With Father’s Day just around the corner, Irene Frances encourages us to take a moment and reflect on our Heavenly Father…
JEWS AND CHRISTIANS alike declare that one of God’s attributes is that of being a Father to us. We read of this throughout Scripture. It was through the reading of those passages that I was eventually able to grasp this concept for myself. Never knowing the love of an earthly father, I longed to experience the reality that God is my Heavenly Father.
In the Psalms we read that God is a ‘father of the fatherless, a defender of the widows’ (Psalm 68:5). The prophet Isaiah describes Him as our ‘Everlasting Father’ (Isaiah 9:6), and Jesus begins the Lord’s Prayer acknowledging ‘Our Father’ (Matthew 6:9). The Apostle Paul expands upon this dimension of God’s relationship with us. He reminded the Corinthian Christians that God had said that He ‘will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters’ (2 Corinthians 6:18).
In his letter to the Romans, Paul stated that because those who are led by the Spirit of God become His sons, that gives us the right to call Him ‘Abba, Father’ (Romans 8:14, 15). Paul speaks of this in his letter to the Ephesians: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will (Ephesians 1:3-5). From that unique position of being adopted into God’s family, we can relate to Him intimately as a child to their Father – Abba Father, Papa God, Daddy.
Even as I write, I hesitate to express what seems such forwardness with God. However, God welcomes that familiarity. For us to be in such an intimate, close relationship with Him reflects the measure of our walk with Him and our desire to live more fully with Him.
While I was in Jerusalem, I met Rabbi Moshe Kempinski, a wonderful man who has a deep relationship with God. In a most meaningful conversation, I had hesitantly said to him that when I have been in Israel I felt that I belonged there. Moshe’s response was immediate: ‘When we are in our Father’s house we will always feel at home.’ I was touched and replied, ‘Moshe, you don’t know how much that means to me. My own father was not the man he should have been.’ With an understanding that I sensed was from God Himself, Moshe said, ‘HaShem – God – must have trusted you for you to be on that journey.’ What a blessing. In that interaction I encountered God as my Father. However, I also realised that not only had He allowed me to experience much suffering, He had been with me throughout, and would use all that I had been through for His glory, His benefits. It was one of those life-enriching experiences, one that I will treasure forever. Many people live with the distress of not knowing a father’s love, or of having lived with an abusive father.
In His infinite love and mercy, God has demonstrated His love for us by becoming our Father – Abba Father. With that reality comes inexpressible joy and heartfelt gratitude for all He has done for us.
Irene Frances | Freelance Writer & Blogger | Website