“For this reason, I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Jesus shocked a lot of people by continually calling God His Father. For the Jew, the name of God was too holy to be spoken. For Jesus, God is His Dad! He lived and experienced the rich benefit of being a child of the Almighty. And then, if that was not enough, Jesus began teaching others that they could become children of God as well! They could experience the same blessings He did. Jesus said that just as God His Father took care of Him, the Father will take care of all His children.
Jesus regularly called God His Father: “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing” (John 5:20). Like any father who delights in showing his kids what he is doing, God the Father loved to show Jesus all that He was doing. We can feel the warmth of their relationship. We are invited into that same relationship: “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are”
(1 John 3:1).
How is your relationship with your Father? Do you relish being His child? Do you rest in His love? Do you share with Him the things you would want your child sharing with you? Often we can struggle to become close to our Father because we do not think of Him in that way. We see Him as “God,” far off and distant. We do not see Him as Dad, who is near and cares. Consequently, we miss out on many of the benefits that come from being His child.
Another barrier to embracing God’s Father-ness can be the wounds we have received from our earthly fathers. We are trapped because of what they did or did not do—what they are doing or are not doing. To walk in the benefits of our heavenly Father, we must choose to dethrone our earthly fathers from places of power in our lives.
Jotham was a Judean king in the Old Testament. Second Chronicles 27:2 says, “He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah had done.” Jotham had a great, godly example of a dad in Uzziah through whom Jotham learned to trust in the Lord. When Jotham died, his son Ahaz reigned. Of Ahaz, 2 Chronicles 28:1–2 says,
Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and he did not do right in the sight of the Lord as David his father had done. But he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel; he also made molten images for the Baals.
Ahaz dethroned an ideal fatherly example in Jotham and enthroned terrible fatherly examples in the despotic kings of Israel. This poor decision cut him off from all the benefits of following the Lord.
Jotham and Ahaz model the importance of who you have on the throne of your life. To walk in the benefits of God as Father, we must first dethrone our earthly fathers. In areas where our earthly fathers, like Uzziah, taught us well, we celebrate their lives and are grateful to our Father for their influence!
In situations where our earthly fathers taught us how to live apart from God, we dethrone them like those fathers that Ahaz adopted. We remove them from their place of power. We replace the lies and harm they did to us with the love and truth our new Father offers.
Being a child of God the Father has enormous, life-changing benefits for love, faithfulness, provision, and family. He does not want to be “just” God; He wants to be your Father.
Breathe deeply, knowing your Father is faithful to you.
This devotion is an excerpt from my book, Big, Deep, Breath. It’s a forty-five-day journey to help you breathe in the love and rest of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Big Deep Breath is available from our Trexo website or Amazon.
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