Understanding God as Father
We really hope that you have been blessed by reading our articles. They are designed to help lead you to the Word of God, which as you apply daily will help you to grow up more and more into Christ’s stature. We want to discuss in this article about our relationship with the Father. We hope you will find it a blessing. Remember to send your comments about it and your responses to the Bible study, your questions, prayer requests or any other area of need, doubts or struggles in your life and walk with God.
We are committed & helping you grow in your relationship with God, so please let us know how we can best be of help to you. Stay blessed!
For Pens for Christ.
I am always fascinated each time I see a toddler holding unto his or her father’s hand as they walk along a street. There seems to be a satisfied look in the child’s face as he/she walks with his/her father. I believe that the relationship with one’s father is a unique one, slightly different from that with the mother (though this is special too). Seeing this father/child relationship being enjoyed by children all around us freely, it becomes a necessity that every child of God also enjoys this blissful relationship with his/her own heavenly Father. This write-up is aimed at helping us to do just that.
WE ARE GOD’S CHILDREN
One thing we need to know and rest assured of is the truth that all of us who have received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour have become God’s children.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13; KJV).
“Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved now are we the sons of God...” (1st John 3:1-2a; KJV)
A Christian has on the inside of him the nature of God which is the recreated spirit (2nd Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:10). Therefore, we are not illegitimate children. The Holy Spirit testifies to the fact that we are born of God (Rom 8:15 – 17 [LB]). Have you accepted Christ into your life? Then you can rest assured that you are God’s own child. Now isn’t that a wonderful privilege? See John 14:6-7 and Ephesians 1:3-14. Please be sure to read them up
A LOOK AT THE FATHER
Now that we are assured by His Word that we are His children, let us take a look at the nature of our Father because if you do not know who you claim to relate with you, you would likely relate with an assumed image of who he is. So let us look at a few things concerning our Father as revealed in His Word.
1. God is good
To know that God is good is basic to our knowledge of Him. Though scriptures abound that say “God is good” (Psalm 106:1, Psalm 107:1, Psalm 118:1, Psalm 136:1, Psalm 145:9), several people do not believe this. For instance, how do you explain the outlook an average person takes if he were given a choice to ask for God’s opinion of the kind of car he should buy? He would readily say (though in his heart): “surely God would give me a run-down second hand old model so that I can learn humility. I’d better make my choice on my own”. Several people do not want God’s will because they feel God has only disaster in mind. Some feel God’s definition of goodness is different from ours i.e He may be so good that He would want your life to be miserable (for His own reason). Some are even afraid of God as one would be of a wicked father. However, the Bible says “God is good” and it means just that: ‘Good’ means morally excellent, agreeable, kind, loving, flawless; in short, virtuous. Therefore, we need to settle in our hearts that of all people that one should desire to spend holidays with, our God the Father is the best because He is good.
Get rid of every suspicion about God. He is not evil like man. Which earthly father would not want the best for his children? Who, as an earthly father, plans for his children to have disaster in life? NONE! Christ makes it clear to us that our God is a better Father than the best human father can be (Luke 11:11-13). Doesn’t that gladden your heart as it does mine? I have indeed seen some splendid earthly fathers; however, my heavenly Father is better than they all are. God is a good father. Read Psalms 103:8-15 to known more of God’s attributes as a father.
2. Responsibility of the Father
The responsibilities of a father are many and we do not intend to be exhaustive. We just want to highlight two fatherly responsibilities. Having known that our Father is so good, we can rest assured that He will not fail in them.
a. Cares for the Child-Meets His/Her Need
You would agree with me that every father strives not to be slack at this responsibility. Needless to say that God would not do any less. However, we need to look at what the Bible has to say about this matter.
“As a Father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him” Psalm 103:13; NKJV
“The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him” Psalm 103:13 NLT
And you are the one who fears His if you obey his commandment to believe on His Son Jesus, which we believe that you do (1st John 3:23)
“Can a woman forget her nursing child and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they forget, yet I would not forget you. See I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands; your walls are continually before me” Isaiah 49:15-16 NKJV
We see that God has compassion on us. If responsibility were not enough to cause Him to provide for or meet our needs, then the sureness of His compassion is. There is nothing a father can’t do for a child he has compassion on. And the Bible makes it clear that God has compassion on us His children.
“Casting all your cares upon him or he careth for you” 1st Peter 5:7 KJV. Take not of how it is rendered in the Living Bible: “Let him have all your worries and cares for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you” 1st Peter 5:7 LB
Whenever you are tempted to say that nobody cares for you or that no one is thinking about you, remember that your heavenly Father cares for you and is thinking about you! That should give you some peace of mind. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Jesus Christ.” Philippians 4:6-7 LB
Our Father desires to supply every one of our needs however, He requires us to ask and receive in faith. “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt…” James 1:6 – NIV. Also read Mathew 7:9-11; Mathew 10:29-31; Mathew 6:32b
b. He Discipline His Children
Don’t you admire children who are well trained? I do. However, training is a result of submitting to discipline. We all need discipline because every child left alone tends to become selfish and non-submissive. This would run contrary to the purpose of God who wants us to become like Christ (Rom. 8:29), who submits to his own Father (Heb. 5:7-8). We felt it needful to include this fatherly responsibility in this write-up because of many misconceptions about God’s discipline.
Discipline, which refers to training that molds/instruct/corrects, comes by two major means in the Bible – reproof and the rod.
Reproof or instruction can be explained as correction with explanation. If a child does what is wrong and you tell him to stop it, explaining the reason, then child has been reproved. At other times, even without committing an offense, a loving father might instruct his child on the right thing to do for his/her own good. Our heavenly Father equally reproves and instructs us to make us better. This He does through His word, Spirit or at times godly counsel. See 2 Tim 3:16-17, Proverbs 1:1-7. God would not reprove us without reason.
The rod (2nd Samuel 7:14, Hebrews 12:5-11, Proverbs 29:13-14) is God’s means of producing His image in us. This is to be desired because he whom God loves, He chastises (Rev. 3:19 & Hebrews 12:6)
From the scriptures, the rod does at least three things:
1. Produces the fruit of Christ in those who embrace it (Read Hebrews 12:10-11). James 1:2-4 reads “considerer it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance; perseverance must Finnish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything”-NIV
“And also I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that would be revealed in us” Rom 8:18, NIV
Christ’s nature is formed in those who would persevere under discipline. Rom 8:17, Heb. 12:11
2. It brings comfort ultimately Psalm 23:4; Heb 12:11
3. It brings back those going wrong 1st Cor. 11:31-32
So what is the rod? It refers to unpleasant situations and circumstances, and challenges for which and in which we are required to trust God, to rely on Him and on His Word and so become dependent on Him and on His word. Again, these may not always be a punitive measure for a wrong, though it may be. He may simply allow us pass through something to make us better, just like a coach who is training an athlete.
In the light of all this, discipline from God is neither to be feared nor suspected. It is to be appreciated and endured, since it is for our ultimate good. James 1:2-3 & Hebrews 12:10-11.
RELATING WITH THE FATHER
Now that we have seen that God is such as good God, His fellowship is obviously desirable. Here are five points to help us in our fellowship with the Father.
1. Be real (Be yourself): God knows all about you. Don’t pretend with Him. He already knows you well. Say you want say from your heart. You don’t need memorized prayers. Prayer is a heart to heart conversation with God. So speak out your heart to Him in your own simple language. Relate to Him just the way you are. Remember, he is your Father.
2. Get rid of Fear: 1st John 4:18 says: “there is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” NKJV.
Realize that God has not given you the fear (2nd Tm. 1:7), hence cast out every fear in Jesus name. Your Father loves you perfectly and would not torment you. He does not want you to be afraid of Him. “So you should not be like covering fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family-calling him “Father, dear Father.” Romans 8:15; NLT. You can come boldly to God’s throne of grace because the blood of Jesus has made a way for you (See Heb. 4:15-16, 10:19-22).A major source of fear is sin.
3. Get rid of sin: As God’s children, sometimes we still mess up. And even though this is not His perfect will for us, He has made a provision for our forgiveness and cleansing. Our Lord Jesus pleads for us before the Father (1 John 2:1). And when we admit (confess) our sins to God, we are assured that because of His faithfulness and justice, He will not only forgive us but also purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Notice that the blood of Jesus does not simply cover your sins but blots it out Heb. 9:14. Trust that his blood is sufficient for your sins-past and present. So come to Him for help (Heb 4:15-16, Isa 1:18).
4. Employ the Help of the Holy Spirit: This you do by praying in the spirit Jude 20, Rom 8:26. The Holy Spirit enhances our effectiveness in prayer and helps us connect with the very heart of the Father. He knows the Father and He helps us develop intimacy with Him. The more you pray this way the easier it is to relate with God as your father because God is spirit.
5. Walk in the Light: This simply means to obey the word of God that He brings to you on a daily basis. Any instruction He gives you in your private devotion, in church, or anywhere else, put into practice. “But if we walk in the light, as is he in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1st John 1:7 NIV
This write-up was designed to enhance your relationship with the Father. We want you to note that Christ Jesus is both our access to the Father (Rom. 5:1-2) and the true revelation of Him (John 1:1, Col 1:5, Heb 1:3). He that sees Jesus has seen Father (John 14:6-11). Hold fast to Him for: “our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3-NIV). Please ensure that you find time to read up the Bible passages mentioned in the write-up. We hope to hear from you soon and wish to know how God can help us to help to you. Please feel to let us know. We are you brothers and sisters in Christ. Stay blessed and in tune with Him.