And just to be clear; having a Dad who isn’t fathering; is just as bad or worst than not having one. The foundation of fatherhood cannot be understated and is why more than prostrating to a seemingly distant God; we cry; “Abba, Father”! - Gal. 4:6. God established since the beginning that all would have this hope in Him as the Father. Because, no matter how much we plow through this life building, securing and defending from our lack of need for love. Deep down behind every facade of forced smiles; stick walls and quirky remarks; all children long to hear words that give the recognition of belonging, acknowledging and endorsing their very existence and identity that only a father can give. Why only a father? Because he alone represents the seed and trunk of that heritage foundation that as children; build from and grow into their own dependence, yet always pointing back to the father’s trunk; just like any branch of a tree does. Children cannot escape a father’s presence and even his absence. Now, I am not negating what mothers bring to the table; but most if not all troubled children can be linked to an absent father. There is just something that fatherhood comes with that motherhood can’t duplicate and complete. Whether it is because of tradition, culture or just a natural impression a father gives; a father brings with him that sense of stability, strength, and protection. A mirror for children to look to especially when their shadow has no clear definition. The lack of proper and effective fatherhood for decades has been the root cause of many disillusioned and directionless children that have affected future generations of children; even yet to be born; giving support to as stated, “(God) visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and fourth generation” - Ex. 34:7.
Now, before many see a punitive God as a vigilante looking to punish a father’s children long after that father has died, would be to not know the heart and integrity of the Father. God only visits the iniquity by seeing the iniquities that have been prolonged in generations because no one in that lineage has corrected the unrighteousness because of the lack of knowledge; wisdom and understanding, and including boldness. And as long as no one changes the thinking of each successive generation; the iniquities continue as a norm and so does the curse. This is no different than blood wars between two opposing clans, where generations later no one knows the real reason they are fighting and killing each other. Someone has to ask the question and repent! This is why God instituted the commandments, statutes, and ordinances to be the measure against all and any kind of sin. It is why in Leviticus, God painstaking issues guidelines on procedures regarding sin and the different types of offerings to redeem offenders and making one clean for acceptance into the cloister of the Jewish people. What people do not understand and it provides an essential difference from the Old and New Testament is that the Blood of Jesus provides not only the eternal sacrificial covering for past, present and future sin; but it also gives the necessary authority to combat and overcome sin and its nature. The Old Testament peoples did not have that available to them and because performing the law became more of a show than a sincere need to remain in obedience; the curse prevailed despite any ceremony to receive pardon and God’s promises. When God promises peace and prosperity there are conditions and reflects not only His omnipotence but also His authority as our Father. He is only taking up His responsibility of His seeds on the Earth just as a father ought to within his purview.
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. - Now; some may question the religious concept that God allows temptations as a way to test our love and loyalty for Him; with the phrase; “and lead us not into temptation”. This would contradict the personage and character of God as stated, “For God is love” - 1 Jn. 4:8. A father who understands the responsibility that comes from his procreation knows to ridicule their child just for mockery actually destroys any effort to have their child love and respect their fatherhood. God, the Father knows this also and is why as stated, “Fathers do not provoke, aggravate or exasperate your child” - Col. 3:21. Here the connotation of the phrase, “lead us not” implies the absence of the Father. That without His constant influence and direction only temptation will arise and result because on our own will; because we do not know which path will keep us Righteous before Him.
In today’s scenarios; a father’s action that abuses his wife or children; will more than likely be repeated in their sons; with daughters invariable being attracted to men who also came from abusive fathers and homes. The iniquities of the father are reflected in future generations. A brother in Christ who has had issues with pornography more than likely had a father who looked at pornography and had an unrighteous view of women. The curse of this sin will continue in this brother until he or others lead him into a confrontation of this pornography spirit pleading and overcoming it with the Blood and the Word, respectively. Sooner or later to break any and all forms of the curse, someone has to act as the Father would. As Christians; we have the Father for anything that would mislead us away from His promise of peace and prosperity. We just must be willing to heed to the Father's counsel which may include the narrow path. Why? Because like the Father, a true father is not just concerned about the immediate protection and provision of his child but also looks to empower their child for future trials and tribulations that they know their child will face. The father as the Father has vision for those they love.
Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. - The Father is not satisfied with an immature, inexperienced and ignorant child; but by Grace He tolerates it. This is because as the title of a late 60’s sitcom states; “Father knows best”. This is like saying, abide by and implement the Father’s eternal experience of living and peace and prosperity will be possible. Learn, imitate and appreciate the Father’s way for His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding are the assurance of receiving the best of His Kingdom. Children that trust blindly their father’s direction in obedience are more likely to succeed in life developing sound character because their father’s experience support and provide them with a proven foundation for any new experience that comes their way as stated, “Train up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old he will not depart from it”. - Prob. 22:6. This is not a method but a mindset of dealing with life regardless of circumstances that may vary but the effect is usually the same which is fear of something externally or internally. When a father builds character in their children; this will carry them through most if not all challenges that they face long after they have departed from of the father or he has died. The Father’s love and hope for us are so far-reaching that He sent as stated, “His only begotten Son” - Jn. 3:16; to demonstrate by the obedience of a son of man; we could and would have confidence in His ways; His Kingdom in each one of our lives.
Jun. 18 2018.
Our Father !
Our Father, Who is in Heaven, hallowed is your name; Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
If you are a father; this prayer is a direct reflection of one’s family where the rules, guidelines, and criteria are put in place to have a peaceful, prosperous and fulfilled family life. No Earthly person and especially a father want to be taken for granted, disrespected and marginalized by his children. And as part of fatherhood; we purposely set the stage for the actions of disobedience and challenge to the rule of authority. The father’s rule of authority. God, the Father has done the same thing. Now, before some start shouting me down and stating this is heresy. Consider the following.
Our Father, Who is in Heaven, hallowed is your name. - Jesus provides a simple and effective prayer. - Matt. 6:9. The first verse establishes the Father’s Throne and each successive verse adds and builds on this and is dependent on the first. Now; why isn’t Jesus starting this prayer with; “Our God, who is in Heaven”? especially that He just dictated the Sermon on the Mount and conditions of becoming and staying Holy - Matt. 5 and 6. In all these declarations; Jesus makes reference to the Father; not God, who will be disappointed and reward unrighteous behavior. Because the Father wants a relationship based on respect, love and reverence; and not on fear. Isn’t that what all fathers truly want from their kids? With the former; a healthy condition can and is developed but with the latter; will only result in strife, hated and ultimately separation. Understanding and appreciating what the Father is willing to make available to us if only we will honor, abide and listen to Him goes a long way.
A child requires constant supervision because of their lack of experience and immaturity. The father as a part of his fatherhood observes the child ready to step in to guide the child for their safety and benefit. If the father ignores this overwatch; it is more likely harm will come to that child. The deliberate or abandonment of the father’s watch is different forms of care or rather leadership. With the latter being a fatherless leadership. To “lead us not” verse can be said as, “do not abandon us into sin”; which confirms the following verse of deliverance from sin. It is this critical mode of living and obedience that Jesus exults to all who have been saved to do as stated. "Of Myself, I can do nothing" - Jn. 5:30; and "My Father who lives in Me, He does the work" - Jn. 14:10. When Christian fathers receive the Father's Spirit and apply it in all things; then their children receives their spirit into theirs. Just as iniquities can be visited on future generations so can Righteousness until all the lineage of that father is saved; at peace and are prosperous in all the Kingdom's promises.
God could have dealt with sin and its father as any final authority and a supreme judge would by laying down and implementing punitive judgment on the offending criminals. We see this in the world’s judicial world systems. But this would have set a precedent for the sentencing on those who are precious to His heart and Throne which was reflected in the Old Testament laws. So God; the Father allowed His heart to overshadow His omnipotence and by this reflects His long-suffering love for not only His Kingdom but also for His procreations to come to the deep understanding as stated centuries ago and is still relevant and is pertinent today, “I will be a Father to you and you My sons and daughters” - 2 Cor. 6:18. To become heirs of His everlasting Kingdom and not slaves to it. Our Father is very much like what we what a father to be. And ultimately; the Father has set these examples of His deep abiding love with a higher thinking; integrity and unbiased justice for all who are His children. One with compassion willing to lead, teach and protect so that his children will look to him.
Flush it Out - We cry; Abba, Father!
How did Jesus avoid the curse before the cross? He looked to His Father. And because He willingly paid the price for the curse; we as the Body now have a clear line of Spiritual Fatherhood with the Father. Many in the Body accept that having weak Christians in the church is an act of compassion. But Jesus never did this often being harder on those in the Faith than on those outside the church. As fathers, we also do this regardless of Christianity. We are harder on those who are of our blood than those who are not. This is because ours carry our name and is a reflection of our perspective on many issues of the world. As fathers, our offsprings is a legacy of our character. I find this humorous at times, as my daughter who is coming into her own with the Word recently told me that she is concerned about taking the pulpit because she knows that she will be harder on those within the church than those outside it. She is developing the heart of the Father that being luke-warm is not the place to be when it comes to His household. She often tests me also in my Christian walk and has become a good sounding board for it because I have done as much as an Earthly father can do and now she looks to our Heavenly Father for her personal Christian walk and Spiritual purpose. For as children of the Father, we also test Him for His promises.
Test God? What do you think we do every time we stand on and confess His Word? Every father who understands their role knows that without testing by their children there is no true foundation for the leadership they provide. There is no credibility! And when we are able to demonstrate the standard and promise of fatherhood; our children grow up knowing that their trust in us is strengthened. This is the same with our Father in Heaven. Now to be clear; we are not talking about being a disrespectful smart aleck child but the normal process of allowing a child to test the boundaries as it were to establish clear-cut authority and build in the child personal confidence, and skills that they will need as independents. God essentially tested Adam and Eve with the tree of knowledge and He commands us to do the same concerning the tithe stating, “Test Me in this” - Mal. 3:10. Testing actually builds trust and strengthens the Body’s resolve to have Faith; which aids as a process in the overcoming of trails and tribulations. These allowed tests, if you will fulfill as stated. "All things work together for those who love God for their purpose through Him" - Rm. 8:28. The Spirit of God uses the spiritual battles that manifest in the physical to strengthen and mature our body, mind and, especially our spirit for the Spiritual battle. Because God allows the testing; we are able to grow and mature in taking up our cross and seek to do greater things than Jesus and for the Father’s Kingdom. But even though we are heirs by Grace; we still have to earn the right to inherit aspects of God’s Kingdom. This is no different than a wise father who provides scenarios for his children to teach them responsibility, discipline, and power. The Father’s goal for maturing us is not by chance and in today’s twisted psychology of raising children, it is more needed than ever to be definitive in the molding of a child’s body, mind, and spirit. This is what the Father and Christian fathers ought to do and that is to equip their children with a winning attitude.
Whether you accept it or not; there is a Father who cares for you. And any father worth his weight in gold can only come to the realization that fatherhood is more than producing children. Whatever the reason; many fathers abandon their responsibility for the children they fathered. This can never supplant the impact of not having a parent who is a father. For it is paramount that a father exists in the lives of their children. Before continuing; I must give credit to those Moms who decided and developed meaningful relationships with their children despite the void left by the fathers. Yet, a mother alone cannot complete the circle for raising any self-assured child, especially in this world. This is why it is important to substitute a credible father figure in the fatherless child's life. God established it this way just as His Throne consist mainly of His person and the Word, in Jesus; so does a parental hierarchy does ideally with a mother and a father. Two opposites yet the same that completes authority, balance and a tree of life for the natural ebbs and flows of growth.
Give us this day our daily bread - When we imitate Jesus, all our needs are met including the critical protection and deliverance from evil and the father of sin. Here bread is not referring to the physical need of the body but the Word that feeds sustains and employs God’s Grace that insulates against our lack of knowledge or rather the immaturity of our thinking and actions. Jesus is foreshadowing to the apostles that He will become as stated, “I am the bread of life” - Jn. 6:35. Did you notice receiving this bread is to be daily? This reflects the requirement and need of a relationship, especially an intimate one with the Father through Jesus; the Word. In other words; we remind the Father; our God of His Word for Him to remember His promises to us, which is in keeping with God’s direction to Joshua to meditate on the Word in order for his way to be made prosperous. - Jos. 1:8.
As Christian fathers, we ought to look at the Father’s way of developing our children. His way; is by example! The saying;”actions speak louder than words” is the Father’s foundation in all that He does. Not because He is God, but because He is the Father! Why? As God, He doesn’t have to explain to us or justify His actions. But by His Word; He has to demonstrate His credibility. He has made it higher than His name and as fathers when we don’t fulfill our words to our children; their faith in us dwindles with each broken promise and this would also happen if the Father’s Word is nothing more than vapor of broken promises; which would lead us into faithlessness rather than having the God kind of Faith. The Father relishes an opportunity to fulfill His Word to us. Then why isn’t it fulfilled all the time? There are several reasons for this and is in particular to the individual’s circumstances that surround His promises. In simple terms when one is in disobedience; unfaithful; mix the world's spirit with His Spirit; the Father is limited in showing His Glory through us. Just like a string of Christmas lights when several blubs are not working; the source of power is constrained, broken or reduced because of the flow of power. The Lord’s Prayer gives us the clue and reason for unfulfilled hope in the Father’s Word.
ChristnMe @ 2013