Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.
If you live in western culture as a Christian, you are more than likely familiar with the Lord’s prayer found in Matthew 6. Most of us have been able to recite it from the time we were little. In this well known prayer we tend to overlook Who it was Jesus showed us to pray to. He prayed our Father! Have you ever given that much thought? Jesus revealed the God, who created the stars, the heavens, night and day, matter, atoms, humanity, galaxies, and everything else in the universe, as Father. The great Creator of all revealed the relationship He created mankind to have with Him through His Son’s life. The God who once seemed distant and unattainable shattered any distance sin placed between us by the words that were released from the mouth of His Son Jesus, “our Father.”
For mankind, this means that if we are not viewing God as Father in everything involving Him then we are not correctly displaying who He is to a broken world. The work of sin in our world has painted a poor image of who God is as a Father, leaving people still distant to a God who only wants nearness. The problem when we don’t see God as Father is that we fail to walk in the identity as His sons and daughters. When we don’t know our identity we fill the world with Fatherless orphans who don’t know their loving and heavenly Father. This can cause sin to continue leaving families broken, to allow sickness to remain, and to create a lack of peace in our lives, just to name a few. When we act as an orphan we operate from a place of lack and brokenness, always looking to meet our own personal needs. This can lead to us finding our identity apart from the Father through things like money, work, family, or things that give us fulfillment or success for a short while. All of those things serve a great purpose in our lives, but are terrible as the masters over our lives. Usually it’s when we lose those things that we choose to draw closer to God. This is completely fine because God will surely meet you just as He lovingly runs to the prodigal son in Luke 9.
Another factor that keeps us from seeing our heavenly Father clearly is the experience we have with our fathers on earth. It can place a clouded lens over our eyes that keeps us from experiencing a life of purpose, peace, and true fulfillment. For example, if we have a father who sees the greatest success as being the best in everything or overworks then he most likely instills the value to his children that says when “I do great my dad loves me” creating a subconscious view of their relationship with God that says He only loves me when I do for Him. But God says, you can only do because I did for you and you’ll never earn My love. He truly just loves us because. There are many examples of the correlation between our dads and God. Even the good dads can hinder our view of God because He’s even better than the best dad on the planet! It’s really nothing to get stuck on or get upset over with our dads. We only need to recognize what could be holding us up so we can step into our identity a son and daughter.
Once we recognize any hindrances we simply repent from partnering with the lie that believes He is not a good Father in everything He does. Then we can ask for encounters! Encounters with the Father’s love. The love that changes how we think or what we do. If an imperfect dad knows how to give good gifts to his children, how much more ready is our heavenly Father to give wonderful gifts to those who ask! He delights Himself in who He made us to be. As a Father He doesn’t ask that you be anything. You truly only need to receive Jesus into your life!
Matthew 11:27-28 says, “No one fully and intimately knows the Father except the Son. But the Son is able to unveil the Father to anyone He chooses. So everyone come to me!”
What would the world look like if every person knew they’re Father in heaven loved them? What if we could all walk into a room with full confidence that when others shine it does nothing to us. That when we each shine to our fullest capacity through our gifts, talents, and dreams we each display the piece of the Father that no one else can display. This shows the world a part of Himself He placed in us when He created us in His image. I’ll leave you with testimony of a time I encountered the love of the Father and how it changed me!
I was made aware of the Father’s love through a book I was reading and a series of sermons I had heard. During the time I was discovering this, I was living away from my family for a season and I was having a really hard time being away! I was worried about money, sad about never seeing them, and scared I made the wrong decision to move. One night I was having a particularly hard night and I laid in bed crying trying to fall asleep. No clue what I really prayed, but I remember my imagination coming to life and a memory of when I was a little girl flashed through my mind. It was like one of the many nights I would wake up scared and I would scream for my dad to come. I would hear his steady and sure footsteps coming to my room. Then he would lay in bed with me until I fell asleep. I remembered I would lay on his chest and just listen to the rhythm of his heart. It was slow, soothing, and I suddenly felt nothing could get me! At this point I was sobbing to the point there was no sound coming out of me. In that moment I heard God say through an impression, “this is My love for you. You don’t have to be afraid! I am your safe place.” I knew God would fight for me just like I knew my dad would fight IF any of the monsters ever decided to make an appearance from my closet.
I wish I could say I have encounters like this regularly, but I can say I do have an awareness regularly that God the Father is my safe place. His heart is for me and all I need to do is call out to Him and He comes! If my dad could make me feel secure and safe, how much more would my heavenly Father keep me secure and safe! To this day when I feel worried or scared of usually a life decision, God reminds me of that encounter with His love and I am filled with His peace. May you have encounters of your own and remember, all you need to do is ask.