Friday, November 1, 2013

Our Father's love

Most of us have never heard our earthly father say, “I love you”, or “this is my beloved son/daughter in whom I am well pleased”.  Can you imagine how Yeshua felt when His Father said those words to Him?  I think every son or daughter would give every thing they have just to hear an “I love you,” said by their father.  But because we have a spiritual enemy, that steals, kills and destroys, our fathers are (or were) in no condition to respond to us in a Godly manner. As a result many of us have been robbed of one of life’s greatest treasures, the love of a father.  This has created a great void in the heart, and has often precluded us from giving and receiving love.  Have you heard the voice of our Heavenly Father say to your heart "I love you".  

After having our heavenly Father’s love ministered to me, my eyes were open to how many times the apostles pointed to our “Father”.  When Yeshua taught his disciples to pray he said, “our Father”(Math 6:8), and he continued to refer, many times, to His Father and their Father.  In his writings, Paul also keeps reminding the believers of their relationship with the Father.  “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’" (Gal. 4:6). “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’"  (Rom. 8:15).  Many times the apostles begin their letters to the congregations of believers with this greeting:  “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah”. 

I began to wonder why we would want to address our Heavenly Father in any other way but “Abba”.  In the scriptures YHVH is known by many names, and when examined they all speak of fulfilling some need in one’s life, especially in the one area that we spoke about above that we long for the most, and that is the Father’s love.  If we looked at His role as a loving Father, all His names or attributes would be included in that one relationship.  So why do we not just call Him with the most endearing of all names (which also helps us set our own identity in order)?   

I can honestly say that I did not know His love for me, even after 30 years of being a believer.  I knew Him as a good provider, very similar to my earthly father, but something was always missing.  Was it a lack of spiritual maturity, or did it have something to do with obedience unto sanctification?  I had to seriously consider the latter, because it wasn’t until receiving teaching on this subject that His Father’s heart began to be revealed to me. 

There were many spiritual blocks in my life that the enemy had set up over the years, blocks which had to be removed. But first I had to recognize and admit to their existence, take responsibility for cooperating with them and then repent and renounce each one of them individually.  Amazingly, after they were cast out or down, that which remained in me was… His presence.  Thus I am getting to know my Father as that perfect love, and because I have been created in His likeness, I also get to know who I am as a new creation in Messiah with exactly the same nature.  

In the first letter of the Apostle John, he writes: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.  Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:1-3).

In this verse we can see the connection between purifying ourselves and seeing the Father.  The Greek word for “revealed” is from Strong’s 5319: fanero, phaneroo {fan-er-o'-o} “to make manifest, appear, be manifest”, from the root “to enlighten”.  We can never know who we are as His progeny, unless we come to the revelation knowledge of who He is as revealed in His Son.  Our new life as children of a loving heavenly Father should bear the same nature as the Father, and thus anything that is not of Him is also not of us.  So how do we proceed when we realize that there are things in us which are a far cry from the Father’s expression?  “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor 7:1).  It cannot be clearer! We must take the responsibility to “cleanse [or purify] ourselves” from all filthiness of flesh and spirit. We will not be able to do this if we are ignorant of the spiritual realm and the truths of sanctification. Most of the problems in the Body of Messiah could be resolved if we were rid of many of the spiritual influences that come from the power of sin working in the flesh.  Thus, if we see ourselves as children of the same Father and having this same nature, we will easily recognize one another.   John puts it this way: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God [our heavenly Father] and everyone who loves is born of God [the Father] and knows God [the Father].  No one has seen God [the Father] at any time. If we love one another, God [the Father] abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.  By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.  God [the Father] is love, and he who abides in love abides in Him [the Father] and God [the Father] in him” (1 John 4:7; 12-13; 16).  Thus we have fellowship with one another and our joy can be made full.


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