Living in relationship with Father God may seem daunting or even impossible to many Christians. Frankly, modern Christianity places little emphasis on intimacy with Father God. The result is a Church without identity and men without focus. That must change. Your Father God will start to move gently towards you as soon as you open your heart to Him (James 4:8a). He waits patiently for you. While He waits let’s define living in authentic masculinity. Then let’s define the son/Father God relationship. And then in the next blog we will talk about what it looks like to be a real man and equip you with some “walking it out” resources. You will not need a pocket knife.
Authentic Masculinity is the who, what and why of your life and living that life without regret or doubt in pursuit of your destiny. It means peace and fulfillment. It is the “sweet spot”. Knowing who you are means letting your Father tell you (yes, tell you) what He loves about you. He reveals your strengths, talents, and gifts while embracing you completely in love and acceptance. Father God shows you your important purpose in His Kingdom. You gain rest, wisdom, efficiency, productivity, understanding, vision, and comfort. Relationship brings heaven to earth just as Jesus taught us to pray.
What about this Father God/son relationship? Is that difficult to believe? Some of you didn’t have dads due to death or abandonment. Others were there but absent because of their own choices, pain, or infirmities. Some were abusive. Many times our earthly dads have not represented Father God well.
Sons learn from dads how to be a father and we unconsciously transfer those negative images to Father God. Stern father = stern Father God. Distant father = distant Father God. Abusive, angry, unreliable, inconsistent… you get it. Our perceptions impede our desire to really know our Creator.
Do you remember how Philip in John 14:8 receives a slight rebuke from Jesus? Philip wanted Jesus to teach the disciples about Father God. Essentially Jesus raps him on the forehead with a “Duh, McFly, if you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father.” Or in other words, “I am the exact representation of the Father.” If Father God seems too much like your earthly Dad remember that that the amazingly kind, graceful, smart, funny, manly man Jesus Christ is what you get with Father God. You can believe it on faith until you experience Father God for yourself.
Think of the perfect Dad. He’s proud of you. He is insanely generous withholding nothing good. He thinks you can do no wrong. He picks you up when you stumble. He shares His heart. Remember Jesus’ story about the Prodigal Son? That’s Jesus describing His Father God. Remember the part where the Father picks up his robes and runs to his returning son. Put Father God in the place of the story father and put yourself in the place of the prodigal son. Get this part: when you pray to Father God saying “I want you,” He RUNS to you. He desires relationship with you, but He doesn’t force it. He is the ultimate Gentleman. He waits patiently, longingly until you incline your heart towards home.
Relationship with Father God starts with just sincerely asking for Him. I was “saved” for 26 years before I said “Lord, I don’t know exactly what this means, but I’m done controlling my life. I give it up and turn it over to you.” I expected a major upheaval with nothing remaining the same. Despite a lifetime in church I knew little about God’s ways. His influence was immediate, but came so gently that I often missed His hand. He began to teach me, move me, prune me, and refine me. Honestly, everything did eventually change as I moved into direct relationship with the Father, but it was and is still, a journey.
It’s a journey with peaks and valleys, but it is the most amazing journey a man could ever want.
Written by Jeff Dean