Skip to main content

Dad...

Did you ever stop to consider the way various people address God?  I have been around some pretty "staunchly" religious people who continually refer to him as "heavenly father" or "God Almighty".  Yes, he is both, but these terms actually describe a kind of formal and rigid relationship with God.  If I had gone around responding to my dad with "Yes, father" all the time, it would have been like I was saying, "Sir, yes, sir!"  I would have been treating him merely as an authority figure in my life much in the same way I treated my commanding officer in the military!  Indeed, God is the authority over my life, but I don't want to approach him as the "big authority in the sky" kind of God.  I think God intends for us to have a more intimate, or close relationship with him.  He doesn't want us to treat him like our "bestie", but I do think he wants us to be comfortable calling him "Abba" (daddy). 

So, my brothers and sisters, you owe the flesh nothing! You do not need to live according to its ways, so abandon its oppressive regime. For if your life is just about satisfying the impulses of your sinful nature, then prepare to die. But if you have invited the Spirit to destroy these selfish desires, you will experience life. If the Spirit of God is leading you, then take comfort in knowing you are His children. You see, you have not received a spirit that returns you to slavery, so you have nothing to fear. The Spirit you have received adopts you and welcomes you into God’s own family. That’s why we call out to Him, “Abba! Father!” as we would address a loving daddy. Through that prayer, God’s Spirit confirms in our spirits that we are His children. If we are God’s children, that means we are His heirs along with the Anointed, set to inherit everything that is His. If we share His sufferings, we know that we will ultimately share in His glory. (Romans 8:13-17 VOICE)

My dad had authority over my life while I was growing up, and as I grew older, making a way in the world for myself, he was still in that place of authority in my life.  Why?  It wasn't something demanded, but something I fully gave him because I trusted him.  I knew he wouldn't ever deliberately bring harm into my life and I totally trusted him to always show me how much carefulness he took in protecting me.  Right up to the day my dad died, he was protecting me one way or another.  In his prayers for me, he put a shield of protection over my life.  In going with me to the car dealership when I needed to buy a new car, he protected my finances and helped me make a safe, wise car purchase.  In showing me how to use a few hand tools, he prepared me to keep things in good working order in my life.  He was always looking out for me - something I know he learned from Jesus!

When we invite Jesus into our lives, we are inviting him to take over the care of our lives - to be in a position of authority.  When we walk with him each day, learning how he moves and operates in our lives to provide that protection "over" us, we move from just submitting to him as an authority to enjoying his presence in our lives.  The Spirit of God comes into our lives, securing us from the "authority" of sin, and begins the work of helping us to know we are no longer bound to the past way of living, but enter into a new place of liberty and peace. In turn, we come to understand God's watchfulness and protection "over" our lives - much like an earthly dad acts toward the children he loves.  There is a tendency to press in a little closer and to trust him with the stuff which makes life complicated because we know he only has our best in mind.

Did you ever stop to consider that through the simple prayer of calling out, "Abba!  Father!", we were not only addressing God as one of his children, but in those simple words, we are confirming deep inside our inner man that we trust him as a child trusts their father?  In life, we look for strategies that will give us some advantage, don't we?  Trusting God so much that we move beyond treating him as "master" or "Sir God" in our lives is one way for us to move from simply "being in the family" to enjoying our position as one "under his protection".  It is sometimes easier for us to see all the commandments of God (do this, but don't do that) and treat him as an "authority over our lives" than it is to see his promises, recognizing him as the "protector of all aspects of our lives".  We may not be comfortable calling him "daddy", but we can call him "Abba".  They mean the same thing!  In so doing, it is like we are "cementing" a sense of trust - we are leaning into his arms and counting on the sensing of his presence to guide us through whatever may come our way.

Calling God "Abba" is not magical, but it helps us to connect with the heart of our heavenly father in a way which shows we understand he is always going to be concerned with providing whatever it is which will protect his child.  It signifies we understand the privilege of being his child, so much so that we are learning to trust him to assist us in abandoning the ways of the flesh which gave us so much trouble in the past.  It shows we are willing to tell him where we are struggling and then trust him to help us understand that struggle until we understand how it is we abandon it and take a different course.  God isn't going to "enforce" his role as "daddy" - he waits for us to move from treating him as just "an authority" over our lives to the one whose heart is always turned toward protecting us at every turn.  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce …

Period!

When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us.

We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledge…

Give him the pieces

What or Who is it that causes division among you right now? Maybe it is more of a 'what' than a 'who' that is creating the division between you and something you need in your life. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction to something that keeps coming between you and true liberty from the hold that thing has on you. Yes, addiction is really the worst kind of enslavement one can imagine - being so emotionally or psychologically attached to the 'thing' that any attempt to break free causes so much trauma in your life that you just cannot imagine being free. But...God is above that addiction - he is stronger than the emotional or psychological pull that thing has in your life. Maybe the dividing force in your life right now is a 'who' - a tough relationship challenge between you and a coworker, a spouse that seems to no longer share your interests or values, or even a relative that doesn't understand some of your choices and now chooses to withdra…