The devil doesn’t care if you believe in God, his goal is to stop you from believing that God believes in YOU
Happy Father’s Day!
Message for Dad’s but ladies this will apply to you as well.
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. – A.W. Tozer
To put it on a personal level, what just came into your mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you.
The REASON is that we are moving toward our image of God, we were created in God and for God and we can’t live without that pull in our hearts.
When people think of God there are 1000 different things that come to mind
- Impersonal Cosmic Force– Light, energy, divine something, doesn’t have a name or face, but its something.
- Caricature- Grandpa, sweet old guy, been around for a while, but not moving as good as he used to, has text on his phone so large, Cant do instagram but probably has candy somewhere- but not relevant or who you’d go to for the major issues of life.
- Divine Score Keeper- He’s keeping track of every score and every miss- Reckoning at the end of the day.
- Angry- He’s up there angry and just waiting for them to step out of line so He can demolish their life.
- Heavenly Buttler- Hey Siri, Alexa, Genie in Aladdin’s lamp, we don’t really think of Him until we need something and then God appears, helps us in our problem and then goes back away and we go back to our lives.
We could spend the rest of the time talking about the different ways people think of God- But we have to get it right.
We have to get what we think about God right. Why?
…We tend, by secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God.
Score Keeper God: The makes and the misses
- Your life has probably been reduced to “I’m trying to be a better person.
- Trying not to be as bad as I used to be
- Watches all the good stuff, adds up all the bad
Thats what life with God looks like.
This is Important because: If you have a flawed view of God, you are going to have a flawed life.
We were made by God for God and There is a pull inside of each of us pulling us towards the creator.
And if your VIEW of the creator is flawed, then our entire outlook on life will be flawed.
Its essential that we get this right.
BUT God does not leave it to our imaginations on this!
He has been revealing Himself, showing us who He is over time and never did that more clearly then when Jesus Christ stepped onto planet earth.
-He is the exact representation of His glory
-He is God personified in human flesh
-He begins to teach and teaches us a lot about God.
–But the biggest thing he teaches us about God, more than anything else 189 times in 4 gospels alone:
GOD IS A FATHERThink about the core texts in the Gospels
- And when you pray, pray like this… Our FATHER
Not our Lord, our judge, our king, Omnipotent one
When you talk to God- talk to Him as FATHER
- If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the FATHER. I and the FATHER are one.
- Let your light so shine before men that they would see your good works and glorify your FATHER
- Not your boss, your ruler, king, Lord
We see this all through scripture
Relationship of triune God- God the FATHER, Son, Holy Spirit
The nature of the Trinity begins with Father
SO Jesus comes to be baptized and heavens open up, dove comes down and God says this is my:
- Worker- He’s going to do everything I tell him to do
- Servant – He’s going fulfill everything I have planned for him to accomplish.
THIS IS MY SON
Most important thing for you to know about him right now:
In Him I am well pleased
There is a blessing and a covering that is happening here
WE are Hard-wired for a Father’s approval and blessing
Starts when we are young and it never leaves us
(Luke in the pool)
For our dads to see us, applaud us, to approve us
-Are you coming
We need, we crave, approval and love from our earthly fathers.
Blessing from our Father becomes a STEPPING STONE for the rest of our lives.
And if it is there you can use it step on to begin to grow into the man or the woman that God wanted you to be.
Without the blessing, there is Gap
Can be filled by a coach, teacher, mentor but there is a gap. Gap of not feeling the love, participation, the covering of Father in our lives.
God understands this: He gave the blessing over His son front of the whole world.
Did this BEFORE:
- Jesus walked on water
- healed the sick
- fed the 5000
- turned water into wine
- raised the dead
- Went to the cross
- suffered for our sins
He hadn’t done ANY of things that we praise him for BUT His father said: I AM WELL PLEASED WITH MY SON
I am launching Him into the mission WITH MY BLESSING
IN hopes of Him GETTING the blessing
Just in that picture we see Jesus not only teaching Father but also living and breathing Father
He very last phrase on the cross “into your hands, FATHER, I commit my Spirit.
Jesus is showing us HOW you have a relationship with:
(the attributes of God)
You have a relationship when they are embodied in a person: A FATHER
If God is primarily relating to us as Father, the enemy is going to everything possible to destroy Fatherhood
Many news sources have called this the “Fatherless generation”
(not on accident) Divine plan of Hell-
-break up our CONCEPT of Father
-break up our relationships with our earthly dads
Creates a stumbling block that many will not get over in relationship with almighty God. Hates us because he hates the Father.
The FALLOUT of this is real, think about our earthly dads.
- The Absent Father– He is not present in the situation. Sometimes by death but sometimes divorce, dysfunction or disinterest but they are just not in the picture.
2) The Abusive Father- He not only didn’t bless us, he actually hurt us. Emotionally, verbally, physically. This Father injured our lives.
3) The Performance-Based Father- He wanted to bless to you, he told you he would bless you but you had to earn the blessing. Jump through the hopes, and performed really well you got the hug and the I love you but if you didn’t you got something else. You knew the whole time he was going to love you more or less based on how you did.
4) The Passive Father- He is in the mix with us but he’s sort of a non-factor. He’s in the room but he’s not really in the story. Not taking initiative, not leading, not stepping up and being the man that God created him to be. Maybe he never had a father, never got the blessing, OR someone else in the family put him in his place and he decided it’d be safer to stay there. Not speaking up, not speaking in
5) The Empowering Father- Wasn’t perfect but told you he loved you at your best and told you he loved you at your worst. And told you and showed you and showed up and he was dependable.
(Dad coming down the hallway example)
They love hearing that because they know that they CAN be what God has created them to be.
Somehow he figures out a way to launch his kids into the world with potential because they know IF they fail Dad will be right there ready to say “lets figure it out and lets start again”
He was not a push over. That was the passive father- didn’t like conflict, no permitters, no boundaries, no discipline because he didn’t want to deal with it. And he thought he was loving you because he let you stay out as long as you want or I’m not going to show you tough love or I don’t want you to not like me or accept me because I need that.
Empowering dad doesn’t do that. I love you but hold on, we are not doing that.
And he told you: One day you are going to thank me for this.
And you said: In your dreams… until you got older
Can I just say… All of us wanted that.
A kid will fight you over ground rules- not because they don’t believe in ground rules.
Kids are smart enough to know that if you put me risk- you are making me wonder if you really love me.
Fatherhood is cracked up. Even going through the Absent, Abusive, Performance-based, Passive Dad.
Many people in this room would say this is exactly my problem when relating to God.
“If God is like my Dad I don’t want to have anything to do with Him”
The Beauty of this whole thing is that God is not simply the reflection of your earthly dad- He is the perfection of your earthly dad.
He is everything you dreamed your dad would be, he is not just a bigger version – he is the perfect version.
Sing to God, sing praise to His name extol Him who rides on the clouds. His name is the Lord and rejoice before Him.
He is not tiny, He is this Huge, magnificent, power God but he choses to relate to us in a powerful way.
He is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, this is God in His Holy dwelling. He sets the lonely in families and He leads forth the prisoners with singing.
So God is in a fatherless context a real world, broken situation saying to us that no one is going to have to live fatherless and no one is going to have to navigate life without someone speaking over them
GOD IS SAYING – I want to send you out WITH the blessing to do great things in this world.
So for any of you that are coming into this place with wounds from relationship with Father saying I can relate to wounds, disappointments, and abandonment, to being walked out on, taken for granted or advantage of. I’m stuck in all of that.
God says there is a special place in my heart for you!!
I am moving toward you I know how important it is to have a father wrap their arms around you and I want to be a father to the fatherless.
Not a bigger version of your dad but a perfect version.
“ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
I want to but I don’t even know if I can step into this and Jesus is giving us such a small step with such a great promise. Seek, Ask, Knock.
Knock-And see if I won’t open a door that has kept you in prison all of your life.
Ask- And see if I won’t open a door that allows you to experience me in brand new way
You don’t have to come with this great plan. Just Ask!
If you’re really that great of a Father- then show me
If you really can open a door- then open a door!
Jesus unpacks this
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!
I know we’re dealing with reality, and know that this zone of Father is sensitive and painful
And some of you are like: NO I got a stone
I said Dad, I need something to eat and I got a rock!
I said Dad, I need a fish and he was like here’s something for you- have a rattlesnake.
For a lot of us that’s real. But I think for the most part for all of us when we needed something to eat our moms and our dads did everything in their power to get us what we needed.
And if your earthly dad who is a sinful person could do that, how much more will your heavenly father give you what you need.
I believe the steps of steps for us today is be willing to step into the Gap- the gap of not having the blessing, not feeling dad was there, feeling slighted by life – to step in that and say to God I need to that blessing, I need that covering, I need to get healed and freed from my past
He wants to redefine how we see him, not as a cosmic energy, or grandpa in the sky or score keeper but as a loving father who is for you and delights in you.
But I also feel like God wants to redefine who you are as well-
If you remember that quote that we started with that we are moving toward our mental image of God and once we see him as the perfect Father, how he sees us begins to take shape and we see that
How He sees me trumps how I see me, how others see me,
How he sees me becomes the guiding principle of my life.
How does he see you
- You are loved
-Doesn’t sound that profound but if all of a sudden a light would shine down on every person in here that doesn’t feel loved, you’d be shocked how many people that light would be on in your row.
They heard the words of For God so loved the world, they know it, they can repeat it but they don’t believe it.
And because of the relationships with our earthly Dad’s the brokenness, the disappointments that has changed how we see ourselves.
God wants to take the hurt, and He wants to shine a new light on you and speak blessings over you today.
Some of you would say my whole life would change if I just had someone who believes in me and cheering me on
2) You are set Free
You might have had the worst Dad, you might have been the victim of divorce in your family, you might have totally blown it being a Dad- But it doesn’t need to define you.
You have a FATHER- Powerful and available, and he never stops believing in you.
Quote- satan doesn’t care if you believe in God, his goal is to stop you from believing that God believes in YOU
(Luke example- Listening to God)
I love you
I am here
-You don’t have to wonder if you have what it takes
- have everything you need
- Hearts of your wife and children