Tuesday 8 June 2021

The Lord’s Prayer - "on earth as it is in heaven" (6 Jun 2021)

Recently, I was involved in an arts project in a public space where we tangibly brought heaven down to earth! It happened not only because we featured a wide range of artforms from different cultures and traditions, which gave people a peek into heaven where all nations, tribes and tongues will worship Him with the incredible creativity that He has bestowed on every culture and people group. It was also because we had artists of all ages, backgrounds and abilities including some with special needs, hence reflecting the Kingdom of heaven as described in Luke 14:15-24. Another key factor was how we were able to serve together in unity and display God’s love for one another, such that relationships between artists that are typically broken through comparison, envy and pride were redeemed to reflect Psalm 133.
However, that was just a one-off event. It's much easier to bear with one another, and overlook each other's mistakes or things that annoy us when we know it will only be for a short while. So what would it take for us to enact the Kingdom of heaven on earth on a day-to-day and long term (think lifelong) basis?

As we thought about this during our family time, we realised that when we ask for heaven to be revealed on earth, we become God's agents who have been empowered to bring it about. Hence, when we pray, "Your Kingdom come," we cannot simply sit around and wait for Jesus' second coming. We need to be up and about, using the gifts and talents that He has equipped us with to do the work that He has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10), so that we display heaven for the world to see wherever He places us.

In order to do that, we have to be different from the world. We need to live out heavenly values and attitudes. But here we face the problem of not having a complete understanding of these Kingdom values. How do we work out seemingly opposing qualities like grace and truth, love and holiness, mercy and justice, meekness and power? And how do we know for sure whether each decision we make is right, when we have such a limited comprehension of these Kingdom traits?

The only way to be sure is if we hear directly from God Himself and follow His every instruction. And that's what it would be like if we are filled with the Holy Spirit, led by the Spirit and walk in the Spirit (see Galatians 5:16-26). Rather than acting according to our fleshly desires or be influenced by our own soulish thoughts and emotions, we need to let our spirit be so filled by the Holy Spirit that He is the one directing us in everything that we think, say and do.

Just like how meat is cured by burying it completely in salt or immersing it fully in brine solution over an extended period of time, we need to soak ourselves constantly in His word, prayer and worship so our entire being can be infused with the Spirit. Then similar to every flavourful bite of cured meat, we would ooze His fragrance through every word and action.

Furthermore, we should also be patient and continue doing the things He shows us to do faithfully even when we don't see the expected results. Again looking at the curing process, the salt takes time to thoroughly remove moisture from the meat and thereby preserve it. As the salt of the earth, the impact and transformation we bring to the world surely also requires time and perseverance. 

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