All People

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and humankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. 

1 Timothy 2:1-6

Paul urged Timothy to pray for all people.

Why?

Because God wants all people to be saved.

How?

Through the one mediator between God and humanity, Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.

What this reveals is that in this broken and fallen world, God’s will is not always done. Jesus gave himself for all people and God wants all people to be saved, and yet not all people are saved. This is why we were taught to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”(Matthew 6:10). We have to pray that God’s will be done on earth because it’s not always done on earth. His will is always done in the heavenly realms but not always on earth.

Why?

Because there are forces that resist God’s will being done on the earth. Ephesians 2 lists three forces that push against God’s will being done on earth.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. 

Ephesians 2:1-3

The three forces that push against the will of God being done on earth are: 1) our flesh–our old self riddled with cravings, desires and thoughts that are sinful; 2) Satan (a.k.a. the ruler of the kingdom of the air)–the one who works in the hearts and minds of those who are disobedient (see Ephesians 6:12); and 3) the ways of the world–the collective societal deception and disobedience that the enemy uses to create corporate strongholds of lies and unbelief.

God did not create humanity to be marionettes. He gave us the freedom to be in an authentic love relationship with Him. Yet, we continually abuse this freedom and usher evil into the world. When we sin and rebel against God, we hand the authority God gave us to rule (Genesis 1:28) to our enemy, and he uses it to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). This is why what God wants to happen on the earth doesn’t always happen.

We have to stop blaming God when hard things happen. We need a better understanding of His sovereignty that factors in human freedom and the forces at work against God’s Kingdom coming to earth as it is in heaven.

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