YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER
This is why I told you that no one can come
to me unless the Father has enabled them.
Jesus often referred to God as Father. The word father conjures up different images for everyone. To some it brings a picture of love, laughter, respect, and acceptance. Unfortunately, others associate the term father with fear, rejection, and disappointment. These variations reveal why it’s so important not to take your understanding of your Heavenly Father from your experience. Take it from Scripture. You undoubtedly had an imperfect earthly father, perhaps even one who harmed you. However, as in every dimension of your Christian life, the goal isn’t to understand the Bible based on your experience but to understand your experience in light of the Bible. God is your model of a father in the truest sense of the word.
Your Heavenly Father was willing to pay any price in order to save you (see Rom. 8:32). Your Heavenly Father is always ready to meet your needs (see Luke 11:11-13). Your Heavenly Father loves you so much that He’s willing to discipline you to bring you to Christian maturity (see Prov. 3:11-12; Heb. 12:5-10). Even when you rebel against Him and reject His love, your Father continues to do what’s best for you (see Rom. 5:8). He doesn’t make His love for you conditioned on your love for Him. He loves you even when you aren’t loving Him (see 1 John 4:19). He has made you His heir and reserves a home for you in heaven (see John 14:2-3; Rom. 8:15-17).
These truths give a biblical picture of what a father is like. If this hasn’t been your experience, it can be now. There’s One who has adopted you and who wants to love you in a way you’ve never experienced.
Throughout Jesus’ ministry on earth, He looked into the multitudes and focused on those whom His Father was sending to Him. Jesus knew that because of sin, no one naturally seeks God. Sinful man’s inclination is to hide from God rather than to come to Him (see Gen. 3:8; Ps. 14:1-3). Therefore, whenever Jesus saw that the Father was drawing a person to Himself, Jesus immediately began relating to that person.
Jesus observed the great lengths to which the despised tax collector Zacchaeus had gone in order to see Him pass by. In response, Jesus immediately left the crowd and spent time with this man in whom the Father was obviously working (see Luke 19:1-10). Likewise, every time the disciples experienced a new insight into the truths of God, Jesus recognized that it was the Father who had been at work in their lives (see Matt. 16:17).
As the multitudes gathered around Jesus, He spoke some truths that were difficult for the people to grasp (see John 6:60). So challenging were His words that many of His listeners departed, but Jesus didn’t become discouraged. He saw that the Father was working in the lives of His disciples, and that’s where Jesus invested His time. When you want to spend time alone with Jesus, recognize that this desire is the Father drawing you to His Son. You don’t seek quiet times with God in order to experience Him but because you already sense His activity in your heart and life. As you read the Scriptures and pray, trust that God will honor your response to His leading by teaching you more about Himself.
How does the word father help you better understand the character of God and what it means to be in a relationship with Him?
How have you experienced the Heavenly Father drawing your heart toward Jesus?
What was the most meaningful statement or Scripture you read today?
Reword the statement or Scripture into a prayer of response to God.
What does God want you to do in response to today’s study? [Henry T. Blackaby, Richard Blackaby (2014). Seven Realities for Experiencing God – Member Book. LifeWay Press. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]