Saturday, April 28, 2018

My Heavenly Father

The other day, a troubled young person came to me with words about imperfect parents.  He felt angry.  Bitter.  Confused by the way he had been treated growing up.  

"There are no perfect parents," I reminded him, "But if you become God's child, you will have a perfect Father."

Romans 8:15 declares, 
“For ye have not received the 
spirit of bondage again to fear; 
but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, 
whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”  

My God is a wonderful Father, loving righteousness and truth but hating iniquity and evil.  Caring, always there, clear in His expectations, consistent in mercy, and just in punishment—these all characterize my Heavenly Father.

Do you ever find within your spirit a dark and shaded lens inviting fear at the prospect of some unknown upcoming event or potentially difficult situation—the “What ifs” of life?  The other morning, as I awakened before the sun rose, the same inky blackness that filled the earth seemed to tug at my spirit, coaxing me to run a trail of potential disasters for the upcoming day.  

But the above verse clarified those "what ifs" as discoloring lies that must be rejected as ungodly modes of thought which have not viewed this day properly—through the eternal, unclouded vision of the Word of God, which declares that my God never gave to me this cloak of dread. Although He is perfectly righteous, yet His tender love and compassion reaches out to me, and on this day I am offered more of Him, more of His care, more of His love and mercy than I have ever had before.  For it is a new day and His mercies are tailor-made for the unique set of circumstances which will greet me today.

The Spirit of adoption my Father gave me vies for truth to be clarified in my heart—No bondage.  No fear. All freedom.  All faith.  

Fight or flight tendencies might be natural reactions to unwanted occurrences, but my Heavenly Father lets me stand in the day of battle without fleeing.  He takes my own weaponry (tendencies or common ideas, notions I’ve believed too long or practiced without realizing it) and replaces them with His own—His Word, an offensive shield of faith and defensive Sword that the Spirit uses to conquer the foe.  

As my Daddy, He never leaves me alone to fight it out with the enemy of my soul.  His Word, my Shield and Sword, is ever there.  And He is my ever present Help in trouble.  He is my Helper at all times.  

How important is it that I use His shield against the fiery darts of the enemy? Incredibly so!  Ephesians 6:16 states, “Above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”  This shield allows each of His children to stop flaming arrows from hitting their  hearts.  This is the kind of protection our Daddy offers us! A suit of armor that deflects Satan and rejects his lies, in whatever form they may come.

My Heavenly Father has clothed me with garments of praise and does not leave me unprotected in the day of battle!

The ungodly words of individuals dissipate when I look up in the day of battle and see Him, my Heavenly Daddy—the Lord of Armies—at my side.

“For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD:
 thou art my trust from my youth.  
By thee have I been holden up from the womb: 
thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: 
my praise shall be continually of thee”—Psalm 71:5-6.

This same God Who knit me and fashioned me in my mother’s womb, Who is the Source of the miracle of life, Who was there in the hospital with my parents when I was born—this same God has held me up every moment of my life. Without His power, I would not be here. Without Him continually sustaining me, I would surely have perished.  But He, the Giver of Life, has breathed into me so that I have been a living soul for these several years.  What a God I have, Who has accompanied me every day of life, Who has upheld me, Who has personally cared for me!

Although I cannot see Him, He has been my trust from the day I came to Him as my Savior and Lord, seeing myself as a wretched sinner who deserved eternal condemnation and looking to Him, the only Deliverer from the payment I owed for my sin.   

The people of life come and go.  Some speak words of life and edification into our hearts and circumstances. Others disparage with their words, cut down, and taint with death those in their surroundings. But my God has breathed words that energize, uplift, sustain, and bring to life.  His words.  They are true and inspired.  Pure and holy.  A perfect reflection of Himself.

As I take His precious words and allow them to shape my perspective of life, I find that God colors my world with His truth, allowing me to perceive what I could not otherwise see.  Regardless of setting or circumstance, I can praise, and I echo with the psalmist:  

“Let my mouth be filled with thy praise 
and with thy honour all the day” (Ps. 71:8).

Frequently the “lets” of Scripture are imperatives.  (This third person imperative is a class of words we don’t have in English, but in Hebrew it would read something like this: “Mouth, be filled with God’s praise and honor all day long.”)  It’s not just a nice wish but a personal command to the tongue God framed into our heads to speak words coated in God’s praise and glory, to let Him win and receive praise with the lips which we use daily to report about what’s happening in our world and how God’s intersecting with our reality.  And I know how to do that—by giving Him thanks for all things in all things.

“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me:
and to him that ordereth his conversation aright
will I shew the salvation of God”—Psalm 50:23.

What a wonderful Heavenly Father I have!