Monday, October 25, 2004

Experiencing the Fatherhood of God

Experiencing the Fatherhood of God
Half of our Christianity is our personal intimate knowledge of God and the other half is being a reflection of that knowledge. I am good at the former and pretty so-so at the latter. Some might even say I am just kinda "undistinctive". I feel the need to turn the corner a bit and begin talking again about the "living it out" part and learning skills in life for this week, I am still enamored with the orientation of my heart toward God in prayer.

So…This weeks posts I am going to talk about Fatherhood, specifically my experience (our experience) of the Fatherhood of God.

My wife reminds me of a saying I used to say often. When she says this phrase it is a touching reminiscence of the past. She will say, "You are His favorite". Even as I write this I am beginning to cry. Of course I do not believe I am God's favorite in relationship to others, but it just feels this way. Each one of us can be the Father's "favorite". In this context favorite just means that God the Father is intimate with us and intimate with all our ways.

When I was a young believer, and I had so much free time, I spent a great deal of time in prayer. I led what I realize now was essentially a monastery. My friends and I prayed most all day. We prayed together and we prayed alone. I worked at a church as what would now be called an intern. My mentor moved out of state at one time and it led to some pretty hard experiences in the church. Let's just say my gifting wasn't appreciated. During that time, I worked through many pains in my life and I experienced many pains. During these experiences, I could always see God providence in my life. I could see all my experiences in the context of being "my Father's favorite". Every experience of life good or bad, I saw as for my good and it made me know my Father was near. I do not know if it was because I have a good relationship with my earthly father or what BUT it was very easy for me to see a rebuke from God as God's loving way of molding my not so winsome character. God wants to make me holy so he would work ever so gently on my fleshly ego and self-centeredness. It didn't matter what happened in life, it was the work of a loving Father.

These experiences changed my whole life for the good. As a pastor, all I really want to do is let others in on this reality.

Jesus said, "Not one hair falls from your head without the Father knowing it".

As I write this post I realize that some people see God's providence in their life and it leads to all sorts of dysfunction. I have seen some people see God as punishing them in a special way. This can be extremely toxic. Some see God in their life in a special way and it leads them to leading an irresponsible life. These people see nothing as their fault because it is instead "the enemy" attacking their special calling. Oh, this is wcrazy in a weird kinda way.

So what is the anatomy of a healthy intimacy with God.

That is the question for the next post…

God Bless,

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