It's all about a Father
Some of us have had wonderful fathers. Others have not. To some, ‘Father’ equals warmth and safety. To others it means only anger and confusion. Perhaps for you, ‘Father’ is an empty word. The man who left, the man who was never there.
But whatever your experience with fathers, don’t put down this article yet – there is something more to discover. That ache you feel for something more, that sense of meaning which you long for in this seemingly meaningless world – well there is some startling news which you have to hear: The Bible knows how to answer that longing, the Bible can give you what nothing else can, and it’s all about a Father.
God, as preposterous as it sounds, longs to be your Father. What you ultimately need is the love of this Great Father. The wonderful solution, the only solution, to the deepest needs of your soul is to know Him as your Father. To know the wonder of His love poured into your heart (Rom 5:5). To know the safety found only in Him (Psalm 46). To know the immense hope of a future paradise, a heaven untouched by sadness, that will never fade away (1 Pet 1:4). The One called ‘God Almighty’ (Ex 6:3), the One too Holy for sinful humans to touch (Ex 3:5) actually wants to be your Father. If that doesn’t startle you and amaze you, what will?
But there’s a problem. God is Holy. Too Holy for broken humans to touch. By default, God is not your Father, He’s your enemy (Romans 5:10). By default, He is unreachable (Col 1:21). The Bible goes further: if God isn’t your Father, someone else is, and the news gets worse…
‘By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.’ 1 John 3:10
There are two big families: the children of God, and the children of the devil. All of humanity belongs to these families. We have human families, we’re born to human parents, but we are also part of these two families. A child of God, or a child of Satan. To call Satan father is a terrible thing: he is called names like ‘evil one’ and ‘father of lies’ (1 Jn 5:18; Jn 8:44). But the Bible’s uncomfortable message is this: by default, we are born into the devil’s family.
But why? Because the entry bar for being God’s child is too high. We must be full of ‘righteousness’. The Bible requires absolute perfection from God’s children – an impossible standard. We are born separated from God. This is the greatest problem we will ever face. The terrible truth of separation from God.
But the Bible’s astonishing news is this: God made a plan to bridge the mighty gulf between you and Him. A plan to make you His child, to adopt you into His family. To fulfil the deepest longings of your heart. God invites you to change sides, and the simplicity of it is astounding – all you have to do is accept. The sin and wrongdoing that separate you from God, they can be overcome by Jesus Christ (Col 1:21-22; Acts 16:31) He can wash you clean (Psalm 51:2). In Him is the power to become a child of God (John 1:12), and all you have to do is trust. This invitation is so bold, so huge, and so earth-shattering that it cannot be ignored. There is nothing else in all the universe which will satisfy your heart like God.
A Father Worth Knowing
As you begin to know God as your Father, it’s like opening up a treasure chest. You become a Son of the King of the universe, and so many dazzling promises become true for you. Let’s take out just 3 of these jewels, and gaze in wonder at them.
Maybe you had a close relationship with your father, maybe you never knew him. But with God, there is no need to fear being let down. He has promised to never leave you (Heb 13:5). And it gets better. God is not a distant father; He has a close relationship with His children. So close, that we can call Him ‘Abba’, which means daddy (Rom 8:15).
If God is our Father, we should want to honour the family name, and stay far as away from sin as we can, but Christians still sin (1 Jn 2:1; 1 Jn 1:10). This may seem like a problem, but the Bible tells us that Jesus is our advocate. An advocate pleads someone’s case in a court of justice. In fact, Jesus pleads our case to God Himself. Whenever we sin, Jesus shows God that He has saved us. He has paid the price for our sin, and we need never be afraid of punishment. Jesus has taken our guilt away from us, and God will never be angry with us for sin again. What a privilege – an advocate!
The Holy Spirit
If we are God’s children, we have been given the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9). This jewel is truly multi-faceted, and every face shines with brilliance because the Spirit is God Himself (Isaiah 40:13). God has sent His Holy Spirit to live within us, to teach us (1 Jn 2:27), help us fight sin (Rom 8:13), help us pray (Rom 8:15, 26), assure us that we are Christians (Rom 8:16), give us great boldness (Acts 4:31), help us encourage each other and worship God (Ephesians 5:19-20) and guarantee our eternal future in Heaven (Eph 1:14). What a glorious gift! There is so much more to discover from this jewel.
With God as your father, the deepest longings of your heart are fulfilled. Won’t you take Him as your own, so that you can live with ‘joy unspeakable’ bursting from your heart? (1 Pet 1:8).