Our journey of faith has been inseminated, rather mysteriously, in our hearts with finding God as a Father. He is, without question, Creator of the universe and Redeemer of all humanity, but first, He is a Father.
For several weeks I have been hearing this phrase: “It is vital for us to have our Father back.” This is part of a larger understanding: if I had one gift to give to the hurting world, it would be to give them their Father back. With that as our presupposition, the scriptures begin to open in a surprising manner. This was the larger, redemptive objective of our Lord Jesus. His categorical, unequivocal statement summarizes as: “I will take you to the Father!”
Here, experientially, is how and why we must re-gain our relational freedom and intimacy with our heavenly Father. Christ is the Way to the Father:
- Peter’s insight reveals five words, carefully chosen, that indicate why we urgently need a Father’s correction and discernment: malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy, evil speaking (1 Peter 2:1). All five of these are childish and injurious. Peter goes on to write in verse 2 that you may “grow into your salvation.” Adulthood is required for us to become fruitful and Christ-like. This principle, which seems to have been lost, necessitates a functioning Father! Jesus said, “My Father is the vinedresser!” Father reserved for Himself cultivating us as His vine. This is a very personal and father-like jealousy for our wellbeing!
- As a father of four, it strikes me as self-evident, that transformation of these five ever-present, highly resilient human failures requires the presence of a proficient Father.
- Our maturity as presented in Romans, reigning in life, is our predestined purpose. Christ’s redemptive act, radical forgiveness, and intervention in our persons were for the primary purpose of Christ preparing us for our spiritual journey to His Father!
- Jesus instructed his disciples regarding their new and irreplaceable relationship to their Father:
This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I’ve revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he’ll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks! I’ve used figures of speech in telling you these things. Soon I’ll drop the figures and tell you about the Father in plain language. Then you can make your requests directly to him in relation to this life I’ve revealed to you. I won’t continue making requests of the Father on your behalf. I won’t need to. Because you’ve gone out on a limb, committed yourselves to love and trust in me, believing I came directly from the Father, the Father loves you directly. First, I left the Father and arrived in the world; now I leave the world and travel to the Father. (John 16:24-28 The Message – italics are my own).
- Suddenly, clearly and with drama, we are now enabled to receive our Father back! Jesus accomplishes this in our behalf. We gain insight concerning the necessity and function of a Father:
- Our own childhoods often prove to be the period of life that we spend the rest of our days trying to get over.
- The root cause may be complex, but it is well-defined: our earthly fathers were most likely inadequate. They may have been essentially absent or if present extremely controlling and disruptive.
- God, as a Father, comes to us in disguise. He comes Himself, incarnationally. The person of Christ demonstrates a solitary, eternal, and life-giving purpose: His job description is to return God’s own family to Him. Oh, how I bathed in this phrase: “The Father loves you directly.” It might be said that He has my picture on His refrigerator.
- We must become desperate to get our Father back! Adam’s failure and human corruption have disrupted our intimacy with Father and damaged beyond calculation our response to His care for us. Fatherhood, both natural and spiritual, is essential to successively engage life as it comes at us. His Fatherhood compensates for our immediate loss.
- Father came in the person of Christ to restore us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Father invites us to a homecoming, returning us to His own realm of Kingdom freedom. Father seeks to heal us physically, financially, and socially. This is what an authentic Father accomplishes!
- His Fatherhood provides an irreplaceable identity, keeping us stable, sane, and functioning in our “right minds,” which is the Mind of Christ. Authentic identity allows me to recognize who I actually am, my value, and my eternal purpose. Nothing, it seems, could be more urgent.
May the reality of having Father restored be yours,