Posts Tagged parent

Perfect Parent

Psalm 68: 5 – 6

To the fatherless he is a father. To the widow he is a champion friend. To the lonely he gives a family. To the prisoners he leads into prosperity until they sing for joy. This is our Holy God in his Holy Place! But for the rebels there is heartache and despair.

This is one of the Words the Father has given us for encouragement. It is an important one, though sometimes over looked.  I have grayed out part of the verses to focus in on the first sentence.  We will discuss the remainder tomorrow.

There are no orphans in the Kingdom of God. God is a Father, the Father, in fact. If you had less than satisfactory relationships with your earthly parents, do not despair. Be healed in your heart by the one who loves you beyond measure. He (for lack of a more suitable pronoun) is your mother and your father. This is not the only place this promise appears. Psalm 27: 10 reads, “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up.” If your earthly parents failed you, fear not because God is here to pick you up.

Every loving characteristic of a good parent comes from God because God is the source of all love. Both women and men inherit their parental skills from God. We have made God in our image attributing to “Him” only masculine qualities but this is not as it should be. God is not gendered. Why would “He” be? He has no reason to procreate. He simply creates with the words of His mouth. I think this mischaracterization of God is one of the reasons people imagine Yahweh as vengeful, harsh and angry. We have put human robes on Him painting Him with the brush we gained from earthly fathers. We have all been deceived. Earthly fathers were never meant to be relegated to the role of disciplinarians. Fathers, your job is to love your children. In this you model your heavenly parent.

Over the years I have been stunned at the number of people who admit to having not only unfulfilling relationships with their fathers, but even traumatic, or even abusive ones. Because of the broken relationships with our earthly fathers, we often approach God with trepidation if we dare approach Him at all. It is common to hear Christians confess to having little to no relationship with God even though they love Jesus. Why is this so? I believe it is because we expect Him to treat us as earthly fathers do. Here is the good news, though. There is healing for us all. Yahweh is the perfect father. I even want you to know He is your real father. He begat you in His imagination and in the spiritual realm before your parents were born. At the beginning of time, God looked into the heavens and saw your beautiful face. He thought then, as He does now, that you are the most beautiful baby ever. He loves you with a love that is, actually, beyond your comprehension. As much as you have ever loved anyone, He loves you way more than that. He doesn’t only love you to the moon and back, He loves you as much as the entire universe and more which is why the universe is still expanding. It hasn’t the capacity, yet, to contain all He has and wants for you.

If one, or even both of your earth parents forsook or mistreated you, take ahold of this revelation and promise from Yahweh today. You are the beloved of the most loving parent ever. Trust me in this, if you will give God your heart, He will cherish and nurture it as the most precious thing ever. He will be the father or mother you wished you had when you were a child. Believe me in this! He can move into your life in a real way. It may be hard for us to understand how a spirit being can become so real to us that we are nourished in His loving embrace, but it is true. You just have to trust me. If you seek Him, you will find Him. The scripture says He will make up for years that the locust has stolen (Joel 2: 25). Let Him/Her, for God is both father and mother. God is love, the very source of all love. Do not let your thoughts be pigeonholed any longer. God isn’t one or the other. He is all in all. He is absolutely everything you need. Embrace and accept the fullness of His great affection.

Snakes and Stones or Fish and Bread

Matthew 7: 7 – 11

“Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or what if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”

I know this is a very familiar passage of scripture but it bears looking at again and again. And even though it is well known I am unconvinced that it has really sunk into the hearts of believers.

We begin with the entreaty of Christ himself telling us to ask the Father for those things we seek. He would have no need to tell the people to make requests to God if they were already doing it. Moreover, Jesus knew well that the words he spoke while on the earth were not only for the people of that era but also for us. There is an emphatic plea in Jesus’ tone as he tried to encourage the Jews of then and us today to take our petitions to the Lord, our God. 

Ask, he says, and you will receive. Clearly the people were not asking but the important underlying point is that they did not ask because they did not believe God would answer. That is why Jesus went on to explain God’s willingness to answer prayer by comparing Him to an earthly parent. Surely, even a half-way decent parent would not give a child a snake in response to a request for a fish or a stone in place of bread and yet followers of Yahweh don’t even give Him that much credit. We have failed to recognize Him as a loving parent. Jesus calls us to look at ourselves and compare ourselves with the God and Father who created us. If we are virtuous enough to give our children that which is good how is it that we do not believe that our heavenly Father is virtuous enough to care for us? In our comparison somehow we subconsciously arrive at the conclusion that God is not a good parent. The result is that we don’t bother to ask because we do not believe that He will answer.

As I read this I am forced to ask myself if I believe Jesus. What was Jesus’ purpose in speaking these words? Is this just theology or is he trying to compel us to really treat God as a father? Does Jesus think that the comparison of God to an earthly parent is rational? And does he really believe that if you and I ask God for something that God will actually provide for us? Will God provide for me as He provided for Jesus?

As I sit here I invite you to join me in thinking about what you really want and what you really need. What is in your heart today? Is it something in the physical realm or something intangible? Can you imagine yourself seated at the kitchen table with your father God? What would you say to Him about this need or desire you have? Can you see Him as a loving parent who wishes to meet your needs and who also loves to bless you with gifts?

So much theology is put to right when we receive a revelation of God’s love. When we come to understand His heart and His deep love for us then all the pieces begin to fall into place. We have to shake off this idea of Him as a distant and removed God and get a revelation of Him as a loving parent. That is what Jesus tried to reveal to us and he is emphatic that we should treat God as a parent by asking, seeking and knocking. We have Jesus’ word that we will receive, the door will be opened and we will find that which we seek. Move outside of your experience and your philosophy today and attempt to hear what Jesus is saying. Sit with him and let him minister the nuance and implications of the words as well as their literal meaning. There is something important in this passage that Jesus is trying to convey to you today. Require him to give you the fullness of its meaning.