#232 (07/05/06)
Ignite God’s Plan in You

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

Our guest this morning someone that I met a year ago in Germany, profoundly impressed with him. His name is Walter Heidenreich. He has a fantastic story. We like to share with people true stories of authentic experiences that human beings have had with God. He’s got such a story.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing "
"My Hope is Built on Nothing Less"

" Open Our Eyes "

FLUTE SOLO – JAMES GALWAY – “Lord of the Rings Suite”

The Message

Last week we started talking about the Lord's Prayer: "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name."  Today I would like to continue with "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  The beauty about this prayer and the way it begins is it helps us understand our relationship with God.  It is about our relationship with Him. Prayer is about communicating with God; establishing our relationship and our love with Him. That process allows His will to take place in our lives and at the same time letting Him know our desires and our wishes and our wants and our needs. When I look at the Lord's Prayer, I find a beautiful instruction manual, which in reality is exactly what it is, because Jesus was answering the question of His apostles, after all.  They said, "Lord, teach us to pray."  In response He started reciting what we know as the "Lord's Prayer."

"Our Father who art in heaven," addresses our relationship with God: Our Father, realizing that a father loves his children, and wants to give his children good gifts.  What we see in part two is that a good father will not give his children things they should not have. So our next prayer is recognizing the sovereignty of God, recognizing the wisdom of God; and recognizing that as we pray, we must be in submission to God. So we say, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."  That is our prayer.  Before we ask for things of a personal nature, we need to recognize we may not even know what is best for us.  And so we say the prayer, "Your will be done."

We don't understand how all the pieces of prayer work together.  When we pray about our personal desires, or we ask for something, and then we receive an answer, we don't understand how all those pieces work together.  We'll never understand that.  What we do know is that God does understand and as a result of that, God gives us what we need and He knows what we need and if we are willing to come under submission of His will for our lives, we will experience the joy and the bounty and the blessings that He wants for us. 

Ruth Bell Graham, Billy Graham's wife, said this: "I am so glad God did not listen to my foolish demands in my younger years.  I would have married the wrong guy 15 times." When we start praying, before we get to our petitions about wanting all and having all our desires and needs, first of all we have to realize that the God we are praying to does have the ability, and if it is right for you and if it is good for the world, and for His kingdom, He will give you anything you ask.  But, our heart must be right.  Our heart must be pure, our heart must be in a position where we are willing to accept whatever is God's will for our lives.  It's not my kingdom come, my will be done, it is Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth in my life as it is in heaven.  So it begins with first of all understanding the kingdom of God.  What is the kingdom of God?  It is not like an earthly kingdom, as we understand earthly kingdoms.  It is a spiritual kingdom without boundaries, without respect for borders, without understanding of economics, without a spirit of anything but love, and so God's kingdom is people of all races.  His kingdom consists of all economic levels, it consists of all colors, and it is a montage of humanity with one simple thing in common. The Bible says, quoting Jesus, "Anyone who comes unto Me, I will in no way cast out."  That is what Jesus says.  Those are the words of Jesus. All you have to do is accept those words and you enter into this special spiritual kingdom of God, so that you become part of God's family. As a son or a child of God, you're a part of this kingdom and you can pray these prayers: "Our Father."  

We have a little card with these words on it, and there's a place on it for you to sign. I have given this card to many, many, many, many people.  It is my hope to give a million of these cards away every year so if you want some write to me and I'll give you some and you can give them away.  It's just a simple little card and it says this, the words of Jesus Christ: "Anyone who comes to me I will in no way cast out, Jesus Christ."  There's a place for you to sign your name and it says, "I accept" and you sign your name. I started giving these away some time ago and one of the gentlemen who received a card was a man by the name of Carl Linder. He's the owner of the Cincinnati Reds. I was visiting with him and he pulls out his wallet from his pocket, and he opens it up and pulls out his card and he showed it to me proudly. 

It reminded me of a gentleman by the name of Frank Pastori.  Frank Pastori was a pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds.  He told a story about taking his son to Disney World.  Now I know the people in Florida think Disney World is the best but you know Disneyland is every bit as good as Disney World. It is just a condensed version; it doesn't take you as long to get from one ride to the next. So he took his son in through the main entrance and through the ticket gate and there they saw this incredible hill and on the hillside is a beautiful face of Mickey Mouse all in flowers. Above that they see the train coming in, and off to the side of the hill are the two tunnels that lead in to Disney World. 

His son was just in awe looking at the hillside and the train, and when his father said, "Let's go to Disney World," the son cried because he didn't want to leave and stop looking at the hillside and train. Frank had to take him through the tunnel kicking and crying until suddenly the son realized and discovered that he had only entered, it was just the beginning.  The kingdom was absolutely magnificent.

And here we are, signing, "I accept."  We're at the entrance of the kingdom of God, and from there we discover that there is much more.  I want to share with you and take you by the hand and show you all the beautiful things that are in this kingdom.  I want to invite you to join the Crystal Cathedral and we will give you some tools to give you the spiritual growth you need to experience the joy and the goodness that God has for you.  Just write to me and let me know you want to take some next steps.  Join the church. 

John 15 says this: "I am the true vine and My Father is the gardener.  Remain in Me and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain on the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit for apart from Me, you can do nothing.  If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you.  I've told you this so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete."

A good friend of mine, named Dan shared with me about a time he built an airplane with his son, Nick.  It was one of those model airplanes with an engine on it and he said they meticulously worked on it for weeks. They spent many hours putting all these pieces together making it work and the day came when it was complete.  They took it out to a field and started up the engine and it flew and it went up in the air.  His son was trying to control the airplane and he just couldn't control it and pretty soon it started doing circles.  Every circle got bigger and bigger and bigger and all of a sudden ka-boom.  It crashed into a million pieces, there was nothing left of the airplane.  It was shattered and Dan looked at son and said, "Nick, did you see that thing crash?"  Nick looked at Dan and he said, "Dad, did you see that plane fly?" 

So often we miss the flight that God gives us in fear of the crash.  So our prayer begins with "Our Father, who art in heaven.  Hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  The first part recognizes that God can, He has the ability and He will give us what we need when our hearts are receptive and open and honest. God wants to see us fly. It begins with our relationship with Him.  Our Father, entering into His kingdom and seeing His face before us.  And then growing in the full knowledge of His love, abiding in His love and then and only then do we come and we say, "Give us this day our daily bread."

So that's what we'll talk about next week. 

In closing let's pray the Lord's Prayer together:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done,
On earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors and
Lead us not into temptation and
Deliver us from evil
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power,
And the glory forever and ever, Amen.

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