE FACE IN IT.
Eternal life is a thing of the spiritual realm
- Anyone can see that eternal life is not in the world
- stories about the fountain of youth are pure fantasy
- it cannot be found IN this world.
- we must tap into the spiritual realm.
- AIM A LITTLE HIGHER
Even the disciples were so materialistic minded that they asked Jesus how anyone could be saved seeing Jesus gave such a stringent command to the young man that he might receive eternal life.
V. HIGHER THAN THE NATURAL
Jesus was not trying to make it hard to get to heaven
- people think God has made it so hard for us to get to heaven
- reality is that man FELL from spirituality and has become so steeped in the natural world that he cannot relate hardly at all with the spiritual world.
- and Jesus is trying to get people to become aware of the NECESSARY MEANS TO GOD
- reaching out of the natural to Jesus
- you must seek God and God happens to be in Heaven – in the Spiritual
- unless you can learn to believe in a God who is greater than anything this natural world can produce, you will not get to glory
- it is a realm which is greater than the physical realm
- it is a realm which is higher than the physical realm
- it is a realm which can alter the physical realm
- it is SUPER-NATURAL
- it has greater qualities than this natural realm will ever have.
- so many come to God with the mentality of the rich young ruler
- I want to get saved, but my friends would disapprove
- I want to get saved, but I cannot stop living as I do
- I want to get saved, but I could never live that good a life
- I want to get saved, but I am living common-law and am not married to the one I am with
- I don’t have the strength to stand up and live for God
- I want to get saved, but it’s too hard
- NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD
- REALIZE THAT YOU WILL NEVER GET TO HEAVEN BY LOOKING FOR SOMETHING IN THE NATURAL TO GET YOU THERE
- some natural ability or will power
- LOOK TO THE ONE WHO IS THERE – WHO CAN DO ANYTHING – GOD!
- realize that the spiritual realm is so great that your imagination and anything you can deduce is like a grain of sand in a galaxy of thousands of millions of planets and stars compared to God’s wisdom
Isai 55:8-9For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts
- if we are stuck in the mentality of the rich young ruler, so occupied with the natural realm that we cannot reach out of it when we think of God, we will think it is too hard to do
God is also called our FATHER
- Not only is He Lord over the spiritual realm, but He happens to be our Father
- he is over the realm that influences the natural world and changes things that are impossible
- In fact He CREATED the spiritual realm
- (let that send zaps of revelation through your mind).
VI. HOW HIGH IS YOUR AIM?
- Is your mind focused only upon the natural realm?
- you do not know?
- ask yourself how much you THINK about God and, better still, HOW MUCH YOU TALK ABOUT GOD.
Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
- Your conversation tells how high you aim
- lay up treasures in heaven
- Shoot higher than the natural realm.
Matt 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
- What is your desire focused upon?
- what do you spend most of your money on?
- what do you spend most of your TIME on?
- Oh, are you going to be regretful that you spent your dressing-room time in this world, readying yourself for the spiritual eternal realm, in the things of the natural that will pass away one day!!!
- You SHOT SO LOW
- AIM A LITTLE HIGHER!
- You are talking to God who is in Heaven, where treasures can never fade away
- Then He said:
VII. WHAT IS YOUR DESIRE AIMED AT?
Matt 6:22-23 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
- He means that if you put your desire in BOTH this world and heaven, your desire is SPLIT – and you are not in clarity
- having a SINGLE desire to heaven alone makes you CLEAR and full of light
- Your vision is clear
- But if you desire the world AND God, you are darkness, confusion
- and Jesus said if you believe that splitting your desire in BOTH the world and God is light and the way to go, then you are in such terrible darkness, for that darkness actually made you think it is light.
- if you think THAT is light, I’d hate to see what you call darkness!!
AIM A LITTLE HIGHER
VIII. IN CLOSING…
- That is the aspect of HEAVEN
- But it is OUR FATHER who is in heaven
- Before you ask God anything, realize that you’re talking to your FATHER who is there.
- in that realm that provides treasures which will never fade away, YOUR FATHER lives.
- do not concentrate upon material things at all… not even the things you need
- but you say, “I will only get what I set my heart to get.”
- your heavenly father knows you need things and will take care of them to such an extent that Jesus said, “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.”
- don’t even take a thought about it -don’t waste your prayers over it
- every request in this prayer is a SPIRITUAL REQUEST
- HAVE FAITH and know that God sees you and will take care of you
- FAITH is hearing this word, and suiting your life to it, by actually stopping the concentration of the material and realizing that God is taking care of what He KNOWS YOU NEED
- DO not set your heart on God and MAMMON
- But you say, “We need mammon to get what we need.”
- God knows what you need.
- we cannot will ourselves to get bigger -why worry about the other needs?
- Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
The first request was…
Matt 6:10 Thy kingdom come. …
- The first request was to seek the Kingdom of God – Thy Kingdom Come is the first request Jesus instructed us to make in this prayer.
- Unless you can get out of the rich young ruler’s mentality of LOW thinking, natural thinking, and aim a little higher, you will never find eternal life.