|David slaying a lion while protecting his father's sheep.|
Father . . . the word carries so much behind it. For many it is not a good word, bringing remembrance of maybe an absent father, an angry father, a father they were never good enough for, or . . . for others, like myself, it brings wonderful memories and associations to mind. But, whatever that word means to us in a human experience, when we consider a perfect father, we start to get a sense of how laden with meaning that word is when we identify it with God.
As a born again Christian, adopted through our faith in the work of Jesus in the cross as our salvation, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us and we are adopted by God as His own children. 1 John 3:1 says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”
We see the remarkable (actually stunning!) complete work of Jesus in our place—a work that gives us our adoption, and His righteousness and acceptance and standing before the Father—when we see that Jesus’ very own words of relationship with the Father becomes ours in our adoption. Mark 14:36 records Jesus addressing the Father: And he said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. . . ." Then, Romans 8:14–17a (see, also, Galatians 4:4–7) says of us: For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ . . . .
Isn’t it stunning that Jesus relates to the Father with the same expression of love and relationship, “Abba, Father,” that we are given to relate to the Father with? That should give us such absolute, mind-rocking, comfort and assurance about how accepted we are by Him as His children.
Father—first, the word implies origin. If He is our Father we are from Him, and like Him, and that realization gives us great insight into the worth that we have, the value of each and every one of us. It also destroys the lie that our origin lies in a ancient pool of muck.
Then, the word “Father” implies we have a relationship with God and that He is not just some distant “force” or “it” or “person.” It implies we have relationship, and it gives form to that relationship—Father to child.
A father provides, protects, leads, counsels, corrects, and upholds his children. He is present in his children’s life and watches over them and guides them. David’s cry to God says that God is his Father, and He is ours as well as a Christian. It is an amazing, loaded, incredible word to describe God, and our relationship with God. It is a word, and a relationship, worthy of hours upon hours of our meditation and reflection on. But . . .
. . . if “Father” is the only way we know to relate to God then we run risks, because for many people there comes a time when they believe a father either “doesn’t know as much as them,” or that he is their equal. Or, there comes a time when he is taken for granted, or is seen with condescension, or is rebelled against without fear, or is not respected, or is broken away from to form one’s own life. So, if we know God only as Father, then we have a danger, and an incomplete picture of Him and our relationship with Him . . . but, that isn’t the only aspect of God we see in David’s cry to Him—to this man after God’s own heart He is our Father, and our God, and that is what we will look at in Part 3.
May the word “Father” excite in you, today, a wonderful new, or renewed, sense of His love for you and your relationship with Him.