Heart Thoughts - Which Father? 5/31/17

Which Father?

"He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth. When he lies, it is consistent with his character, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44....."So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves.You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into His family, calling Him Father, dear Father." Romans 8:15


Which father are we most familiar with? Which has the most power and influence over us? He who is the Father of Truth and Life, or the one who is the father of lies, falsehood, and self-loathing? I once thought there were only two types of listeners; those who heard the words and voice of the Father of Truth and Life, and those who listened to and heeded the voice of the father of lies. The first were those who were Christ's, the second were those without Him. I have come to see that there is a third group; those who hear and seek to heed the voice of the Father of Truth and Life, but who at the same time, fall victim again and again to the voice of the father of lies. Those who are in the first group know and experience His freedom. Those in the second live in deception, and have no idea of the life that they are blind to. The third group has the same place in the heart of the Father as the first. They are His children, adopted into His family through the blood of Christ and faith in His saving grace. They too know the truth, but do not experience it in their lives. Instead of living as His children, they exist as orphans, believing that all things must be earned, that they must prove themselves to Him first. They cannot call Him "Father, dear Father," until they have won the right to do so. There are rules to keep, procedures to be followed. Not just once, but each day. Their place at His table must be won, and any failure is punished. Indeed, any failure, any sin, disqualifies them in His sight. The future and hope they know He has promised is lost to them because their failures have left them out. Their place at His table is gone. The best they can now hope for are scraps from that table. They think it is the voice of the Father of Life who has told them this, when in reality they have heard the "words of the hater in the darkness." The father of lies has deceived yet another of His children.

Years ago I read a wonderful book titled "The Lies We Believe," and there are so many. Foremost among those lies may be our belief that though we are saved by grace, we must live by the law. There was a time when I lived in fear of failing Him in some way, and so disqualifying myself from His love and care. Displeasing Him would disqualify me. It wold leave me outside of Him. I lived, like so many do, with the orphan mentality that said any slip-ups in His house would get me shipped back to the orphanage. Though made a son in Christ, I kept on living like an orphan. As a result, I knew much about His grace, love, joy and peace, but experienced so little of it. Living for Him was exhausting and defeating. I knew all about His abundant life, but experienced very little of it. How true is this for you as well?

I don't believe in cheap grace, and I believe we are accountable before Him for the way in which we live our lives in Him. But instead of having a Father who looks like the unjust judge in the gospel, I have a Father who longs for me as did the father of the prodigal in that same gospel. The first is the creation of the father of lies, the second is the Father as He really is. Which one is it that we listen to, seek, and yield to? 

What are the lies we are believing right now? To what degree have they stolen our peace and joy in Him? What has the father of lies managed to steal from you in your walk with the Father of Truth and Life? I once saw a definition for the word "redeemed" as the act of taking back what has been stolen. May every lie we have believed be redeemed, taken back, by and through the blood of Christ. May we come to His table. May we live there. Free, as His children. Orphans no more.

Pastor O