Our Good Father

17 08 2015

I didn’t have kids just so I could make them follow my rules. I wanted someone with which to share life and love.

In the absence of father-love, as it was during my childhood, all that remained were the rules. I had to keep them “or else.” Oh, I had a ‘dad’ – but never a dad’s heart.

God’s life-long (mine, not His) transformation goal for me has been to unwind this mindset from my thought processes. It’s very hard to let go of my early training.

For instance, it’s hard to trust His invitation to come boldly. Boldness got my face slapped when I was young.

It’s hard to believe in His genuine love and good plans for me. “Love” was phony and manipulative – and usually cost me plenty.

It’s hard to believe that God really wants me. I was unwelcome in my home and spent most of my years in my room where it was safe.

It’s hard to trust that I can come to Him with my struggles, or to ask Him for help. I was taught that I had to figure things out on my own. Requests for counsel were usually met with contempt for my stupidity and inability to handle my own problems.

My function, as far as ‘dad’ was concerned, was to serve him, keep him happy, and stay out from in front of the TV. The thought of being welcomed into relationship with him was given up as a lost cause.

The end result was that I became a self-reliant, people-pleasing loner.

{Not everyone had this kind of experience, thus your relationship with God is healthy and thriving. I am genuinely happy for you, and so thankful that you’ve not had to struggle to believe that He really loves you. Perhaps you’re reading this help you better understand those of us for whom this is a challenge.}

It is for these reasons, and many more, that God has been hard at work releasing me from the belief that His love is also performance-based.

One important lesson I’ve learned is that He created me – then later adopted me – because He wants to share life and love with me.

Perception is everything.

What some call ‘rules’, others see as boundaries. These are invisible fences put in place for my protection. My good Father knows what will bring pain, guilt, shame, and a host of other undesirable emotions. He would like to spare me the turmoil, and so He says, “Thou shalt not…”

He also knows that He is much wiser than I will ever be. He sees the end from the beginning and thus can rightly judge a thing as good or evil.

To the extent that we do not trust God, we do not ask Him to define the issue at hand.

Father, please talk to me about this. What’s Your perspective? What do I need to know or learn here? Where are You in this?

From Scripture we discover that our natural definitions of good and evil must be set aside, and we must learn to discern what is truly good and truly evil.

These were treasures waiting to be unearthed for me. I’m onto something, and so excited:

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:14

Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil… 1 Kings 3:9

In other words, not lean on our own understanding.

This is vitally important, for:

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12

From my own life, I could give countless examples of times when I did what I thought was the *right* thing to do – only to have it end in the death of something – most often the end of relationships, dreams, and my integrity.

No, I don’t believe that my Father created me so I could follow rules. He’s not an egomaniac on another control kick. His rules are for my protection, for He knows best what works well for me.

I’m fairly certain that I’ll be happier if I don’t murder someone, steal their stuff, or break up their marriage.

God is the best Father ever. He loves us with the same love He has for Jesus. His desire is for us to know Him – not just know His rules and how to ‘stay off His radar.’

I leave you with this:

“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

That’s a lot of ‘doing.’ These weren’t bench warmers in the synagogue; they were active members.

But listen to the Lord’s response:

“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23

Relationship – not religion. This will make all the difference in the end.

Our good Father wants children, not hirelings.

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7 responses

18 08 2015
Mel Wild

Awesome, Tami. I can really see the Father’s transforming love all over this. 🙂 He heals us, restores us, and teaches us intimacy as a son or daughter so we can see with His eyes and move with His heart.

18 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for the encouragement, Mel.

This year I discovered that the words “for good” in Jeremiah 29:11 are actually a single word in Hebrew: shalom. More than just peace (although that alone would be great), it denotes ‘welfare, and wholeness.’

This has certainly been my experience for more than forty years. His patience with me is unparalleled!

Writing is fun these days. I’m beginning to pour out all He poured in during 16 months of being still. I did needlework last year. That’s all. Every door was shut tight, and I was pruned back to a little stick. Painful, but fruitful. 🙂

\o/

17 08 2015
Pure Glory

Tami, we all have issues and struggles. If we didn’t we wouldn’t need a redeemer who calls for us to be in intimate relationship with him. It is all of our failures and inability to make it on our own that calls for our loving Daddy God, who gave all for us. Religion with its rules and regulations doesn’t satisfy. Relationship with our loving God, helps sustain us during the journey. He doesn’t condemn but gives friendship and love when we are tired and think we can’t go another step. I relate to your post!

17 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

Mmm. Satisfied. Yeah, that describes a heart that accepts Abba’s love. I don’t think I’d have survived this last year without His relentless pursuit. Breakthroughs are almost a daily occurrence at this time. He is so good.

Thanks for your comment.
{hugs}
\o/

18 08 2015
Pure Glory

Gigantic Hugs!

17 08 2015
birdieklh

More times than not when I read your posts I feel like we lived lives parallel to one another . . . it is amazing!

17 08 2015
lessonsbyheart

Yeah. There really is nothing new under the sun. 😉 Thanks for reading.

\o/

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