4. Your Kingdom Come

And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the open streets so that they may be seen of men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your room and shutting your door, pray to your Father in secret. And your Father seeing in secret will repay you in the open. But when you pray, do not be babbling vain words, as the nations; for they think that they shall be heard in their much speaking. Then do not be like them, for your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him. So, then, you should pray this way: Our Father who is in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as it is in Heaven, also on the earth. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil, for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory to the ages. Amen. (Matthew 6:5-13)

We come now to the second statement of instruction for spiritual life found in the Lord’s Prayer. The first statement, as we’ve seen, instructs as to where we are to focus our energies and faculties – on the Father, who is the Divine Goodness.

Our Father who is in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name.

And we are to do this within the context of our connection and support of others who share also this journey, for the opening statement is not My Father but Our Father. This emphasises the need for others in the our spiritual life; that it is essentially a life of engagement with others with the Word as the Lord as the common centre.

We are told, in that first statement, that the goodness we are to focus our attention on is found in the heavensOur Father… the Scripture reads, …who is in the heavens… And we have seen that these heavens are not far off, somewhere ‘out there’, but that the term heaven refers to an understanding of spiritual things which are built upon our understanding of the Word. For the Word is the Divine Truth and so, as truths from the Word enter into the human mind, that mind begins to become structured according to a heavenly pattern. This involves the instilling of true beliefs and good affections which begin to flow in as we take truths and look to live from them. As this happens so the human mind becomes a dwelling place for the Lord who is goodness itself. Truths are needed for this to happen because He can only dwell in us in that which is from Himself, which is why He has made Himself known through the truths found in the Word and in the teachings for Spiritual Christianity that flow forth from it.

So we are instructed in the first statement of the Lord’s Prayer that we are to dedicate our lives to seeking the goodness of love, which is what is meant here, spiritually, by the term Father, for love is the source of all things. The opening statement says we will find this love in the heavens or the Word, for heaven is where the Lord is and we are taught that the Lord is the Word. To look to Our Father in the Heavens… as a prayer for our life is to be actively seeking to live from our understanding of truth as an acknowledgement that this is the Lord with us. And because He is the source of every good and loving thing then to the degree that we have worked these truths into our life so that they fill our minds, so to that degree we have heaven within us. We see then that the Lord alone is our Father, and that because of this we can see that our Father who is in the heavens is the Word as John declares in His Gospel when He says,

All came into to being through the Word and without the Word not one came into being that has come into being…

The second statement of instruction from the Lord’s Prayer follows on in logical sequence. For it beautifully captures the desire that arises within those who have orientated their lives around the Word, in order to learn what it is within them that they must separate from so that they might become greater vessels of His love for others. If we recognise the authority of the Word as the Lord with us in His Divine Human then we open the way for it to take a more active role in our life. To uncover our tendencies towards selfishness so that we can see them, acknowledge them, and purpose within our hearts to change our responses through resisting our evils and so have the loves of heaven flow more freely into our lives.

Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as it is in Heaven, also on the earth.

The desire is captured in these words of the Lord’s Prayer, for the Lord’s kingdom to come is nothing less than a desire for the laws of love to rule in our life. If we are looking to have our lives organised around what we understand is genuinely good from a spiritual perspective, which is Our Father in heaven, then the practical means by which this takes place is intimately linked to our willingness to act from our understanding of truth. The desire that fills the spiritual man is for the rule and order brought about by spiritual principles to govern all things within us, from the highest or most internal part of us to the lowest or most external part.

Heaven and earth when referred to in Scripture are not locations in time and space outside of us; they are to be understood as levels of the mind. Heaven here refers to the deeper aspects of the human mind that exists within a person who is committed to spiritual growth through using the truths of the Word as their foundation for spiritual life. That this is what heaven refers to is clearly the case for it is within the spiritual man that the will of the Lord is done, Your kingdom come; Your will be done… The will of the Lord is done in a mind that has undergone a re-formation in accordance with truths from the Word and into which what is of heaven can flow and so then bring its influence into a person’s lower level of consciousness which is called earth.

The term earth here refers to our psychological earth or the lower natural part of the mind, not the earth around us. Prior to our receiving truths from the Word, this inner earth part of us is a disorganised mass. In the Genesis account of creation, which is a story about the creation of the spiritual man within us all, such an earth is described as being formless and void. Spiritual Christianity teaches that the internal man is regenerated first and that the external man is then regenerated from the internal man. This is an important teaching to get hold of because it explains why, even though our desire may be to be more loving, understanding and useful from a spiritual perspective, we often find that despite our efforts the very things we don’t want to don- we end up doing, and the things we want to do – we seem powerless to achieve. The Apostle Paul speaks of this in his own experience in his letter to the Roman Christians where he says…

For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then the law, that when I desire to do what is right, that evil is present with me, that is, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members or external man. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then with the mind I serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 7:19 – 8:2)

This is an incredibly poignant description of the experience of all those who are in engaged in the spiritual life. From it we can see that Paul recognises that there are two levels of being in himself – one that looks to the Lord and another that looks to the flesh or hell. He has learnt that in this battle it is vital that he identify his sense of self with the higher part of his mind, his inward man, so that he can separate himself from what is going on in the natural or earth level of his being which he calls the flesh. Paul is able to recognise that he is safe in his inner man and that the external or natural man has a life of its own and is constantly fighting against the good that he truly wants or wills. His ability to separate from what is lower in himself comes from seeing he is not what he doesn’t will. This self distancing is such an important tool or supporting element in the spiritual life for it enables us to avoid being dragged down by those things we see that stand opposed to the law of the Spirit and life. It is an ability that is given by the Lord to each and every person. Who will deliver him? Paul asks, thanks be to God for Jesus Christ! From the perspective of Spiritual Christianity, which recognises and acknowledges that the Lord is the Word, we can understand this to mean that truths from the Word enable us to draw a distinction from what is lower in us from what is higher. Hence, as a result of these truths we find that we are empowered to choose to identify with what is good and true and reject what is evil and false.

As long as we are looking to walk according to the Spirit, by making spiritual principles the rule of our life, or if you like, are in that mode of life that is looking to have the kingdom come through the practise of self examination and repentance, then our life becomes a living prayer that is constantly asking or looking to have the will of the Lord as it is done in our inner heaven to govern our inner earth as well. This means that regardless of how resistant our earth or natural man may appear to be, despite how much it presses to make its negativity felt, despite all its self centred protests – we can have confidence that there is no condemnation for those who are making sincere efforts to walk in the truths that the Lord has given them. For the Spirit of life that is the goodness which is found in those truths, has freed us from the law of sin and death that seeks to drag us down and draw us away from our true place in heaven.

If we believed the way things really are, that everything good comes from God and everything evil from hell, then we would not take credit for the good within us or blame for the evil. Whenever we thought or did anything good, we would focus on the Lord, and any evil that flowed in we would throw back into the hell it came from. But since we do not believe in any inflow from heaven or from hell and therefore believe everything we think and intend is in us and from us, we make evil our own and defile the good with our feeling we deserve it. (Heaven and Hell 302)

As we look to have the kingdom come more fully into our experience of life, let us make a conscious work task to look to the Lord whenever we think and do anything good to give Him the credit. And when evil arises, to not be tempted to condemn ourselves but to reject it recognising that it is of the hells and from the hells and while it may appear to have the better of our natural man, we, that is our true self which is the spiritual being, is firmly held and protected by the Lord.

By ‘kingdom’ here is meant the reception of the Divine Good and the Divine Truth which proceed from the Lord, and in which the Lord is with the angels of heaven and with the men of the Church. (Apocalypse Explained 683)

His Divine Human is the Father’s name, and the Father’s kingdom is come when the Lord is approached immediately, and by no means when God the Father is approached immediately. (Apocalypse Revealed 839)

The will of God is done when the Divine Good and the Divine Truth are received in heart and soul, that is, in love and faith. (Apocalypse Explained 683)

By name is not meant name, but all things of love and faith, for these are the Lord’s and are from Him; and as these are holy, the Lord’s kingdom comes and His will is done on earth as in the heavens, when they are held to be so. (Arcana Coelestia 2009)

Leave a Comment