God is my Father
Matthew 6: "Our Father..."
God is my Father. This is an easier concept for me to take in and apply with boldness. I am a NT Christian. But OT believers would have found it awkward and surprising. Calling and speaking with God as Father must have indeed surprised the disciples.
God, YHWH, whose name they never uttered, can be spoken to and spoken with. They can now call Him, Father. There is nearness. There is intimacy. There is access.
These, I often take for granted. Like a day could pass without me acknowledging His presence and watchful care and provision over my life. Funny, humans are very sensitive when it comes to relationships. We feel bad when we are neglected and dismissed by those closest to us. We know something is wrong when we are left out, when there is disconnection.
Yet with God, we can go on for long periods of time, acting in those negative ways, without any thoughts of His feelings. God is a feeling God. We get our awareness and feelings of emotions from Him.
I need to regard God properly in this relationship. He is not a thing I turn on or off whenever I please. And I'm the one who's always at a loss when I disconnect from Him. It's always a lose-lose situation for me, I know.
But today, I realized once more that God hurts. He hurts when I don't treat Him right. My HOLY Father is grieved when I do wrong because He can't have anything to do with sin. My holy FATHER is grieved when I do wrong because He wants intimacy with me.
My Father wants to bless me!
Matthew 7:11: "...how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"
God wants to bless. Sometimes, I may think I know what's best for my life, what will make me happy, secure, etc. But my Father always knows what's better to give (or not) and when to give it. And He will. Scriptures are filled with promises of HIs blessings & the pathway to them. God wants to bless His children. And sometimes, even when I wander from the path, He still blesses me.
I look at my children and I just want all the best for them. I want them safe, provided for, happy, and fruitful. I know God wants those very same things for me.
I should always be encouraged by and grateful for this truth: My Father wants to bless me.
God doesn't want me to be anxious
Philippians 4:4-7 "Don't be anxious ,but..."
The Bible says "don't". I shouldn't be anxious. It's wrong. The Bible also gives me the preventive and managing solution to anxiety:
1. pray. Converse with God. Spend time with Him.
2. make petition. Unload all that's bugging me. Cast it on Him. Ask for solutions.
3. be thankful. Choose to be thankful for the situation. See it as a positive. Look for the purpose and benefit of the situation or problem.
The Bible says, then, the peace of God will come. A peace that can't be explained, beyond reason, beyond understanding. A peace that's there instead of panic, or resentment, or doubt, or sadness. His peace will guard my heart and mind, giving me solid confidence and focus in God through Christ.
Will update this post with further thoughts.
Meanwhile, today is Day 6 of my reading on 'how to pray' by Pete Greig via bible.com.
Highlights from the book:
- When Jesus told his disciples to address God in this way they would have been surprised, to say the least. They knew that their Scriptures occasionally compared Yahweh to a father, but would never before have dared to address him directly, in such familiar and familial terms.
- Jesus was inviting his disciples to step into a level of intimacy with God that they had never before imagined possible.
- The God to whom we pray is extravagantly kind; a father who comes running towards us with arms flung wide, whenever we approach him, wherever we’ve been and whatever we’ve done.
- Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, the Creator of the cosmos, the sustainer of the universe is on our side.
- God wants to bless you.
- He is predisposed to answer the cries of your heart.
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