The timeless prayer Jesus prayed to the Father is one of my favorites, and I have come to understand it better over time. You probably know it.
Our Father who is in heaven, may your name be revered forever. May your kingdom come, and may your will be done on the earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our errors, as we forgive those who erred against us. May we not be lead and baited into temptation, but swiftly rescue us from all evil. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.Matthew 6:9-13, Paraphrased
I have been thinking about the Father. Who is he? What is he like? Thankfully we don’t have to look very far for Jesus said that he is just like himself, and that he and the Father are one.
On the other hand I have found an issue that fascinates me. If we can take the guarantee of Jesus at his word that he is just like the Father, then I wonder…. What is the Father like himself?
It’s not a silly question. Who is the wonderful being who can call Jesus, the Savior of the world, his SON? I mean with all the clout Jesus has in the realms, and as awesome as he is… I have to wonder. Is possible to know the Father as Jesus knows him? In a way deeper than just the surface knowledge of knowing he is like Jesus?
I feel it is certain that we can.
I’ve written on the Holy Spirit before, and I hope that what I have written has helped others get closer to the Dove of Heaven. The helper of our souls. The comforter of the helpless, and maligned. I pray that the same is true for this.
I’ve been really digging into what it means to know the Father. I have wanted to feel what Jesus had with him for a long time. Yes, one can walk in the fact that the Father is close and near to the heart, but what happens when we have issues where, even if it is only a nano-meter thick — there is something in the way of feeling his good caring nature? Even if it isn’t any sin of ours… what can be done about the layers we know are in the way, but we don’t even know how to go about dismantling them?
For though we walk in the flesh, we don’t wage war according to the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds, throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being in readiness to avenge [‘correct appropriately’ in Greek. Source: biblehub.com] all disobedience when your obedience is made full.2 Corinthians 10:3-6, WEB
We war not against flesh and blood. Hmm. Pretty obvious what that means. WRONG.
I used to think that when the Devil attacks he would be in your face. I’m not saying he doesn’t use tactics like that, but if you read scripture carefully, and if you follow sense… why would an enemy just be in your face? If that is the sole tactic an enemy uses they put themselves at a HUGE disadvantage.
The Devil is called a snake for a reason.
I read 2 Cor. 10:3-6 recently and something stuck out at me. If you think of fighting against the flesh with the tools they had at the time. They are all close range implements. Swords, spears, clubs, etc. All manual tools of destruction, where the whites of the enemies eyes could be seen.
Yet… what did they use for STRONGHOLDS?
Long range weapons were the norm, and patience (if that can be considered a weapon). It was both a long game and a distance game. It was subversive, and drawn out. It wasn’t a type of warfare where the enemy could always be seen. You could see the arrows, and you could see the defenders sometimes, but the guts of the machine could be pretty hidden. Close combat happened once there was a breach in the wall, or other fortifications failed.
The Greeks had their catapults, and long range bows. Yet, the culture that really honed the art of siege warfare were the Romans. They not only had catapults, but also siege engines, ballistae (bolt throwers), various formations such as the testudo (tortoise formation), and others. [Source: www.tributesandtriumphs.org]
They used all of their knowledge to great effect when the lay siege to the city of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., under the command of Titus. For any history buff… this is quite a story. For the curious, Josephus wrote about the siege in great detail.
With that little primer covered, one can have a better picture of what Paul the apostle meant when he said the weapons of our warfare are “mighty before God for the throwing down of strongholds”.
Doubts and fears that breed anxiety often come from afar, and it doesn’t matter if they are from the past, or for the distant future. Just as anxieties are often about the immediate needs and details of life, the strongholds of our fears are based on the most traumatic or intense MOMENTS of our lives.
These kinds of strongholds (in my experience), are what lay siege against the peace that can be felt in the Father. They are the mosquitoes and bugs that constantly poke at us for trying not to worry. For sure, we can trust God. We can even believe him at his word, but what is amazing to me is just how often my own soul purses its lips against the food of peace that He offers it.
It’s not that I do not trust him. Rather, it is because I have had a lifetime of expecting doublespeak from my senses. It is so common that a person says one thing, and does another. It’s almost a rule. We do that even when we don’t mean too, or intend too. We forget things we have said, and we can forget things we have promised — all the while being innocent in intent.
Listen… hear me carefully, it also in a way doesn’t help that God is Father, and he invites us to trust him, even to test how faithful he is.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and test me now in this,” says Yahweh of Armies, “if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough for.Malachi 3:10, WEB (Emphasis added)
What I mean by that is so many have trust issues that come from how we have been treated by our parents. They may or may have not been around when we were most vulnerable. They may have lumbered over us when we were little screaming at us to behave. Or even doing other things that dredge out large channels in our heart that leave us feeling a deep void.
So for God to say he is Father, though that is fully true and right… depending on our past experiences, that can either be a comfort, or it can be perceived as a calamity to trust a “father” again. It can be processed that way, though it is fully wrong to think that the Father isn’t good and gentle to the max.
I have a great father. I am fortunate in that way. He has always done the best he can do, and he is one of the kindest most sincere souls one can meet. I feel I picked up a lot of my faith from him, and his example.
If I was to describe him to you… how would I go about it? Let me see.
He is quiet and peaceable. He goes out of his way to do the right thing. I’ve never seen him angry. He has NEVER, and I mean NEVER, yelled at me or my sisters. He is kind, and he is meek.
It’s pretty funny because he is Italian. Love Italians — they are some of the most boisterous, passionate, and warm people I have met. I don’t know many who need a microphone to help a lot of people hear what they think and feel, but my dad is quiet, and that is cool.
I am fortunate to have a father like this. He taught me a lot when I had a bad temper growing up. It was a internal inferno. Took me years to quell the flames of it with the help of Christ’s loving-patience, and the Father’s grace.
I just knew that I wanted to be peaceable, like my dads — my heavenly one and my human one.
So where am I going with this? Here we go.
Here is the Father of Lights, and the Father of life.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow.”James 1:17, WEB
“Like a father has compassion on his children, so Yahweh (the Father) has compassion on those who fear (trust) him.”Psalms 103:13, WEB
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort”2 Corinthians 1:3, WEB
Even in the Old Testament where there were cultural understandings of cruelty and punishment were woven into the understanding of God, and the Father at the time — I could be wrong here — there are yet still FAR more mentions of the merciful, providing, loving, comforting, and precious nature of the Father than to the contrary.
He is Christ’s Dad. He is our Dad, and not just ours… the Father to the entire world; the angels; the animals, and all things that breath and do not. As all things are in Christ — in his all-encompassing nature — so to is the nature of the Father found in it’s entirety in every act of his son. The Father acts on his own as well. Reaching out to the heart in the warmness of his great smile.
This is not a Father of war. This is not the father of lies. This is the Father of Trust, Truth, Joy, and Delight. HE IS GOOD.
If Satan tries to emulate the image of God (to me he certainly does), I feel he tries to emulate a presence like that of a father. A provider, an advisor, and a companion. BUT FOR A COST!
The cost is the life, time, and threads of thought that make you you.
He subtly and subversively cheats and scams you for everything you know as good. Decaying you slowly, painfully, and insidiously, while sneering… thinking he will have one more soul-less and complacent doll on his wall. All the while he can’t see. For his eyes are dim from being in the darkness of his own self-deception for so long, and a shriveled face — for he starves for a food his pride and rebellion will not let him eat. That food being the Grace of his true Father — which is a free GIFT — and for now… he chooses not to accept it.
Continuing in his schemes he watches creation suffer, and yes you, as you twist and turn around within looking for a sense of direction, and purpose, where no such things can be found in him. Knowing you are thinking that he will be there for you, and he and his riches shall be, yet they are merely mirages in a desert of want and hate.
Trying to consume the essence he breeds in his knowing followers, yet to no avail. For whatever life was once in their blood is no more. For life comes from the One who is Life, and that grace and truth flows not in the blood of lies. That blood that flows in the scarred veins of ones who drink the bitter sour wine of evil.
And the most twisted part is he does his acts of deception in this twisted way so often, yet is daft enough to sound righteous… by telling lies that capture the essence and the logic of the care found in the REAL FATHER GOD!
His own bitterness eats clean through the thin veneer of compassion that he emanates. This, in my eyes, is how one knows the fraudulent snake and self-made bastard for what he IS.
God the Father NEVER asks for something first in order for him to help you. He will NEVER request the equivalent of an arm for a loaf of bread.
He will NEVER ask for your life for a moment of rest.
And He will NEVER imprison your soul to a destiny of hell so that you can have a short time of heaven.
He is the meek Father of the Savior of the universe, Christ Jesus. And God the Father plays the long game when it comes to salvation.
He demolishes our strongholds falsely lifted up against him to protect ourselves from evil, while that evil is actually done by the wicked one.
He bleeds rushing into the thorn bushes that we hide in to save us from the serpent waiting in the pit to jump out and inject us with the venom of his internal doom.
He is beaten, bruised, and mercilessly hated, reviled, jeered at (just as his Son was) for all he has been framed of doing. And yet, He is INNOCENT of every accusation.
I have to wonder.
How perplexed the gentle Holy Angels must be, as they fulfill orders given out by the Father to protect and save — right along side him might I add — as the screaming person he is helping is chewing into his porcelain luminescent skin, hating his saving grasp. Yet, they know what he knows.
They know that that person is now safe. That person shall heal, and the serial murderer and abuser which is the father of death has one less person to malign against themselves and kill.
Even as the Father holds this person in his arms, she continues to rail against his tender embrace. For she fears her real abuser has captured her.
NO. She has been rescued swiftly by the arms of the Father of MERCY, and she WILL realize it, now or later.
This is the Father. This is my Father. Savior, Healer, and Mighty Lord over all Destiny. He is the defender of my soul.
My problem often is I feel so undeserving of his goodness, and that I cannot possibly receive it. I feel like an imposter. Unworthy.
I know that is a damn lie. If he made me, I don’t need to become something apart from his own nature, and all of the sustenance therein in order to be worthy to receive him in my SELF. He, and all of his riches, were meant from eternity past, and eternity forward to be received as a gift. Not to be earned by sacrifice.
Yes… we do have to sacrifice things that get in the way of receiving his Goodness, but we never have to SACRIFICE something to GAIN the right to go into his storehouse and eat what we desire. He doesn’t want a soul to starve. His pantry is always open. Always.
He’s not going to jam your tiny fingers in a cookie jar just because you want something sweet. He isn’t going to get livid at you because you fell and scrapped you knee. He isn’t going to not hug you if you come running to him after you fell off your bike and hit your head, even though he told you to wear your helmet, and you didn’t. He will never seek to embarrass you; rather, he will seek to re-passion you.
He is the Father. He doesn’t haze his kids — he RAISES his kids.
The Father RAISES.
God is the Father of Lights. NOT the Father of Nights. He will always seek to destroy every stronghold that lifts up itself against his Goodness, his Freedom, and shall always be waiting for every prodigal son and daughter that has wandered so far away from home. His home that he always had in store for them shall always be open. Even if they left… he never shall.
If we are faithless, he remains faithful. He can’t deny himself.2 Timothy 2:13, WEB
It has been a long struggle for me to believe the Father is good, and cool like this. I’m glad Jesus demonstrated the nature of the Father as he did. The Holy Three love as one, and in the same nature, yet may it never be forgotten that the Father is Love as well.
Even as the Father has loved me, I also have loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and remain in his love.John 15:9-10, WEB
I pray that you learn how deep, and how wide the Father’s love is. I pray that you know that he is good, and I pray that you go ever deeper into his rest.
Thank you for your time, and for reading.