In this blog I want to share on how to look at GOD as your personal Father. GOD is more then Father as He is infinite but still the Bible does say repeatedly that GOD is our personal Father. The world says everyone is a child of GOD but that's wrong only those who are born again are GOD's children. "But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of GOD, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of GOD" John 1:12-13 ESV. That's why children in foster homes can't just go up to anyone and call someone mom or dad and then be adopted automatically. The parent chooses the child not the other way around. Not many people though respond well when it comes to learning about GOD as their own Father because of how their own fathers treated or mistreated them. A young woman went to a therapist describing her humiliation and hurt from molestation she suffered at the hands of her father, brothers and grandfather. Another young man told a counselor that his parents gave him away to his grandparents simply because they didn't want him anymore. His grandparents in turn put him in an orphanage at five years old where there the director beat him every Sunday if he refused to go to Church. Years later the young man gave his life to Christ and he returned home to his parents to express his love and forgiveness with a gift when his mother saw him she cried out in rage and would not let him enter the house. Another young man shared with a counselor that he could never remember hearing the words "I love you" from his lawyer father. One evangelist was approached by a young man who was willing to give him one chance to share the Gospel with him and the young man asked what GOD is like. The evangelist answered that GOD is like a Father to which the young man answered "is He's anything like my old man you can have Him!" I remember four years ago praying to GOD that He would adopt me and begging Him to be my Father. I remember telling Him that I would be good not perfect but I just wanted a Daddy. I didn't know at the time that GOD was already my Father cause I was a Christian no one had taught me that yet. Even for Christians it is hard to really experience and know GOD as their personal Father. Many times Christians say things like "to me, GOD the Father seems distant. I can't see Him. I can't hear Him. I can't touch Him. I don't feel His love. It's a lot like my dad. He provided for us, but I didn't have much of a relationship with him (GOD)." With divorce rampant and child abuse all over the headlines of today's news it's not surprising that many people respond to the thought of GOD as their Father with anger, resentment and rejection because they have not known a kind, caring earthly father. For some people their earthly fathers died when they were young so a male role model was totally absent from their lives. Some Church's have ministries where male and females become the father or mother figure for those who's biological parents were not their for them. One Pastor even let a full grown woman who he was not married to cry and lean on his shoulder as the woman needed a father figure. One other lady goes to a man for advice and she calls him Papa and he lets her do that. Not every Church does this though because having adult males spending one on one time with adult females can lead to gossip and even though there is nothing going on gossip can really ruin a person's reputation and their lives so if your thinking maybe your Church should do this put it to lots of prayer first.... Weather we have a great earthly father or not the thing about earthly father's is that they are human and can make mistakes and can't always be around. No matter how hard an earthly father tries to be perfect he is going to fall short of perfect. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of GOD" Romans 3:23 ESV. We all need a Father who can literally do anything, who is trustworthy, who is understanding, who is patient, who is kind, who is wise, who is faithful, who is loving, who will always provide for us, who will protect us, who will help us feel and know we're safe and secure, who is always around everywhere and who is always listening to us. Those are very big shoes to fill and there is only One who can fit in them and He is (drum roll please) GOD the Father. "A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is GOD in His Holy dwelling, GOD sets the lonely in families, He leads forth the prisoners with singing" Psalm 68:5-6.... "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are GOD's children" Romans 8:15-16. When I read the verse in Romans I was confused as I didn't know what Abba meant. Abba is hardly used in common language anymore so I looked up the meaning of the word Abba. Abba is Aramaic it was a term of endearment and would most closely be translated as Daddy or Da-Da or Papa. It signifies the close, intimate relationship of a father to his child, as well as the childlike trust that a young child puts in their "daddy." How do you feel inside when you pray too GOD, calling Him "Father"? Do you feel safe, warm and cared for? Do you see Him smiling with arms open wide to you? (As He's portrayed in The Parable Of The Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-32.) My Pastor has a young 5 year old daughter and every Sunday morning I watch her run to my Pastor with her arms open and she shouts "daddy daddy daddy!" And each time my Pastor opens his arms and catches her and hugs her never once does he reject hugging her. Never once does my Pastor say he is to busy to give his children a hug. Never once does his daughter approach him with fear or wonder if its ok to run and give him a hug. Each time I see this I am reminded that this is how we can go to GOD running to Him and He'll have His arms open to us each and every time without fail. We who are saved right now, at this very moment, we are His children. In other words, this is not a promise which GOD will fulfill in the future. No, the truth is we are already GOD's children. We enjoy all the rights and privileges our adoption entails, because we have come to know GOD as our Father. As His children we experience His love and He loves us just as much as He loves Jesus. So how do we respond to this we whose earthly fathers have been absent one way or another? First we must rid ourselves of any misconceptions of GOD we may have. He is unlike anyone who has been, who is or who ever will be there is and never will be anyone like Him. Then we accept GOD for Who He is as He has revealed Himself in the Bible. As GOD's child though its hard for you not to doubt Who He has revealed Himself to be in the Bible because of your personal past hurts of childhood memories, of broken promises and neglect. Perhaps you barely sense GOD around and tend to approach Him with cynicism and distrust. One thing I strongly recommend is Celebrate Recovery. Celebrate Recovery is a free 12 step Christian ministry for any hurt, habit or hang-up and I've seen GOD work miracles in there and He can do the same for you in that program. I also recommend maybe trying a Christian counselor that you trust to talk about your hurts with and help you sort things out. Also please try journaling out your hurts as its a great and helpful tool. And the biggest help of all is prayer tell GOD about your hurts and be honest about how you really feel and ask for His healing... If you have not received Jesus as your Savior yet then please do so now. Don't put it off. "If you declare with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that GOD raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" Romans 10:9 NIV. If you have done this congratulations GOD is now your Father and every Christian is your brother or sister so welcome to the family. Please share that you have received Jesus as your Savior with a Christian we love hearing that stuff.... I would like to finish off this blog with words from a song by Steve Green called I Can See. "All at once He walked beside me like He'd been there all along not a stranger but a Father who can sense when somethings wrong. And He answered all my questions and He understood my fears that somehow vanished now that He was here."