You need to know that Judith and I came down with Covid at the end of July. The Month of August disappeared, as we began to recover. Our doctor, who is a believer, said: “You both are very lucky to be alive.” Mark and Julie Duggin, who administrate the Lifechangers’ office, and their family have walked through this as well. We are delighted to re-engage.
Feeling like those who have been to the edge of the “shadow of death” has, re-enforced our value systems. Like the words of the song: “the things of earth grow strangely dim,” we are so very grateful to the Lord for added time to communicate issues we feel are such priority. One of those issues for us here at Lifechangers is learning to be a Father Pleaser. During the days of physical conflict, this foundational truth became a Lifeline for all of us.
The years know some things that the days have never seen. The old and new covenants center on the presence or absence of God the Father as source, identity, and authority. When Father is present, the climate fills with Light and Life. When God, as a Father is absent, the darkness tends to prevail. Christ came to take us to our Father. This is love and concern expressed:
- Jesus taught us that we can change our affections and treasure without changing doctrine.
- Judaism, effusively biblical, often desired to please someone other than Father.
- False father promises what humans secretly desire: to go our own way!
- Going my own way is animal-like and not fully human.
- Helpful fathers recognize going our own way is tragic and deadly.
- Going our own way dishonors our Father who loves and cares.
- “My sons have revolted against me” says a hurting, disappointed Father. (Isaiah 1:2)
- Revolt is our determination to go our own way.
- False, purposeless promises of the false father are long-term and costly.
- There are three ways we can and do change father’s: -Disregarding like Esau -Seduced, like, Eve. A false promise took her and us into death. -Coercion, political force, like Rome.
- Christ Jesus, the consummate Father Pleaser, refused all three.
- He recognized the promises as unreal, seductive, and deadly.
- He asks us to follow Him in an intentional manner.
- Pleasing Father or pleasing ourselves, looks like this:
- Go my own way, sons, daughters in spiritual anarchy.
- Go Father’s way, sons, daughters in spiritual freedom.
The new birth, in biblical context, has been designed to enable, equip, and strengthen our human responsibility. We are required to make the difficult, often expensive, decisions. We are responsible to do so as followers of Christ who has been prepared to please their Father.