How to Better Relate to God as Your Father
How can you better relate to God as your Father? Through understanding what kind of Father he really is. When Jesus said we’re to pray to God like this, “Our Father,” it broke all the rules. Jesus exploded all the stereotypes about God in two words: “Our Father.” You see, until God came to earth in human form in Jesus to let us know what he’s like – nobody really knew that God was our Father.
Matthew 6:9 “This is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name.’”
In the thousands of years covered in the Old Testament part of the Bible, God is called Father only seven times in thousands of years. People just didn’t think of God as Father. They thought of him as other kinds of things – creator, almighty one, and on and on. But they didn’t think of God as Father. Then Jesus comes along and says, “this is how you’re to pray: call him Father.” Jesus uses the expression over 150 times referring to God. What he’s doing is he’s exploding all the stereotypes.
God is not an angry tyrant.
God is not a cosmic cop.
He is not an impersonal force.
God is a person, not a power.
The reason we have personhood, the reason you are a person, is because we were created in the image of God. That makes us different from the animals. God is a personal God. He has the ability to have a relationship with us and he created us with the ability to have a relationship with him. God is a person not a power. He is a Father, not a force. This is really good news when you understand it. I can have a relationship with God as Father.
There’s only one problem. For many people the word “father” is a negative term. For many people the word “father” brings up all kinds of bad memories, bad connotations, hurts, difficulties, problems, experiences. Deep father wounds. A lot of people say, “Our Father, who art in heaven?” “If God is like my father, no thanks God.” For a lot of people their only idea of father is “You just wait until your father gets home!” They think of God in that same way.
The truth is human fathers can make home a hell on earth. Human fathers can be moody, they can be abusive, they can be domineering and controlling and angry and demanding and selfish and self-centered and vicious and violent and aloof. So when we say our Father in heaven, a lot of times we carry baggage in with that word. It’s no wonder we have a difficult time getting to know him. The reason why many people never connect with God because they subconsciously think God is like their earthly father. We transfer all those mixed up hurts and emotions onto God. We impose them on God and it’s no wonder we have a hard time connecting with God.
Misconceptions keep you disconnected from God. I want to help you trade in the misconceptions and the myths about what God is really like for the truth. Because when you really know him, you’re going to love him.
What kind of father is God? The Bible says that there are four characteristics of the fatherhood of God.
1. He is a caring Father.
1 Peter 5:7 “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
Matthew 6:31-32 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32…your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
2. He is a consistent Father.
James 1:17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
Malachi 3:6 “I am the Lord, I do not change.”
3. He is a close Father.
Acts 17:27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us.
4. He is a competent Father.
Luke 1:37 “Nothing is impossible with God.”
Eph. 3:20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.