What is your dad like? Is he active or inactive in your life? Is he present or absent? Maybe he was always around but was quiet. Was he abusive? Maybe he was very involved and you knew he cared. Some may not know who their dad is, but maybe you’ve been told stories about what he was like.
If we know Christ, we also have a heavenly Dad. Ask yourself the same question about your heavenly Dad. What is he like to you? Is it possible that you have some of the same ideas about God as you do your earthly dad? There is a high probability that you do. It is not a far leap to believe that your heavenly Father is similar in character as your earthly Father.
Can we all agree that a great dad is one who is loving, compassionate, sacrificing, a good listener, an encourager, etc? Do you see God this way? What if you have been believing lies about who God really is? Sure, you may know that God is loving and compassionate intellectually, but are you experiencing intimacy with God where you are really believing the truth?
I have to confess that I do not always experience intimacy with God in this way. Sometimes I think of God as being distant and not interested in my life. But, God is renewing my mind to the truth. You see, we have to purposefully set our mind on the truth of who God really is and believe it by faith. The bible is filled to the brim with God declaring who he is to us.
God is love. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love [1 John 4:8].
God is compassionate. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love [Psalm 103:8].
God cares about me. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways [Psalm 139:3].
God is always with me and eager to spend time with me. “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” [Hebrews 13:5].
God is affectionate. He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young [Isaiah 40:11].
God protects me. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold [Psalm 18:2].
So you see, God is screaming to us saying, “Hey, I love you. I care about you way more than you will ever know this side of heaven. This is who I am. Take me at my word. I am your dad. Won’t you call me Abba?” For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’ [Romans 8:15].
The term “Abba” is Aramaic for father. In our culture, the kids in most families have an intimate name for their Father, which is Dad or Daddy. The Holy Spirit has been impressing on me recently to call God “Dad” when I pray. It is a little awkward, but it has definitely changed my perspective. When I start praying and say, “Dad”, something happens inside. I feel more connected to God and experience more intimacy with him because I am setting my mind on who my Heavenly Father is.
So, my challenge to you is to try calling God “Dad” in your prayer time. Set your mind on who he says he is in his word. Lay aside all of the lies that you have believed about God and trust Him as your Dad who says you are the apple of His eye!
We all have a distorted emotional view of God based on our personal experiences. At Crossway we love helping people realize the truth of how much our Heavenly Father loves and accepts us as His children. Give us a call, we would love to talk with you!