Jesus came to reveal our heavenly Father…
All of us, have been fatherless to some degree. No matter how good or bad your earthly father is or was, God your heavenly father is perfect!
We are looking tonight at the Father Heart of God, God as our nurturer.
The way I was brought up, I saw Jesus as our tender Shepherd, the one to whom we could run. The one who sits at the right hand of God, ever praying and interceding for us. Yet, God, I was told, is holy, and sits as judge of the entire universe. God is the Father of all Creation, but the picture I was painted of Him was of a harsh judge, sitting upon His throne, ready to hurl lightening bolts from heaven upon any who would dare to cross Him. Like this huge austere man sitting upon His throne with a giant fly-swatter ready to punish us when we blew it.
Yet, the view I held of God, was not according to knowledge. Religion and tradition had blinded me from the truth of Daddy God. Again and again, He has come to me and ruined my tough-guy image with waves of Holy Ghost hugs and tender compassion. I couldn’t understand how the loving God I was experiencing could actually be the Father I had learned about in Sunday school. So I was afraid, never fully trusting His loving care for me.
Why? I figured that I was like some play-toy to Him. He didn’t need me; he loved me when it was convenient for Him, but I’d better watch out, because He might squash me like a bug.
Well, many of you are in the same place. You’ve seen men act like I’ve described, perhaps your earthly father acted this way, and perhaps the way you see God is tainted by the media and religion. Well, God is not that way. He is holy, and He cannot lie. The way He describes Himself is the way He really is. We must see Him as the Word describes Him, not the way the world would seek to portray Him.
Let’s look at these verses.
(Isa 66:11 NIV) For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance.”
(Isa 66:12 NIV) For this is what the LORD says: “I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees.
(Isa 66:13 NIV) As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem.”
Is this the picture of a God that throws lightening bolts at His children when they disobey? No! These verses describe an intimacy with God similar to the degree of intimacy a nursing infant experiences at the breast of its mother.
One of the covenant name of God is El Shaddai, the God who is more than enough. When we look up the definition of this Hebrew word, we discover it to literally mean, “the multi-breasted one”. The sense being of God desiring a level of intimacy with every human being similar to that of a new-born babe suckling at its mothers breast.
Look at verse 12 with me, we see God desiring to literally carry us as a mother carries her infant babe, he wants to play with us like a parent bounces a child upon their knee.
Let’s look at a few other verses of Scripture that document this wonderful side of our loving heavenly Father.
(Hosea 11:1 NIV) “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
(Hosea 11:2 NIV) But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.
(Hosea 11:3 NIV) It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them.
See this beautiful word picture. The picture of a parent teaching a child to walk, holding them by the arms, and leading them in the way they should go. How many times have you gone through a hard time, or entered into a new situation, and it seemed that the comfort of the Holy Spirit was so tangible you could literal touch Him. The clarity of the direction you received from God so concise you could not fail to make it through.
See it in this verse? A child, being held by the arms, doesn’t really care where they are going, only that Daddy is holding their arms. When He’s there everything is sure to turn out right.
Having difficulty receiving your healing? Get intimate with Pappa God, and let him take you by the arms and lead you, and teach you to walk by faith. The fellowship with Him will become so rich, the journey so wonderful, that it will only be in hindsight you recognize that as He walked with you, you were healed.
Some would argue, well that’s nice pastor Chris, but both of your illustrations are old covenant examples; show me this in the New Testament. Rather than argue the truth of
(1 Cor 10:6 NIV) Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.
Let’s look at
(Rom 8:15 NIV) For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
We know God’s perfect love destroys our deepest fears. We are His children by adoption, sealed by the earnest of the Holy Spirit.
The Hebrew word “Abba” is a term of intimate fellowship, our English word “Daddy”.
He is a God to call Daddy. Pappa God, our loving heavenly Father.
This truth came alive to me as a minister friend of mine was relating his experiences on his trip to Israel. As we know, we have been adopted into the covenants of God made originally to the Jewish people. When you accept Jesus, you will find yourself loving the Jews, because He does, hey Jesus is Jewish!
Well, anyway, this pastor was arriving in Tel Aviv I believe, and was waiting for his luggage at the luggage claim area. While he waited, he noticed a three-year old boy with his mother, eagerly awaiting the return of hi father. He was stretching and straining through the crowd, trying to spot his Dad. When his dad appeared, this child broke free of his mother’s grasp, and ran, arms outstretched towards his dad, crying in Hebrew, “Abba, Abba.”.
That’s the way God wants us to come to Him. Arms upraised, heart open, in childlike trust crying “Daddy, daddy!”. He will never turn us away, He loves us.
(2 Cor 6:18 NIV) “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
To finish this segment, let me tell you a story.
During an extremely difficult time in my life, I rented a basement apartment in a Christian home, as I took night courses in a bible school, and drove a school bus to support myself. Many wonderful things happened during this seven-year period of my life, but one particular encounter comes to mind.
I was taking a discipleship training course at church, and we were doing a section on pride and humility. We read “Improving your serve” by Chuck Swindoll, and “Humility” by Andrew Murray. During this season in my life, my pastor asked me to do something around the church, and I said, in belligerence, “Why should I?”. This tender man of God in great gentleness said to me, knowing I had sat under the teachings on pride and humility, “Chris, could it be that you are struggling with pride?”. It cut me like a knife, and I was so ticked off, I left the church, and went home in a rage. Now, I know none of you have ever been there, but I was ticked off.
(Prov 19:3 NIV) A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the LORD.
So here was I. I’d made a bad choice, and then was so proud and self-deceived that I was mad at God over it.
So, in my basement room, I blurted out at God. “Yea, God, I’ve got an attitude, but what do you expect. This pastor of yours tells me that you will protect us, that you love us. Yea, right. If you are so loving and so kind, why did you allow the garbage that happened to me as a little child occur? What kind of God are you anyway? Letting little children get raped. You know how it is on the street, you let down your guard for a second, and you get your teeth taken out.”
Suddenly, I was not alone. My little bedroom filled up with the glory of God. I thought “Great, I told God off, and now He’s going to kill me.”
Then He spoke to me.
“Child, you don’t understand everything right now. I take full responsibility for what happened to you as a child, can you forgive me?”
Something snapped deep inside of me. My reality was shattered by His love. What? “Me forgive you? You’re God. You can’t do anything wrong. I’m not going to get a lightening bolt? I don’t understand.”
Then, I saw it. A simple understanding came to me that still speaks to me today.
God is humble. As Creator of all things, He could sit upon His throne and dictate to Creation how it is going to be. He’s Almighty, who could stop Him? Yet, He’s not that way.
Jesus washed His disciple’s feet. The character of the Master must be the character of the disciple. Jesus said, “If you’ve seen me, you have seen the Father.” See it? Father God is humble.
As time went on, I learned of Satan and his activity in the earth. He does wicked things to us, and then accuses God for it. Poisoning our minds against the One who loves us more than we love ourselves.
God is never your problem; He’s always your answer.
Why do bad things happen to “good” people? Simple. Faith moves the hand of God. The word of God is the will of God. Where people are ignorant of God’s word, Satan is free to do what he always does: kill, steal, and destroy.
My parents knew about God, but didn’t know God. They didn’t know how to apply the Word of God to their day to day affairs to see Jesus victory manifest in our life.
Probably, your parents didn’t know either. As you study and apply what you know, you are being changed. As you change, you affect those around you, like the ripples that go out from a pebble thrown in a still pond. Your children will have a better life than you did, because of your knowledge of spiritual things.
Here’s your homework. Get alone with God. Open your arms to Him and ask Him to show you His love for you. When He shows up, ask Him for courage to not run away, and let the tears all of us need to shed be cried on His shoulder. We all have secret pains in our soul, so deep, only God knows. He knows, He cares, and He will heal you if you let Him.
‘Lord Jesus, please reveal to me, my heavenly Father. Father, you know, you understand me, and I believe You love me. Please grant me a savage breakthrough of your love, Your DNA (Demonstrated Natural Affection) instilled into my very spirit. Restore to me the years of love I did not receive, and do a miracle in my soul. All the words of affirmation, acceptance, and approval that I should have received growing up, that would make me the person of boldness and confidence that this generation needs, please pour into my soul. Recreate, in the depths of my being, all that has been damaged by the trauma, abuse, neglect, and atrocities I have seen. Your perfect love, destroys our deepest fears, so I am asking for the depth of Your love revealed to the deepest part of me. I need you Daddy God, Pappa, I hurt. Please do for me, what only You can do, restore trust, peace, confidence…I choose to receive this now, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”