So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, "Abba, Father." - Romans 8:15
I don’t know if there’s anything that captures the love of God more perfectly than the picture of Him as Our Father. Romans 8:15 paints the picture of rescue; a pure pursuit of removing the bondage of a fearful slave to being free in Him. To being adopted as His own: taken in just as you are and showered with His love and faithfulness.
And because of this love, we can call Him our Father.
Whether it’s good or bad, our relationships with our earthly fathers influence how we view our relationship with God as our Father. A good relationship with your earthly father makes it easier to see the characteristics of God through this type of love. You see an earthly father’s love in the corrections, and you see him teaching you lessons even when it hurts. But he does it all because he loves you deeply. You’re still young, and you look up to him to direct you because deep down you know that he knows best. Your father sees things that you can’t. You trust him more than anyone in the world, and he becomes your protector.
But maybe there’s a lot of hurt in your heart from your relationship with your earthly father. Maybe he wasn’t around to make those loving corrections. Maybe he let you down one too many times and you couldn’t trust that he had your best interest at heart.
One of the most intimate verses in the Bible in my opinion is in the book of Mark. It takes place the night of Jesus’ arrest right before He was to be crucified. If you look more into the context of this passage, you see Jesus crying out to God, as His Father. In Jesus’ most vulnerable, excruciating moments, He’s asking His Father if there’s any way around this painful journey that He’s about to endure. But we also see Jesus surrender to Himself, saying not His will, but God’s will be done.
"Abba, Father," he cried out. "Everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." - Mark 14:26
Here’s where we see one of the most beautiful characteristics of the heart of God. He heard Jesus’ prayer that night in the garden, but He also saw the bigger picture. He saw the greater good that would come from the pain. And that same love and grace is extended to us as His children.
He sees you exactly where you are. He sees your hurt and your middle of the night tearful prayers. But remember that He has not given you a spirit of fear, but you received His spirit when He called you His own. He sees the bigger picture and He sees the greater good. He knows best, and as the Father, He’s got quite the experience in being a father. I can promise you that He is the most constant thing you will ever encounter in your life, and the love of the Father runs deeper than you know.
1. What are the Father-like characteristics of God that you see the most consistently throughout your life? Reflect on what He has seen you through and find confidence in the fact that He will bring you through whatever else may come your way.
2. Look back on things that God saved you from in light of His protective love. Maybe you see this is the form of receiving a “no” as an answer to prayer, or maybe you see it in a hopeful situation falling through. Where do you see God’s hand in this, and where can you see Him working to redeem that hurt?
Abba Father, we can’t thank you enough for adopting us as children of Your own. Thank You for pursuing us and loving us just as we are. Thank You for always be there to comfort us with arms wide open. Help us to see the protection and power within Your love. Though things in this world may let us down, You are forever faithful, and we praise You for that. Amen.
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