I think the church does a poor job connecting people to the Father Heart of God. For how much Jesus talked about the Father, it seems Christians talk about him far less. Re-read the gospels with this view and I think you’ll be surprised. I think about the disciples saying, “If we can just see the Father, that will be enough.”
1. Many Christians would view their ‘saving’ as that they are saved from Hell. In fact, this becomes central to so many gospel messages to unbelievers that they need to believe in Jesus to be saved from Hell.
2. Many Christians view God the Father as displeased with them.
3. When people talk about heaven, they are more focused on the place and the absence of pain then being in God’s presence.
We miss a lot when we don’t focus on our relationship and connection to God the Father.
I imagine part of the problem is the failure of our fathers and the world’s systematic degrading the role of father in our culture. This Thanksgiving we had 23 hours of travel time to see my family. Over the drive my wife and I listed to a series by Found by your Father by Dave Patty. I was surprised to hear a way of thinking about God the Father and how my own childhood experience with my own family has shaped me. My wife and I wept at times as we prayed through parts of our own story and already I’ve found healing as we went through the process. I highly recommend you check these out.
We see God’s Father heart most clearly when we watch the perfect relationship he has with the Son. At the base, Patty states that Jesus experiences four streams of God’s Father heart and that each of us need that too.
1. Identity – John 5:16-19 Without identity from the Father you will be defined by the people and circumstances around you. This will be constantly changing and unstable.
You will be very vulnerable to your environment and not have a clear sense of self. You will constantly need to prove yourself or defend yourself.
2. Love – John 5:20 Without love, you will be constantly trying to gain love from those near you. Their love will never be enough, and you will be chronically disappointed. You may cope by turning off your emotions and becoming distant and cold.
3. Pleasure – John 5:30, 41-44 Without pleasure from the Father, you will become addicted to pleasing people and vulnerable to hedonism. You may cope by avoiding all possibility of failure or rejection.
4. Place – John 5:21-27 Without place, you will be constantly fighting to make a place for yourself. You will fear that your life has no significance and be easily threatened by
others. You may cope by scaling back your expectations and making a place that is small but defensible – like when people curl up in a ball, hide behind something, or retreat to a corner.
Use his Father mapping tools and see how you’ve experienced these four streams. Learn how these elements are fundamental to spiritual growth, our understanding the good news, our relationship with the Heavenly Father and how these things release us to bring the Father Heart of God to those around us.
Listen: Found by your Father by Dave Patty