Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Intimacy With Daddy: Be Encouraged

Sometimes we allow doubt and fear to reign over us because we do not understand the nature and character of our God. Yahweh is at heart a father, our father. He is not a failed father. He is not distracted or self-centered. He has not walked away from his children, abandoning them to some impoverished destiny. He is not abusive nor manipulative.

Our Father, daddy, is attentive to his children. We are his focus. He never takes his eye off of us and is always at hand to rescue us from our own foolishness. He guides, protects and loves us through his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Just as he formed a nation from Abraham, he has formed a new nation; a people who were not a people and he has called us his own. We have been adopted through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus. Because of the blood of Jesus we are now fully his and he is responsible for our care.

When we look to his heart for Israel we can better understand his heart for us. Through the prophet Isaiah, Father told his people:

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine. (Isaiah 43:1)

Hear the assurance in that, "You are mine". But this is Israel and we are the Church; does it really mean that we are his? Yes, because we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, the Son, Jesus Christ. All that we were as the enemy of Father has been washed away and we have been redeemed from our sin so that we are made holy and justified, now adopted and set into the family of Father. He has not done this with one massive sweep of his hand of grace but instead has called us each individually, called by name to have that grace applied individually. He knows us intimately and he says, "You are mine".

Now understand what this means. So often we read from the psalmist "You are my God" and we echo that proclamation with them. In saying this we are saying that we belong to him, understanding our responsibilities as the children of Father, such as obedience, but we also accept the benefits. I don't know where you are in your life right now but I want you to be encouraged by just one these benefits:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you. (v. 2)

One of the simple benefits is that he is with us. We have it even better than the Israelites because we are possessed by the Spirit of Jesus. He abides in us and we in him. He is with us wherever we go and experiences whatever we experience. He is our protector even in the worse possible days. It doesn't say he will prevent us from going through the waters or the fires but he promises that we will go through, we will make it, that the waters will not overwhelm us and the flames will not burn us. Be greatly encouraged:

For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (v. 3)

Daddy has you. He has you in his arms at all times. You are precious to him and he is occupied with you all the time. He doesn't get weary of you, he doesn't take a nap, he doesn't get busy with something else; he is always busy with you. Sometimes I think we fall short in understanding just how much he loves us and how intimate we are with him. Jesus prayed that we would have a full understanding of this intimacy:

that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, (John 17:21)

The Trinity is a great mystery to us but one thing is not a mystery, that Jesus brought us into an incredibly intimate relationship within this Trinity; that we are one with Yahweh. Father knows you, he knows you by name and you are his.

The most assuring part of your day today should be knowing that you are his; you are a child of Father; he has called you to him, redeemed by the Son, he called you by name and said you belong to him. Rejoice! I will tell you again, Rejoice! Praise his holy name. Dance, sing, lift up holy hands because you are possessed of the Spirit, loved by Jesus and belong to Father. What an incredible place to be. Forget about the waters, do not worry about the fires, because Father has told you to not be afraid. Instead, Rejoice! because you are his.

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