The Knowledge of God: Encountering the Father Heart of God

JESUS REVEALED THE FATHER

The Spirit is calling the Church to encounter the Father. From the beginning, God has had a father’s heart and wanted to share His love with a family. The cry of our heart is to see the Father. The message of the Father’s heart transforms our heart and delivers us from strongholds.

7If you had known Me, you would have known My Father…8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” 9 “…He who has seen Me has seen the Father…” (Jn. 14:7-9)

If we understood Jesus’ teaching, mission, and personality, then we would know the Father. As we study the gospels to see what Jesus said and did, we learn about the personality of the Father. As we read the gospels, we are to see that the Genesis 1 God of power is a tenderhearted Father.

Jesus clarified the main purpose of His ministry. He came to reveal the Father, in a Jewish context, which mostly portrayed God only as the transcendent creator of Genesis 1. They felt they should keep their distance from Him, as they trembled before His power and holiness. Jesus taught that by understanding the Father’s affections, they could have confidence before Him.

God’s names reveal different facets of His personality. He has over 300 names in Scripture. The primary focus in Jesus’ teaching on God was to reveal Him as our Father. Jesus emphasized the affectionate, deeply involved, relational dimension of God’s personality as Father.

26 I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it… (Jn. 17:26)

The Holy Spirit is restoring the first commandment to first place by revealing the Father to us. We cannot love God with all our heart until we know He loves us with all His heart and strength. God empowers us to love Him by revealing Himself as One who loves us.

19 We love Him because [we understand that] He first loved us. (1 Jn. 4:19)

The measure of the Father’s love for Jesus is the measure of His love for all of His children. This is the ultimate revelation of our worth. The Father feels about you in the same way that He feels about Jesus. He will never increase in His love for Jesus. Therefore, since He loves you in the same way, He will never increase or decrease in the measure He loves you.

23 That the world may know that You…have loved them as You have loved Me. (Jn 17:23)

The human heart was created with a longing for the assurance that we are enjoyed by the Father. Our life is revolutionized as we see how the Father feels about us in our weakness. The Father enjoys us, not just after we are fully mature in heaven. He actually enjoys us during our spiritual journey. He likes us while we are growing, not just after we grow.

Our lives are unsettled without a “stabilizing anchor” until we know the embrace of God as our Father. We especially need the assurance that we are enjoyed by God, even in our weakness.

9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. (Mt. 6:9)

Many who are sincere are paralyzed by shame in their relationship with God. A life of shame leads to a life of sin. If we feel dirty before God, then we will live dirty. The battle for our faith is waged in understanding what the Father is thinking and feeling about us when stumble.

The essence of eternal life is to encounter God the Father and the Son. Life without the Father is the essence of hell.

3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ… (Jn. 17:3)

We are to behold or to be attentive to how the Father feels about us. It is not difficult to believe that God loves perfected believers in heaven. The difficulty is in believing that He has affection for weak people in this age.

1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us… (1 Jn. 3:1)

The Spirit helps us experience the Father. Through us He cries out, “Abba.” Abba is a term of endearment like “Papa.” It is respectful, yet affectionate and intimate. As the spirit of adoption, He reveals our position as adopted sons and daughters. Being adopted speaks of a legal position of privilege, in which the child becomes an heir of the family name, resources, and estate.

15 You received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Rom. 8:15)

As adopted children we have access to the Father’s heart. The Abba revelation empowers us to endure difficulty and to reject Satan’s accusations that we are hopeless failures. We experience deliverance and wholeness as He equips us to walk out the fullness of our destiny in this life.

The ocean of God’s love includes the pleasure of being tenderized, desiring, and enjoying God. It is God’s desire that we would be rooted (agricultural) and grounded (architectural) in His love.

17 You being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend…the width, length, depth and height– 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge… (Eph. 3:17-19)

GOD ENJOYS US AS A SINCERE BELIEVER EVEN IN OUR WEAKNESS

Jesus paid the price that we might stand before God with the confidence of having His favor.

17 If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new…21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor. 5:17-21)

God does not confuse spiritual immaturity with rebellion. God loves unbelievers, yet He loves and enjoys believers. He immediately rejoices over us at the time of our repentance. He smiles over us when we begin the growth process with repentance, long before we attain maturity.

4 What man…having a hundred sheep…does not leave the ninety-nine…and go after the one…? 5 When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing…6 he calls together his friends…saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents… (Lk. 15:4-7)

He smiles over us when we begin the growth process, with sincere repentance, long before we attain spiritual maturity. He sees the sincere cry of our spirit to walk with Him.

Both the sincere and the rebellious get stuck in the mud. However, their responses are different. Our victory begins with our sincere intention to obey God. God defines us by these intentions.

It takes confidence before God to be a wholehearted lover of God. The Lord wants us to have a twofold confidence. First, we are to be confident that He loves us in our weakness. Second, we are to be confident that He esteems our weak love for Him as genuine, rather than as false love.

Sheep fight and kick to get out of the mud. Whereas, the swine fight and kick to get back in the mud. The Old Testament law spoke of clean and unclean animals: sheep and swine both become stuck in the mud.

Our most sincere efforts to love God are flawed and fragile. We have a greater capacity for sin than we comprehend (Jer. 17:9). Who can know the depth of sin that we are capable of?

Jesus feels compassion over the prodigals on the day they repent. The newly repentant, yet immature, prodigal son had many areas of his life that still needed transformation.

17 When he came to himself, he said …18 “I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned…19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.’” 20 When he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. (Lk. 15:17-20)

God feels gladness and enjoyment of His prodigals on the day they repent. The father made this known by giving the prodigal son the best robe and the family ring on the very day he returned.

21 The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned…and am no longer worthy to be called your son.” 22 But the father said…, “Bring out the best robe…and put a ring on his hand…23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” They began to be merry. (Lk. 15:21-24)

This parable is not primarily about a son who lost his inheritance, but about a father who lost his son and how the father gets his son back.

We can have a new beginning with God, as a first class citizen, after we sincerely repent. We “push delete” after we have sincerely repented.

22 Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lam. 3:22-23)

God delights in showing us mercy. He wants us confident that He enjoys us (even in our weakness) as we walk in sincere repentance. Then we run to Him instead of from Him.

18 He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. (Mic. 7:18)




Incoming search terms for this article:

1 comment

  1. ayesha khan says:

    I think you’ve made some truly interesting points. Not too many people would actually think about this the way you just did. I’m really impressed that there so much about this subject that’s been uncovered and you did it so well, with so much class. Good