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

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…

Noticed by grace

Stop and notice life around you from time to time - you might just be surprised by what you observe!
Sometimes we miss the "little things" in life. I guess I am as guilty of "glossing over" stuff as the next person. I wonder how much I really miss out on because I never stop long enough, listen close enough, or draw close enough to really "catch" what is happening? There are times when life passes us by at break-neck speed, or perhaps we are passing it by at that insane speed! Slow down, listen a little, get in touch with things and people around you. Notice stuff - it might just blow your mind!

I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place; then you gave them to me, and they have now done what you said. They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you, for the message you gave me, I gave them; and they took it, and were convinced that I came fro…