“Your will be done!”
These well-known words from the Lord’s Prayer were the basis of the Chief Apostle’s service in Livingstone (Zambia) on 29 April 2018. The members there were celebrating the 90th anniversary of the New Apostolic Church Zambia.
The divine service, which was broadcast live on national television, was based on Matthew 6: 10: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6: 10). The Chief Apostle explained to the large congregation that when we pray for our salvation we are also asking the Holy Spirit to transform us so that God’s will becomes our will. After all, obedience to God consists of proving our faith, loving God and our neighbour, and contributing to oneness among the faithful.
May His will be our will
“As it is in heaven … What does that mean?” the Chief Apostle asked. Perfect unity reigns in heaven: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are eternally and perfectly one, he explained. God will fulfil His will on earth as it is in heaven until the end. “Nobody will be able to prevent Him from completing His plan of salvation,” he made clear.
There is only one thing that restricts God’s will: “Our own will!” He will save only those who want to be saved. He will not force salvation upon anyone. Thus, when we pray, “Your will be done,” we express our fervent wish to be saved. “At the same time,” the Chief Apostle continued, “we ask God to help us to do His will.” Finally, obedience is indispensable to enter His kingdom, and it allows us experience God’s presence at our side.
Doing the will of God as it is in heaven is not something we do out of obligation, but “because we are one with God”, the Chief Apostle said. In praying this way, we ask the Holy Spirit to
- renew our spirit so that we adhere to God’s will.
- shape our thoughts and prayers in such a way that they may be answered,
- guide our actions so that we can truly fulfil the will of God.
What is God’s will?
Chief Apostle Schneider said: “To do God’s will we have to know what God expects of us.”
- God requires us to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to earth to bring us eternal life. He did not come to make life easier for us on earth by performing miracles! True faith consists of believing without seeing.
- God asks us to receive the teaching and sacraments dispensed by the apostolate.
- God expects us to reciprocate His love. “We do not do business with God. What we do, we do it out of gratitude and love.”
- “Jesus wants His own to serve one another and to be one.” The fact that Jesus expressed this will in the most difficult hours of His life on earth emphasises its importance for Him!
- Jesus wants us to “accept the stranger and the guilty, and treat them as we would like to be treated”.
At the end of His richly filled sermon, Chief Apostle Schneider said: “Blessed are those who do the will of God.”