If you happen to be someone who reads this blog regularly, I’m just going to provide some full disclosure here. My next several posts will probably be centered around my daughter and the things that God is teaching me as I learn to be a father. It’s hard to describe just how much being a father is helping me to understand God as my Father. Up until recently, I wanted to understand, but I had no life experience to help make it tangible. Now I do! And I am sure that most parents can understand what I mean.
This week, I want to write a little bit about God’s will. Understanding, accepting and BELIEVING God’s will is essential to living the life that He has called us to live. For example, one part of God’s will that is highly debated among Christian circles is physical healing. The point of this post is not to debate this topic, so I am not here to argue either way. I would just like to point out the repercussions of our beliefs. There is a segment of the Christian population who believe that it is absolutely God’s will to heal, and that it is not His will for people to be sick. The result of that belief is that those Christians pray for healing. As a result, they tend to see people healed of diseases and ailments. There is another segment of the Christian population who does not believe that it is God’s will to heal. They believe that healing was only used in the early days of the church to affirm the early apostles and spark the initial growth of the church. Those people don’t believe that healing is for today. The result of that belief is that they do not pray for healing, and, therefore, don’t see people physically healed.
Related Post: A Blessed Inheritance
As outlined in the above example, what we believe about God and His will has astronomic ramifications. How does this relate to my daughter? Well, let’s just say that my first four weeks with her have helped me to better understand God’s will for me as my Father, as outlined in the following scriptures:
1. Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
2. Matthew 9-11 – Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! – Matthew 9-11
I don’t know why, but I have always had a hard time seeing God as a father who wants to reward and bless me. It almost seems selfish to think that he wants to see me prosper. There are a number of reasons for this. The most apparent reason being that I am just not deserving of His blessing and favor. I have spent the majority of my life as an adulterer towards God chasing after worthless idols, not as an obedient son deserving of His favor. For me, it’s easy to understand and accept that God would die for my sins so that I don’t have to go to hell for eternity. It’s harder to believe that, on top of that, He takes joy in giving me good gifts. However, the truth is that I am so valuable to my Father that He sent His son into this world to die on a cross for me. Not just so that I would be saved from hell, but so that I would have life to the full (John 10:10).
When I look at my little girl, it’s much easier to understand this loving attribute of my Heavenly Father. My little girl has done nothing to deserve my love. She has done nothing to earn my favor. In fact, a good portion of what she does is absorb my time and resources. There are times when her crying and fussing completely throw off my plans. Yet, I want nothing but the absolute best for her. I want to see her prosper and thrive in every area of her life. In fact, my wife and I have laid our lives down every day for the last 4 weeks to help her do that. We want nothing but the best for this little girl. The most amazing part is that we are not capable of loving her anywhere close to how much God loves us.
My little girl can never pay me back. In fact, I wouldn’t ever want her to. She doesn’t owe me anything. It is my good pleasure to give up my time, resources, and even my life, if necessary, to see that she has the opportunity to live a prosperous life full of meaning and purpose. I just want her to take full advantage of that sacrifice, and hopefully use it as an example of how she should lay done her life for others.
In the same way, I can never pay God back for all He has done for me. In fact, it’s absurd to think that I could even make a dent in my debt to Him. He gave me eternal life and permanent residency in His Kingdom. He has filled my life with meaning and purpose, and set me free from the bondage of sin and death. The only requirement is that I BELIEVE in who Jesus is and what He came to do. The result of that belief is trust. The result of that belief is letting go of control of my life, and handing that control over to the author of life. That author just happens to be the most loving and gracious Father that will ever exist, and He is for me and not against me (Romans 8:31). I don’t owe Him anything. He does not transfer a heavy burden of debt on my shoulders that I will never be able to pay. In fact, He does the opposite, by cancelling a debt that I would have never been able to pay.
So what are the repercussions of these beliefs? Well, if I don’t see God as loving Father that longs to give me good gifts, then I won’t go to him and ask! If I think that every time I do to him to ask for a fish, He is going to get irritated and give me a snake, then why would I go to Him? If I don’t think He cares about my welfare, then I won’t run to Him when I am in trouble, I will run away. It will absolutely destroy my intimacy with Him, which is the foundation of an empowered and full life! The opposite is true if I believe that He is loving, gracious and merciful like the bible says He is. I will run to Him with everything, including my sin. Because He is gracious and just to forgive. He longs to fill me with His Holy Spirit, and empower me to walk out the life He created me for.
I am a weak, impatient and selfish human being, and yet I want nothing more than to give good gifts to my beautiful baby girl. Therefore, I can say with all confidence, that your heavenly Father wants nothing more than to give good gifts to you!