The Good, Good Father
The Good, Good Father
God is most glorified in me when I’m most satisfied with Him. Building a relationship with God depends on how you think He thinks of you. How you think the Father thinks of you, radically affects the way you live and the way you conduct yourself, and the way you relate to Him.
“We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19)
Unadulterated goodness towards you – He’s always looking for some way to be good to you. He does not know how to fail you or to be cruel to you.
“No one is good – except God alone.” (Mark 10:18)
Even when He disciplines you, as every good father does, it’s anger-free. One of the things that humans struggle with, is the idea that God is an angry god. And yet all the anger that God had towards sin, which humans began to indulge in, was poured out on Jesus Christ when he hung on the cross. Which is why Jesus was such a butchered mess when he hung on the cross. Because God poured out His anger on His own son. So that you and I would never have to face His anger again.
Whenever there is anger or a fear of penalty or punishment, there’s torment in that relationship. It’s very hard to approach a person when you’re scared of the person.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
For fear has to do with punishment and whoever fears
has not been perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18)
And so the fear of God is no longer the fear of being punished, but the fear of God is the dread of grieving or offending someone you really like. That’s the intent of the fear of God.
He is an extravagant, embarrassingly lavish father. When was the last time you thought of God like that? Where do you think any of our good qualities came from? It came from the One whom we got our nature and qualities from, the good ones at least.
“He will take great delight in you; in his love
he will no longer rebuke you but will rejoice over you with singing.”
It’s such a rarity to think that He actually laughs over you, He delights over you. I love telling people that the love God has towards you is reckless. There is no caution in the Father’s love for you.
You’re the target of His reckless love.
You’re the focus of His laughter-filled delight.
It’s one thing to say God loves you, but it’s another to say that God likes you. This is the Father’s heart. This is the God of the universe. This is who He really wants you to know Him as. And when we begin to recognize Him this way, everything changes.
At the heart of things, God in His nature, is a father. And once we begin to see God as Father, we begin to operate not as members, not as devotees, not as followers, not as religious Christians or religious people, but we begin to act like children. This is why Jesus made this marvelous statement: “Unless you become like a child, you cannot enter the kingdom of God”
But then how does a child become a child? By relating to a father. And you’ve got a good, good father. This is the nature of God.
The Father’s Discipline
Chapter 12 of the letter to the Hebrews says: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” (Hebrews 12:5-6).
He loves us! Because He loves us, He does not allow us to mess with sin. With his consequences, God teaches us to hate it, teaches us about its destructive power, encourages us to holiness and reveals more clearly the deliverance we receive through Christ and His cross. Therefore, those painful and bitter moments of discipline do not come from the hands of a frowning and distant God, but from a God who reveals himself as a careful Father who, at all times, wishes our good.
He doesn’t love you anymore because you do better, nor does He love you less because you do worse. His parental love is not based on what you do or don’t do. He simply loves you; He only manifests this love in various ways, one of which is discipline. Therefore, even though it seems strange, even under discipline you have reason to celebrate the love of God.
If you are His son, He loves you all the time.
A good, good, perfect Father disciplines the child He loves. It is anger-free; it is meant to propel us into His abundance and Life. Discipline is not punishment or penalty – but takes the form of instruction, correction, and steps to alter my course. It follows unrelenting sin, the loss of the fear of God—and is a way of averting destiny-destroying consequences. Recognize that it is profitable though it is not pleasant—it ceases when correction manifests. It can also take the form of rebuke, affliction, or the raising up of human adversaries (1 kings 11:14)
It is the privilege of sons – from the Father