“ . . . And He will be called . . . Everlasting Father . . .” Isaiah 9:6
Happy New Year, dear one! I pray that 2014 brings you closer than ever to Jesus and that you fully experience what He died to give you. I hope to.
We have spent the last couple of weeks peeling away the outer wrappings of some of the gifts God gave us in Jesus. I pray that as you discover afresh the valuable contents, your heart will be drawn to dig even deeper. We have barely scratched the surface! But as you pursue an intimate relationship with the Son of God, His gift of the Wonderful Counselor “will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I [Jesus] have said to you” (John 14:26).
One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs as our Counselor is to teach and reveal the deep things of God to each of us. Remember,
“We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.” 1 Corinthians 2:12
God desires for you to know your inheritance, dear one. He never empties; He fills!
Today we peer at the third name of God associated with Jesus’ birth in Isaiah 9:6. Christ opened the way for us to know and experience God as Everlasting Father. Recall the familiar words of John 14:6:
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Jesus is our only way to know God as Father. To belong to the Father, we must know and belong to the Son. John 14:7 adds these words, “If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.”
Beloved, God desires for you to know Him intimately as Father.
Perhaps that thought doesn’t offer you much comfort. The stamp of sin on this broken world leaves many painful relationships in its wake. But regardless of the images the word father may bring to mind, allow yourself to contemplate the ideal dad.
Strong . . . Protector . . . Compassionate . . . Loving . . . Merciful . . .
Dear one, God is the Father you’ve always longed for.
“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Scripture paints a picture of God as the Father who will never leave, no matter how bad things get. And unlike our earthly fathers, Mighty God is always strong enough to save us from the messes we’ve made. Nothing, however, thrills my heart like the words of that last sentence. “He will take great delight in you.”
Haven’t you longed to be the object of someone’s delight? To know that you, above all else, are their greatest source of pleasure and joy? That’s exactly what Scripture teaches about your heavenly Father. God takes great delight in you.
Whether or not we can draw the image from our own childhood experience, we can all conjure up a picture of a doting parent cradling a beloved child, quieting restless cries with loving murmurs and whispered songs. Images of a mother flow more freely, yet the sight of a father assuming that role brings a special tenderness to the heart. Strength choosing to display itself through gentleness moves us.
And that’s exactly how your heavenly Father feels about you.
Picture it, dear one. Has it occurred to you that God desires to hold you in His capable hands and rejoice over you with singing? Longing to quiet you with His love, He yearns to gently lift you into His lap to still your restless heart with tender songs.
Yet many of us squirm and pull away from Him like rebellious toddlers, refusing to allow Him the joy of simply being with us. We have stuff to do, after all. Who has time to merely sit and be held?
Indeed. We have become far too busy scampering after our dreams to spend any time with our Father. And wonder of wonders, the God of the universe has given us the freedom to choose.
But our choice comes at a cost. Our refusal to still ourselves in His presence blocks the flow of His grace. We’ve robbed ourselves of the power we desperately need.
Most of us miss the blessing of God’s commandment in Psalm 46:10,
“Be still and know that I am God.”
We get so busy trying to make things happen in our own lives, we forget that God has asked us to be still, believe, and let Him work on our behalf.
What if you and I chose to alter our thinking as we begin 2014? What if we began to believe that God Himself is our true blessing? What if we sought cherished moments of intimacy with our heavenly Father through Jesus instead of merely seeking the gifts that come from His hands?
God intended to make Jesus the “firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:29). If you have put your faith in Jesus and committed your life to follow Him, you also are a child of God and a recipient of every blessing that comes with it.
Strength… Compassion… Love… Provision… Protection… Mercy… Forgiveness…
Take up your inheritance, dear one. Your Father will fight for you. You need only to be still (Exodus 14:14).