by Francesca Tavares | article – Oct 21 SHARE Magazine
“A Father to the fatherless, a Defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…” (Psalm Chapter 68, verses 5-6a)
It has been said that children receive their sense of identity from their fathers. It’s true. This sense of identity rightly received, stabilizes the child’s personality, and allows them to rightly relate to themselves and others, producing confidence and the capacity for empathy/compassion.
A Nation of Orphans
I was born in a nation with the second-highest rate of children born out of wedlock in the world (over 80%). A local university study also discovered that a great percentage of children in this nation either do not know or do not have a good relationship with their biological fathers.
There’s even a notorious gang known as “The Fatherless Crew” – reflective of the deep crisis this beloved country has been stumbling through over the decades; manifested in blood-soaked streets, rampant sexual immorality, thefts, corruption, debauchery, and broken homes, hearts and bodies.
Effectively, We Are a Nation of Orphans. And yet, our national anthem, a prayer to the Lord, begins: “Eternal Father…”.The Lord, in His foreknowledge of the crisis we would face, put it into the minds of our forefathers to pen a prayer to God, petitioning Him to take us up as His children. The Lord is our Father, and He takes up the cause of the fatherless, and the woman with no husband.
God Isn’t Like Your Father
It can be difficult to think of the Lord God – the Creator of the Universe, and Sovereign Ruler of the ages, as a father. Partly, because, we tend to project a concept of fatherhood based upon our experiences with our own earthly fathers or father figures, upon Him. But God is not like your earthly father; He isn’t even like the good ones. As the songwriter says, “even the best of them, are just broken people.”
The Bible teacher, Corey Russell, declares that God is not a middle-class, working, well-meaning dad, who just doesn’t have the time or energy to deal with his children.
The Eternal Father never has an ‘off’ day. He never grows weary of his children, or tires of their prayers. The Everlasting Father is never too busy to attend to our cry and He isn’t balancing competing priorities. He always hears and is always moved by the sound of our voices.
Our feeblest efforts to reach out to Him touch His heart. Our Heavenly Father never snaps at us, holds grudges, abuses, manipulates, or compares us to our siblings. He is always present, never absent, and is ever contending for our greatness. He is our biggest champion, best friend, leader, defender, provider, and protector.
It is His identity that we assume when we become His children, through acceptance of the atoning work of Christ Jesus on the cross. We take His name. No longer orphans covered with shame, we receive the Spirit of adoption, by which we cry, “Abba”, “Father”- literally “Daddy”.
“Behold, what manner of love the Father has for us, granting us the awesome privilege of being called children of God!” (1 John chapter 3, verse 1)
The Father’s Heart
I believe that one of the things we all desperately need is a right view of God. In seeing Him rightly, we perceive ourselves and others rightly and are able to relate to the world appropriately.
Today, perhaps for the first time, hear the truth of the Word – the Lord longs to father you, and receive you into His family. You have a place in His heart and home that can be filled by no one else.
Allow the Lord to Father You
Oh Abba, open the eyes of our hearts that we might know the vastness of your love for us in Christ Jesus. May we receive afresh Your Spirit of sonship, Your Spirit that testifies to our spirits that we are Your children. We are not illegitimate children, but we have been accepted fully by You and in You. Reveal to us Your heart toward us – as Father.