GraceTidings: Walking with your Father

In the Old Testament after they built the tabernacle first and the temple secondly, they didn’t know Him as Father God.

Therefore, I say to you, take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?”. Verse 32 (“For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. (Matthew 6:25-32).

This is a marvelous section of scripture. But for the time being there are just two portions of it I want you to notice. In the 32nd verse, “for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.” And in the 26th verse, “your heavenly Father feeds them.” This isn’t talking about unbelievers here, because He is not the heavenly Father of sinners. To listen to some people talk we are all children of God; God is the Father of all of us, and we’re all brothers and sisters. The truth is that, we are not. His word says it is to those who believed in Him that He gave power “to become children of God”. The devil is the father of some people. Jesus said to some of the most religious people of that day, “You are of your father the devil” (John 8:44).

 He didn’t say our heavenly Father was their father. He said the devil was their father. Yet even though we have been born-again, and have become children of God, I think so many times we have never really become acquainted with our Father. We need to grow by becoming acquainted with our heavenly Father.

If we have been born-again and come into the family of God, God the Father is our Father, and He cares for us. He is interested in us. I mean in each one of us individually; not just as a group, or a body, or a church. He is interested in each of His children and He loves every single one of us with the same love. Jesus was actually preaching here in Matthew to the Jews. Yet one reason they didn’t understand Him was, He talked about God as being His Father. He endeavored to introduce to them a kind, loving, Heavenly Father. They couldn’t understand that kind of a God. His message was, “For God so loved the world that He gave....” They couldn’t comprehend it. The Old Covenant was the covenant of the law of sin and death. It was the law of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

It was the law where God demanded, in awful judgement, love and so forth. They were not able to do it because their natures had not been changed. So He set up the Levitical priesthood whereby the blood of animals could be shed to cover their sins so they could be counted righteous in His sight and He could bless them. The sins of the people could be confessed over the head of the scapegoat. The goat let go in the wilderness. And judgment fell out there instead of on them. They had come up in this hard, harsh atmosphere of justice.

In the Old Testament after they built the tabernacle first and the temple secondly, they didn’t know Him as Father God. They knew Him as Elohim, or Jehovah. They did not know Him personally. They had no personal acquaintance with Him. His Presence was kept shut up in the Holy of Holies. It was necessary that every male throughout Israel, at least once a year, go up to Jerusalem to the temple to present himself before God. That’s where He was. And even then they didn’t dare enter into His Presence. No one entered His Presence save the high priest. And he only under great precaution. For if you intruded into that place in the wrong way, and some did, you fell down dead instantly. This high priest, after offering sacrifice by the blood of animals for his own sins and the sins of the people, could enter into the Holy of Holies and receive atonement for their sins —pushing them off, so to speak, into the future. That was the hard, harsh atmosphere they had come up in. It is no wonder that when Jesus came along to introduce them to a loving, kind, Heavenly Father, they couldn’t understand it. But I’m afraid that is not only true concerning those Jews—I’m afraid it is true concerning the sons and daughters of Almighty God today. We  have never really become acquainted with Him as being our Father. Here are some of the things Jesus said about the Father. “And in that day you shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever, you shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you” (John 16:23). “For the Father himself loves you....” (John 16:27). “...for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him. After this manner, therefore, pray — Our Father....” (Matthew 6:8-9). Notice the utter tenderness of it, “Our Father....” I like something Paul said when he prayed for the church at Ephesus. He began his prayer like this, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Ephesians 3:14-15).

I like to do that. I like to get on my knees and repeat those words of Paul, “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” That makes it so real. It takes it out of a hard, harsh religious atmosphere. This isn’t religion. It hasn’t a thing in the world to do with religion. Some people say, “Do you have religion?” Thank God, I don’t have a bit of it. I don’t want any. When it’s religion, it’s “God”— but when it’s family, it’s “Father.” He may be “God” to the sinner, but He’s “Father” to me. “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family....” It becomes the Father and His family! We are in the family of God.

It’s not important what church you are in—the thing that’s important is what family you are in. I am glad I am in His family. I want to become better acquainted with my Father. I want to know Him better. How can we know more about Him? How can we become better acquainted with our Father? I like something Smith Wigglesworth said, “I can’t understand God by feelings. I understand God the Father by what the Word says about Him. He is everything the Word says He is. Get acquainted with the Father through the Word.”

It is in the Word that we find out about Him, about His love, about His nature, about how He cares for us, about how He loves us. Jesus himself said, “Man shall not live by bread alone—(How shall he live?) — but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

The people Jesus was preaching to never grasped it. It was new to them. It’s almost new to us. We’ve never grasped it, because most of us have been taught to fear and shrink from a God of justice. We have never seen the love side of God that Jesus came to bring us. God is an amazing Father whose love is immeasurable. He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:15).

Whilst we were yet sinners God sent His Son to come and die for us. He did not wait for us to clean ourselves up, but He loved us in that state of sin.

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