I'm going to take a little diversion in my posts for a few days (not that I'm not itching to write about Ananias & Sapphira and Peter's "jailbreak" facilitated by God's angel!) and discuss something that I believe is key to how close of a relationship we can have with God - our relationship to Him as our heavenly Father.
I think I've taken for granted all of these years as to how normal (okay, there were some abnormalities, but for the most part we had a pretty average home) my childhood was. My dad was a good man and a good provider for our middle class home. Although he wasn't perfect, I always knew that he loved me and felt safe as a kid. More and more, I'm realizing that this was not what many people grew up with, and as a result, they have a hard time seeing God for who He is because they associate the word "father" with so many negative memories. I pray that you will stick with me as I explore this topic for a few days, even if your own relationship with your dad was good.
So...for now, I think I'll attempt to address the following questions:
1) Why is my view of God as a Father so important?
2) If I didn't have a good relationship with my physical father, can I still have this Father - child relationship?
3) How can I change my current relational view of God to see Him as my Father, Who is in heaven?
I want to leave you with a quote from Andrew Murray's book "With Christ in the School of Prayer" (from Chapter 4):
The knowledge of God's Father-love is the first and simplest, but also the last and highest lesson in the school of prayer. Prayer begins in a personal relationship with the living God as well as a personal, conscious fellowship of love with Him. In the knowledge of God's Fatherliness revealed by the Holy Spirit, the power of prayer will root and grow. The life of prayer has its joy in the infinite tenderness, care and patience of an infinite Father Who is ready to hear and to help.
Deep thoughts. Again, I am amazed at how a God so infinitely big and powerful can also have that infinite tenderness. That's definitely something to think about.
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." (Romans 8:15 NKJV)