To Be a Father
So, the next step in this…remember the first one is to be a child, because your sins are forgiven. The second thing is to be a Father. “I write to you, fathers” is what he said.
Remember how Jesus started the “Lord’s Prayer” so to speak, was, “Our Father, who art in heaven.” And that was something that people didn’t really understand very well. They looked at God as El Shaddai, the God of the mountaintops, Almighty God, omnipotent God. They looked at Him as the great I AM. The I AM WHO AM, Jehovah God. They looked at Him as this mighty, powerful God. But something Jesus told us about in His Spirit it says in Romans 8 and Galatians reveals it to our hearts is, “Abba, Father!” You can study that one all you want, but flesh and blood cannot reveal to you “Abba, Father!” The Bible says the Holy Spirit reveals it to our hearts (Rom. 8, Gal. 3) “Abba, Father.”
Only God can open our eyes to see His Fatherhood. Otherwise He’s an omnipotent, holy, demanding God. But “Abba, Daddy” is something only God can show us. Like with Simon Peter --”Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, Simon Peter, but My Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You didn’t learn this in a book. This is something My Father showed you.”
That’s the way the Bible says Abba is related to our souls too. If you’re not feeling that “Abbahood” of God, I think I would make that a primary focus for some fasting and prayer. Pray that you would see that, because the love of God shed abroad in your heart is not a theory. You can’t study that and make it happen, can you? The love of God flooding over your soul puts a spring in your step and a light in your eye and a power that is unquenchable. You can’t study your way into that. The Holy Spirit sheds His love abroad into our hearts (Romans 5:5). The Holy Spirit testifies to our hearts, “Abba, Father.”
God longs to give good gifts to His children. “If you, being evil, give good gifts to your children, how much more does God long to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke’s account says (Lk 11:13). There needs to be a craving for that, and the Father longs to give it more than you long to have it. So ponder that and pray about that. But that’s the nature of God first and foremost is a Fatherheart.
Amos 3:3 -- “How can two walk together unless they be in agreement?” If your heart and your purpose and your mind aren’t moving towards Fatherheart… God’s heart is a Fatherheart. If that’s not where you’re going then you’re not walking in agreement with God. If you want to be in the mainstream of the river of God’s purposes on planet earth, you’ve got to graduate from being a child -- one that’s always dependent, always drinking milk, always getting, never giving.
How many of your children give very much? They try but it’s pretty meager. But there comes a time when you are a father and your schedule is not your own anymore. You don’t own your life anymore when you become a parent. That’s exactly the same way it is spiritually. When you are fathering and mothering people in Christ, your life isn’t your own anymore. Your sleep patterns are not your own, your money is not your own, your emotions aren’t your own -- you don’t own anything anymore when you are fathering and mothering in the kingdom of God. How much time you’re away from your family is not your choice anymore when you’re fathering or mothering. That’s the Fatherheart of God.
If you want to be in God’s purposes…if I asked for a show of hands right now who wanted to be, I hope you’d all say “yes.” I hope that’s what this is all about. You’re not settled to stop with the forgiveness of sins as a child, but you want to go on and be a father and to walk in agreement. You can’t walk with God and you can’t stay in fellowship with God if you are not walking in agreement with Him-- if your mind isn’t set on His purposes. And His purposes are first and foremost a Fatherheart.
Romans 12:1-2 talks about offering your body as a living sacrifice -- laying it all out on the line. A living sacrifice doesn’t have any future plans, doesn’t have any wealth, doesn’t have any ambition, doesn’t have any pride. It doesn’t have any of those things. A living sacrifice, lying on the altar to be burned, doesn’t have a lot of things that it’s grabbing onto. No reason to. I’ve been crucified with Christ. I don’t live any longer. What do I need that stuff for? What do I need lust for? What do I need pride for? What do I need this other stuff for? If you’re a living sacrifice, you don’t have a lot of needs anymore.
Paul goes on to say, “Don’t be conformed any longer to the patterns of this world.” Don’t play the game like they do. Don’t accrue this and that, don’t do that stuff anymore. Don’t conform to the patterns of this world. But rather, the opposite of that is to be renewed, to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. The word “transformed” is the same word in the Greek as “transfiguration” when Jesus was transfigured on the Mount of Transfiguration. Remember what happened? His face shone. His garments were as bright as the sun. Elijah and Moses were there in that same way. You could hardly see him anymore. That’s the glory that Jesus had before the world was. “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Hear him, listen to Him.”
That’s what God is trying to do in our lives is to renew us. Renew us into what? The way I was before I was a Christian? Of course not! The way I was when I was a little child? No, I was kind of a brat then, too. Renew me into what? Renew me into the glory that I had before the world was. To be renewed, to be renovated, to go back to the beginning of whatever I was meant to be. To be Glory-fied, as it says in Romans 8. To be transfigured by the renewing of our mind. That’s where we’ve got to begin. To begin to think God’s thoughts, as Adam and Eve did when they were eating from the Tree of Life, instead of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, making themselves to be gods, making their own decisions.
To be transformed, to be transfigured by the renewing of our minds. We refuse to think any thoughts that aren’t God’s thoughts. We refuse to grab onto anything that God is not grabbing onto. We refuse to walk in a different way than Jesus walked. How did He walk? “Anyone that claims to be in Him must walk as He walked.” How did He walk? That settles it. As we begin to go into that deeper and deeper, guess what happens? We’re transfigured. We’re renewed into the glory of God that Jesus said I left with you, that I had before the world was. Do you see what’s happening here? It’s not just being a Christian and “going to church” anymore. This stuff is glorious! Amen?
Proverbs 29:18-19. This is so important. In fact, this is essential: “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.” The King James says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Where there is no revelation, where these things are not becoming who you are, when you’re not renewing – you’ll not be transfigured. You’ll cast off restraint.
If I say, “Here is the word of the Lord” but you don’t have any vision for where you’re going, and you’re satisfied to be made perfect but not desirous to be made holy and useful to God…if you’re satisfied and your vision is down here somewhere rather than in heavenly realms, guess what happens? You’re going to cast off restraint. You’ll say, “Get out of here!” When somebody is teaching, you’re not going to want to hear it if you don’t have a vision for the purposes of God. You will cast off restraint. “You’re not going to restrain me! Don’t you put me in your box! Don’t you tell me what to do. I’ll make my own decisions. I’ll eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil if I feel like it.”
It is so important that you have a vision of what God is doing in you and through you if you’ll yield to that. “Where there is no revelation the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law. A servant cannot be corrected by mere words; though he understands, he will not respond” (Prov. 29:18, 19).
I can give you mere words. I can show you things in the Bible that you don’t want to do. But I can’t correct you with mere words. Even if you understand exactly what I am saying to you, if you don’t have a vision of what God is trying to do in your life to conform you to the full measure of the stature of Christ -- with the rod of Aaron that budded in one hand, and eating the hidden manna, and the tablets of stone written into your nature -- if you don’t have the vision for what God is trying to do on planet earth, you’re going to cast off restraint. You’re not going to listen to anything I say or anybody else says that isn’t what you want to do. It’ll be okay up to the point where you don’t want to do it anymore and then you’ll find three verses to prove that it’s not that way. “I don’t have to because after all…”
But if we will see the vision -- that’s what I was saying before about the explanation of benefits. If you can catch a vision of what God wants to do in your life and what we were purposed for. We were predestined to the glory that Jesus had on this earth. The guy who walked on water, the guy who said, “Peace, be still!” to the storm. Joshua stopped the sun from going. Was it Elijah that made the axe head float? Was it Paul that raised somebody from the dead? That stuff’s not reserved for Jesus.
If you go through all the miracles, Old Testament and New Testament, Jesus never did anything that another mortal human being didn’t do at some time or another as recorded in the Holy Scriptures. In fact, a couple of guys did something Jesus didn’t do. Jesus died. Elijah didn’t. He was caught up in a chariot of fire. So what I am saying is that Jesus came to show us what is possible. He didn’t come just to forgive our sins. He came to show us what intimacy with the Father, with the glorious life of God is all about.
The nature of the Fatherheart of God is to bring many sons to glory (Hebrews 2:10). As we graduate into fathers our nature is going to be to bring many sons to glory. In Matthew 23, Jesus looked over Jerusalem and wept. He said, “I wish so much that I could have gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks, but you would not, so therefore I am going to leave your house desolate.” He passed judgment on them, but His heart was one that was crying to bring many sons to glory, to gather the people.
If that’s your heart, if you’re walking in agreement with God, that’s going to be your heart. That’s going to be what you live and breathe as it was with Jesus, to seek and save that which is lost. To leave the ninety and nine to go after the one. To leave this group and go after the one if necessary. To pay any price. That was the heart of Jesus, the Everlasting Father, as He’s called in Isaiah 9. That’s the heart of the Father, our Father who art in heaven. That’s His heart is to bring many sons to glory.
Luke 4:18, John 10:11-18 and Matthew 18:12 (the Good Shepherd), John 17:6-18; Rev. 5:6-9. You are worthy, O Lord! You’re the Lamb that was slain. You purchased men for God with Your blood. That’s why You’re worthy. You were willing to seek and save the lost. You were willing to lay down Your life as a ransom for many.
The nature of the life that is walking in agreement with God is that our heart be the same heart that He had. And that is a Fatherheart to nurture and to reach out to other people to bring many sons to glory. That’s to do the ministration in the Holy Place, to do the work of God on a daily basis in the Holy Place.
There are three characteristics of fathers. First of all maturity, hopefully. You can judge for yourself how you do in your own families, but at least the quality that seems to be there is there’s got to be a maturity in our lives to be fathers.
Number two is birthing people into the Kingdom of the beloved Son. There’s got to be that birthing into the Kingdom of the beloved Son. We’ve got to be birthing people into that. There is no such thing as a father that never had a child. I don’t know any other way to put that. If you’re not birthing and moving into that Fatherheart of birthing.
And then thirdly, nurturing people in their lives. Every father must also nurture. “Bring them up, Fathers, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). That command is not to mothers, it’s to fathers. Nurturing and admonishing in the Lord is the Fatherheart of God. As we are progressing from being children with just our sins forgiven into the next step of life in Christ, there’s got to be a fathering, because we can’t stay in God’s purposes and not walk in agreement with Him, and that’s His nature.