“Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.” (Galations 4:6-7). God presents himself as a father. During the Old Testament, this was a new way for the Jews at the time time to address their all-powerful and all-knowing God. While Old Testament writers sometimes described God using qualities of earthly fathers and mothers, Jesus referred to God using more informal, intimate language. He also invites us into this relationship, teaching us to address God as “our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). It is only through Christ’s work on the Cross that we are adopted into this family relationship (Ephesians 1:5). Some people may have a difficulty relating to God as a father, but hoping by the end of this article we would believe and know that God is “…one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:6
God the father and Us
Historically, in the Old Testament God is the Father of Israel (and Israelites are his children) in the context of God forgiving and redeeming Israel. Yet through Jesus Christ, this inheritance was extended to the gentiles, allowing us to have a relationship with our heavenly Father today. Traditionally when we think of fathers, we think of bloodline and legacy. When asked “who are you?”, my name is “Insert full name” and through that, a stranger can trace you to which household you belong to. It matters that we know that we know that God is our Father because then we know who we belong to, who to look up to and follow and who to call upon in times of need. This truth also creates a covering over us, knowing we are not orphans and have a heavenly covering on this earth. We have a full revelation of who we are, our authority and the rich inheritance we have access to!
What can hinder us from seeing God as a father
Whilst God is our Father, some may struggle to seem Him as a father because of:
- Hurt/abandonment from biological father
- Church hurt where priests/deacons/pastors have abused their power
- Disappointment in life, feeling like God has forgotten them
- Chastisement/punishment from God
- Knowing God through lens of religion not relationship
- Not reading the bible for ourselves
This list is not exhaustive however the points mentioned above are all potential barriers to seeing God as a Father. This being said I pray that the eyes of your heart will open and through His Word and personal encounter, you would come to know God as your Abba Father. God never intended to be distant from His children, when He created Adam and Eve, He was in the Garden of Gethsemane with them. He is and always will be “a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” Psalm 68:5
What are the implications of this as sons and daughters?
- He gives us life (Acts 17:25; 1 Timothy 6:13).
- He loves us (John 3:16)
- He gives us identity (Genesis 1:26-27)
- He protects and fights for us (Isaiah 54:17), (Exodus 14:25)
- He rewards our efforts (Luke 6:35; Hebrews 11:6).
- He communicates with us through His Word (John 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13).
- He allows us to communicate with Him through prayer (Matthew 6:9; Colossians 1:3).
- He corrects us lovingly (Hebrews 12:3-11).
- He desires to grant us the ultimate gift—eternal life in His family (Roman 6:23; Titus 1:2)—if we repent of our sins and obey Him (Acts 2:38)