“Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” – Matthew 6:10.
For Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the certainty that God’s will would be done provided comfort. He steadfastly believed that “God wastes no consecrated life,” that “he has made nothing in vain,” and that “he ordains all things according to the counsel of his will, and that counsel never errs.” However, Spurgeon also knew that trust in God was vital because “that ‘will’ may cost us dear.”
Spurgeon learned the cost of trusting God in his own life as he patiently endured his own trials, fortified by divine strength. Accordingly, he called his congregation to “let out minds be wholly subjugated to the mind of God.” Whether God’s providence brought blessing or “bereavement,” sunshine or “sickness,” life or “loss,” Spurgeon urged his congregation to trust in God and to have faith in his steadfast love.
In the first section of his sermon, Spurgeon addressed the comparison between heaven and earth, saying “The comparison is not far-fetched.” Here Spurgeon asserted that “our present obedience to God should be like to that of the holy ones above is not a strained and fanatical notion.” First, he noted that “earth and heaven were called into being by the same Creator.” Since God’s empire “comprehends the upper and the lower regions” it was proper to conclude that “the same end will be subserved by each…both heaven and earth shall tell out the glory of God.”
Second, Spurgeon argued that “It was so once.” He said that “Perfect obedience to the heavenly will upon this earth will only be a return to the good old times.” Indeed, “History shall, in the divinest sense, repeat itself” when God creates the new heavens and new earth.
In the second section of his sermon, Spurgeon declared that “This comparison is eminently instructive.” Spurgeon noted that the words “be done” were vital, simply “God’s will is done in heaven.” He exclaimed, “How very practical! On earth his will is often forgotten, and his rule ignored.” Spurgeon lamented “will-worship,” which “is as sin in [God’s] sight.” Sadly, God’s creatures often preferred their will’s to their Maker’s will.
Furthermore, Spurgeon admitted that “I am afraid that Christ’s will on earth is very much more discussed than done.” As for Spurgeon, he believed that “we are best employed when we are actually doing something for this fallen world, and for the glory of our Lord.” He noted that “up yonder there is no playing with sacred things” and earnestly wished that “would God his will were not alone preached and sung below, but actually done as it is in heaven.”
In the third section of his sermon, Spurgeon noted that “This comparison…is based upon facts.” He began by asserting that the “facts will both comfort and stimulate us.” First, Spurgeon noted that “the spirit of adoption causes us to be at home with God even while we sojourn below.” And so he said, “Let us therefore do the will of God at once.”
Second, Spurgeon observed that “we are in the same company below as they enjoy above.” He said, “Up there they are with Christ, and here he is with us.” And, while he admitted “There is a difference as to the brightness of his presence” there was no difference as to “the reality of it.”
Third, Spurgeon urged his congregation to consider that “There are no slums and over-crowded rooms in heaven to which we can go with help, but there are plenty of them here.” Furthermore, he said “There are no jungles and regions of malaria where missionaries may prove their unreserved consecration by preaching the gospel” in heaven, while plenty existed on earth. And so, while life below was not as “bright,” it nonetheless provided opportunities for sacrificial service which will pass away when all things are made new.
In the fourth, and final, section of his sermon, Spurgeon proclaimed that “This comparison… ought to be borne out by holy deeds.” Here Spurgeon highlighted the “urgency of the missionary enterprise.” He stated plainly that “God’s will can never be intelligently done where it is not known.” Accordingly, “it becomes us a followers of Jesus to see to it that the will of the Lord is made known.” And as a result, Spurgeon concluded that “as God’s will must be known that is may be done, it must be God’s will that we should make it known.”
Why you should take up and read:
For Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the certainty that God’s will would be done provided comfort. He steadfastly believed that “God wastes no consecrated life,” that “he has made nothing in vain,” and that “he ordains all things according to the counsel of his will, and that counsel never errs.” In this sermon Spurgeon laboured to help his congregation to trust in God and seek to obey him wholeheartedly. For those wanting to do likewise please take up and read.
Here is the link to the Sermon of the Week:https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/a-heavenly-pattern-four-our-earthly-life#flipbook/
Phillip Ort serves as the Director of The Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City while studying in The Residency Ph.D. program.