One day things will be as they should be, but right now they’re not. Our ancestors Adam and Eve headed down a dead-end street, and we’ve been trying our best to follow them for quite a while now.
And we’re getting good at it—just look around you. Please don’t read hopelessness here—we know there’s a better future—but sometimes it helps to look around us so that we can look ahead more clearly.
Maybe that’s why Jesus put this in his famous prayer: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
This hope is at the center of our prayer lives: we want things where we are to become more like they are where God is.
Because of Monday’s holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr., has been in the news this week. His greatest strength was his ability to look at things as they were and envision how they ought to be. The catchiest part of his most famous speech echoes that vision: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
He knew—and all clear-thinking people knew—that 1960s America wasn’t as it was supposed to be. King and others helped our country recognize this, and they pointed us to a better future. I think most would agree that we’ve taken steps toward realizing King’s dream, though there’s still work to do.
His insight—the ability to see the world for what it was and lead others to a brighter future—is invaluable, and Jesus points us to that kind of conviction.
In heaven there’s no racism or ethnocentrism, so there shouldn’t be any here.
There’s no disregard for the sanctity of life there, and there shouldn’t be any here.
There’s no violence, no child molestation, no dishonesty, no gossip, no pride, no selfishness, and there shouldn’t be any here.
But seeing the need doesn’t make it so, of course, so where do we start?
I think we start where Jesus suggested—at God’s throne. Today in your prayer time, talk to God about the inequities in this world. Reflect with him about the awful things sin is doing in the lives of so many.
And then ask him to conform the world to his will. Ask him to change sinners. Ask him to change you.
Pray that more people will submit to Jesus as King and that his kingdom will be more fully realized in all of us. Ask him to make our world more like his world.
And then spend the rest of your day submitting to God as he uses you to make it that way.