The Archives: Our Father
This post is from May of 2016. Though now I would not describe the "disappointment of God" the same way I do in this post, the overall sentiment of this post I still agree with, and have included this post for that reason.
The Lord’s Prayer is awesome. I think that’s one thing all Christians can agree on. (Though adding “for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever” remains to be disputed. But that’s not the point.) There are a ton or reasons why it’s so great, and how could it not be? It came straight from the mouth of Jesus. But there’s one part I want to take a moment to focus on.
A Christian who’s heard this once has heard it a million times: It’s a huge honor and gift for us to be able to call the God of the universe our Father. In fact, I’ve been told it so much, it sometimes actually loses its significance. But this is not a sermon about how grateful we should be that we get to call God our Father. Let me explain what it means that God is our Father.
I don’t know what your family situation is like. I don’t know what your relationship with your parents is like. I was blessed to have a great family. My imagination doesn’t have to work very hard to imagine what it’s like to have a loving father. But maybe for some reason or another it’s not as easy for you. That’s okay. Think of your mom, a grandparent, a family friend, a teacher. Anyone who loves you. Now isolate that feeling of love they have for you, and you for them. Focus on it, feel it. Multiply it by 10.
That’s just a hint of how much the Father loves you.
It’s an unconditional love. No matter what you do, no matter how much you disobey Him, he’ll always take you right back. (See the Parable of the Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-32) And when he does take us back it’s not with a heavy sigh and a roll of the eyes. It’s pulling us into the living room, getting us a drink, “tell me how you’ve been, what’s going on? I missed you so much!” kind of a deal.
So, maybe you’re asking, “If God loves me that much that he’s gonna welcome me right back with no exceptions or fine print contracts, why does he make rules that I inevitably will end up disobeying anyway?”
First of all, it’s not God’s fault we’re sinners. That’s all on us. The Law was not created because one day God said “Let’s see, how can I make these little humans be forever in my debt? I know, I’ll give them commands that they will not be able to keep because of all the sin in the world! And then I will forgive them! Yes, I will pay their debt and then they will be in debt to me even more! HAHAHA.”
Uh, yeah that never happened.
Just like your parents’ rules, God gave us the commandments because he cares about us and wants what’s best for us. You’re parents give you a curfew to keep you safe. They have rules about what you can and can’t do because they don’t want you to make the same mistakes as them. It’s the same idea with God. He gave us rules so that we have guidelines to help us have a good, God-pleasing life on earth. That’s part of why Jesus came to earth, so we could have a role-model.
Okay, so He has rules because He loves us, and He welcomes us back with open arms because He loves us, so then is God okay with us disobeying him? This is where that Father aspect comes into play, and personally, where it means the most.
Before you ask for God’s forgiveness, (though you’ve already been forgiven) God is going to be disappointed. Put yourself in God’s place for a moment. There’s this person you’ve taken care of since their life began, you love them wholeheartedly. Then one day, they blatantly disobey you. Yes, you’re mad that they disobeyed, but when you see how much they are hurting from their mistake, your heart breaks. This is your child. You just wanted to keep them safe, but now they’ve gone and hurt themselves anyway. It’s heartbreaking. Now, that child has run away. You aren’t sure where they went, but you know they aren’t going anywhere good. And you certainly have no idea if they have any intentions of returning. You’re so worried you become physically ill.
That’s what we put God through every time we sin and stray from Him. And though we say we are sorry and ask for His forgiveness, we continue to do it time and time again. Is that the way we should be treating our Father? The way we should treat the Creator of Life–our life?
I know I wouldn’t have the patience to deal with that kind of treatment. My parents get impatient when it takes me a week to finish doing the laundry; I can’t imagine what would happen if I continued to disappoint and disobey them day after day after day. So thank God that He is such a loving Father, a forgiving Father, a merciful Father.
Our Father, who art in heaven.
Can you imagine the excitement and overwhelming joy on the day we will finally see Him face to face, and disappoint him no more?
[Jesus said] The Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. John 16:17