So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven." Luke 11:2, NKJV
If we are genuine Christians, God is our Father. Some have tried to picture this by thinking of their earthly father and imagining God to be like that. This can have limited success if you had a loving earthly father, although even the best earthly father is only a pale shadow of the heavenly One. But for those who had abusive and uncaring fathers, this line of thinking brings a grossly distorted image of our heavenly Father. It is better to study the Scriptures to see who our Father is.
Since God is our Father we have right of access to Him at all times. He is never too busy to hear from us. We never have to stand in line or make an appointment. In socialist Canada it can take many months to get an appointment with a medical specialist. In some countries the services are not available at all. Not so with God. His children get in immediately.
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Heb. 4:16
Our minds may wander when we are talking to Him, but He gives us full attention. He never has to ask us to repeat something. He knows what is on our heart, even when we cannot fully express it. He is compassionate and caring. He longs and delights to hear from His children.
He is confidential. We can trust Him with our secrets. We don’t have to be afraid that He will laugh at our dreams or dismiss them as unimportant. We don’t have to fear that He will expose us for our embarrassment. We can even tell Him our struggles and failures with sin. He does not condemn or criticize, but He will send the Holy Spirit along side to strengthen and encourage us. He is for us.
He is our protection. As a Father He looks out for our safety. He allows nothing to ultimately hurt us. That does not mean that everything is pleasant, but that He will make sure everything works out to our benefit. And He has the power and wisdom to do it. It is not just an ideal - He has the ability to accomplish it.
"The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." Pr. 18:10
Also as our Father there are times when correction is needed. After all, He is not raising spoiled brats, but adopted sons and daughters of the Living God. So correction will come into our lives when we get off track. It is not a negative thing [although it may be painful]. It is for our good so that we can reach our highest and best in this life and in the next [and final] one.
"In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don't feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?
"My dear child, don't shrug off God's discipline, but don't be crushed by it either. It's the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.
"God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God." Heb. 12:4-11, The Message
The term “our Father” pictures an intimate relationship. It began - from our perspective - when we were born again. We were born into a new family with God as our Father. We can rest and be at peace with that. Living in fear, doubt, and worry cannot happen when we really grasp the truth that God is our Father. We are in His family. He is responsible to look after us. We can live in freedom from haunting, paralyzing negative emotions. God is our Father - we are released to become everything we can be.
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