1 John 2:5-6, “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”
1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
I don’t sleep much anymore, sometimes two to four hours; it’s just a sign of age and such. But it does give me time to meditate and pray. A lot of times anymore, my mind is filled with thoughts of the Lord, thoughts of service, the goings on in the world today and how it relates to things the Lord has told us in advance.
Last night was a bit different though. I teach a lot about our Heavenly Father and those who follow my thoughts know I mention our “Heavenly Father” a lot. That title, Father, is very special for me. I don’t say it or mention it lightly. To me it is a term of reverence, of intimacy, of a relationship that is special.
In my own life, that title and the way I feel about it evolved as I matured and aged. I had a parent who helped “create” me and I used to call him “father” or dad. But as I grew, I realized in reality all he did do was give me life in the natural sense. I met my wife’s father when I was just about to have my seventeenth birthday, so I was just a very young man then. But as time went by and I ended up getting married to my high-school sweetheart, I noticed big differences in my dad and her father.
First, as hard as I tried and as harsh as it seems now (even writing about it) I didn’t have a relationship with my dad. Yes, he took care of my brothers, sisters and me. Yes, he disciplined us, but it was all the obligatory things you expect from a parent. There was no communion, no relationship developing. He worked, had his friends and us kids were meant to be seen but not heard as the cliché goes.
When I started visiting my “girl-friend” and her family on a regular basis, her dad took interest in me. Slowly at first, but then he would start asking me my plans for the future, my ideas about “church” things, about parenting and so forth. Once I married his daughter and I became much more an integral part of their family, we used to have long conversations in the early morning hours before he or I would go to work. We didn’t always see eye to eye on everything, but he treated me like I was my own man. I learned a lot from him and it didn’t take long for me to call him father and truly mean all it entailed. Looking back, I learned more from him in my second seventeen years than I did from my dad in the first seventeen years.
The difference? Relationship was the difference! My dad couldn’t be bothered with a relationship with his kids. Come to find out, he didn’t really have a relationship with his dad and of course because of that neither did we have a relationship with our granddad. But my wife’s dad was different. He at least opened the door for a relationship with me and I walked right through it! He truly became a father to me and looking back now, I learned a lot more of the adult things I needed to be a good husband AND father. Don’t get me wrong, some of his kids didn’t think he was the role model that I saw him as, but that didn’t and doesn’t change how I feel about him even today.
I thank the Lord for the positive impact he did have on me and yes, we had our share of major disagreements, but it was based in and on our close relationship! I truly believe that our Heavenly Father gave him to me to show me (eventually) just how important relationship is and what is missing without that relationship.
Our Heavenly Father is the same way. He is our creator, but unlike my natural circumstances our Spiritual Father WANTS to have a close, intimate relationship with us! He will do whatever it takes to be a true Father to each and every one of us for His Word tells us that He desires none of us should perish. (John 3:16, 1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9)
Our Heavenly Father desires an intimate, personal and fatherly relationship with us; a oneness that He shares with His Son Jesus Christ! We each have that opportunity. Think of it; the creator of the universe, of all that ever was or ever will be, the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and eternal God Almighty, WANTS, desires an intimate oneness with us whom He claims as His children!! How much more awesome a thought than that could there be?!! He wants to share Himself with each and every one of us in that same oneness!!
It truly doesn’t matter what your natural or life experience concerning your father is or was for we have a God who wants to be Father to all and everyone. He will be what you may not have had growing up or He can be even more than what you experienced for He truly is the perfect Father and He desires intimacy with His children!
So, when you see an article of mine that speaks of our Heavenly Father, it is with the deepest love, humility and reverence that I can possibly have at this point in my relationship with Him. Thankfully, gratefully, each day I spend in His presence makes that relationship even stronger and one day when our Lord and Redeemer Christ Jesus, comes to take us home, we will be perfect as He our Christ is perfect, one with our TRUE Father!
My prayer, my hope, my wish for all creation is that each and every one can enjoy the relationship that our Heavenly Father wants with all! At least I will always have something to pray for!!