As we read the word of God and pray, the Holy Spirit reveals to us more and more the correct vision of God. He imprints it in our heart and mind; corrects the marred vision that we had before; and completes what has been missing in this vision.
Today, we will just mention some basic highlights about the Father by looking at some revelations about Him in the bible.
The fellowship with the Father is so sweet and amazing and it truly fills the deep needs of human beings.
However, we sometimes have some misconceptions about God which often hinder us from entering into a true and deep relationship with Him. He desires to enter into a true fellowship with us and correct many of these misconceptions that we may have about Him.
It is; therefore, important to understand the divine biblical revelation about God. We should then turn this revelation into principles that we follow in life and change our thinking accordingly. We need to understand correctly and apply correctly.
Though we may not admit it, we are sometimes afraid of God. This is because we may have learned confused things about Him.
One of these misconceptions is that when a crisis or a problem occurs in our life, people tell us that God has allowed it and it will work for the good. Thus, we form in our minds a conviction that God allows sudden crises and dangers to happen. Our minds can then be filled with the view that God is the One who causes the sudden and unpleasant things.
However, the truth is that God loves us unconditionally and that all He has towards us is absolute goodness.
Let us see what the word of God reveals to us about God:
‘For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting’ (Psalm 100: 5).
It is also written that the will of God is: ‘good and acceptable and perfect’ (Romans 12: 2).
- God’s ways are upright, just, and righteous.
‘To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him’ (Psalm 95: 15).
“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? (Ezekiel 18: 25).
- God gives life.
‘I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly’ (John 10: 10).
- God satisfies us and allows us to delight in Him.
‘You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing’ (Psalm 145: 16).
‘I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness’ (Psalm 17: 15).
- Everything that comes from God is fullness and satisfaction.
‘In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore’ (Psalm16:11).
- God, the Father is full of goodness and has prepared all goodness for us.
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him’ (1Corinthians 2: 9).
If this is what the bible tells us about God, then if something adverse happens in our life, we should not be confused and we should proclaim the truth revealed in God’s word.
Some have a wrong concept that adverse things come from God, but the word of God states otherwise.
In James 1: 13, 14, we read:
‘Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed’ (James 1: 13, 14).
This is different from the concept of suffering (which I will refer to shortly).
And now, if adverse things do not come from God, from whom do they come?
As we journey in this world, there are two sources that work in our life: either God or the devil.
The devil is a thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10: 10). He was a murderer from the beginning and is a liar and the father of it (John 8: 44). The ways of the enemy are deceitful because he is a liar.
On the other hand, we have understood the biblical revelation about God that He is good and merciful; upright and just. He leads us in straight paths and fills our life with goodness day after day.
Therefore, if something which is not upright and which involves destruction and deceit happens in our life, this will be the typical way of the enemy.
What then can make the hand of the enemy draw near us?
The bible describes the path of following Christ as the narrow path. As long as we are watchful and we walk in this path, we are in a safe path because the good Hand of God will be stretched over us.
In Nehemiah 2: 18, we read:
‘I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me’.
As long as the good hand of God is stretched over us, it protects us:
‘For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone’ (Psalm 91: 11, 12).
Therefore, if we cling to God and submit to His will, He leads us in straight paths, protects us, and gives us abundant life.
However, we can sometimes slightly deviate from this straight and safe path without noticing. If we are not watchful and vigilant on our prayers and hence lose connection with God, our feet may slip away from the narrow path with God. Outside this path, we would be more exposed to the hand of the devil and his principalities. As a result, we may face problems, find the doors closed, and things may be confused and in a mess. This is not the Good Hand; it is the hand of the enemy. After the hand of the enemy does its evil work, it even tries to deceive us, making us believe that God has abandoned us.
Therefore, it is important to discern and have a correct vision of God and of the enemy.
When our vision of God is corrected and our relationship with Him is restored, we will have positive expectations every day because it is a day where the good hand of God is stretched over us. New and blessed things will come from this good hand to the new day:
‘Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness’ (Lamentations 3: 22, 23).
Why does God allow this evil hand to reach us and is silent about it?
This is because God is righteous and has order and rules for everything in His Kingdom.
If I am walking in His path, His hand will be stretched over me; but if I come out of this path and persistently deviate, He will not prevent me.
Why will God not prevent me?
This is because of two main reasons:
- God gave us free will.
If we come out of the path by our own free will, God neither controls our will nor compels us. He gives us freedom to choose. If we are faithful in His path, He embraces us. But if we go out of His path, He will still be close to us but he will not do something against our choice.
However, this does not mean that God leaves us. He continues to warn us more than once; but we sometimes fail to notice or perceive His warnings. It is written: ‘For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it’ (Job 33: 14 –ESV).
- The devil is the one who deceives us; and so, if God comes after us, the devil will ask God to give him his chance and be fair with him.
This is clearly mentioned in the book of Job (Job 1: 6 – 12) where the devil went to God telling Him that Job is righteous because God was blessing him and made a hedge around him. He asked God to give him a chance to touch these things and Job will blaspheme. God allowed Satan to touch him but He gave him limitations. Satan touched Job, but finally Job was approved, God was approved, and the devil was put to shame. We then read that ‘the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning’ (Job 42: 12).
An important highlight about suffering
It is important to highlight here that, as discussed above, there are instances where people are negligent in their spiritual life and not watchful; and can thus gradually deviate from God’s path even without noticing. If they neglect His warnings and persist in their deviation, they may come out of the protection of the good hand of God which is stretched over those who walk in the straight path.
However, there are other instances where we may go through suffering when we have Not deviated from God’s path. God allows these sufferings, though He is not the One who brings evil. He then turns these difficult situations for our good and benefit.
This can be for our sanctification, purification, preparation for ministry, or reshaping us.
It can also be a fellowship in His suffering, which we called for, as we read in Philippians 3: 10:
‘That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death’ (Philippians 3: 10).
It can even be persecution or unfair accusations which commend us. They become a testimony to others of our love to Jesus and bring many to Christ –as was the case with the martyrs and many saints and fathers of the church.
Another point that we need to learn about God, the Father:
When we learn the fellowship with the Father, we will experience it as a bosom full of love and life, embracing everyone who draws near Him. We would experience being embraced in abundance of life, love, warmth, and strength. We would experience heaven while still on earth.
As we mentioned earlier, He is a Father (Isaiah 63:16) and a Mother (Isaiah 66: 12, 13). He wants to pour out His love to us, carry us, and comfort us.
We often live in spiritual poverty because we sometimes worship God with the spirit of slavery. However, the truth is that He is our Father and we are His children. It is written
‘But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name’ (John 1: 12).
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8: 15 –ESV).
When we enter into this true level of fellowship with the Father, enter into His bosom, and receive the warmth and love, we can then offer it and radiate it to others. It will shine in our words and we become life-bearers.
Finally, to sum up, we need to change our expectations based on what the bible tells us:
- God, the Father is the bosom that desires to embrace us.
When He embraces us, our sins and burdens dissolve and spontaneously fall off our shoulders because He forgives and forgets:
‘For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more’ (Jeremiah 31: 34).
- He desires to wash us continually from our sins.
He is not waiting for us to go and tell Him that we are good and perfect. If we fall and then get up and go to Him, He will cleanse us and forgive our sins.
‘Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice’ (Psalm 51:7, 8).
- He is the Fatherly Shepherd who cares for us and it is His pleasure to give us good gifts every day.
‘If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him’ (Luke 11: 11 – 13).
- God defends us against our enemies because He is a mighty God.
‘Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer’ (Psalm 19:14).
The word ‘Redeemer’ is repeated a lot throughout the bible; it refers to all the needed protection.
- He prepares for us an eternal inheritance in heaven.
This is but a glimpse about the Father.