Get to Know God As Father
By Rick Warren
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name’” (Matthew 6:9 NIV).
In the thousands of years covered in the Old Testament, God is called “Father” only seven times. People just didn’t think of God as Father. They thought of him as other kinds of things — Creator, Almighty One, etc. But they didn’t think of God as Father. Then Jesus came along and said this is how you’re to pray: Call him Father. Jesus uses the expression more than 150 times to refer to God.
What he’s doing is exploding all the stereotypes. God is not the angry tyrant. God is not the cosmic cop. He is not the universal killjoy. He is not the impersonal force. God is a personal God. He wants to have a relationship with us, and he created you with the ability to have a relationship with him.
There’s only one problem. For many people, the word “father” is a negative term. The word “father” may bring up all kinds of bad memories. A lot of people say, “Our Father, who art in Heaven? If God’s like my father, then no thanks, God.”
The truth is, some human fathers can make home a hell on Earth. Human fathers can be fickle, moody, abusive, controlling, and violent. So the words “our Father in Heaven” carry a lot baggage for some people.
The reason why many people never connect with God is because they unconsciously think God is like their earthly father, who may have been unreasonable, so they think God is unreasonable. Or, maybe their father was unreliable, so they think God is unreliable. We impose all those mixed-up hurts and emotions onto God, and it’s no wonder we have a hard time connecting with him.
Many kids today have very little connection to their father. So why would they be expected to have a connection with their heavenly Father? It’s no wonder we don’t understand God!
We need to let go of the misconceptions and myths we have about God so we can understand the truth of what God the Father is really like. Because the truth will set you free! Misconceptions keep you disconnected from God. But when you really know him, you’re going to love him.
Talk It Over
- What are some other factors or people that contribute to our misconceptions about God?
- In what ways do you relate well to your father? Do you identify with God in the same ways?
- How can you get to know who God the Father really is?
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The Bible says very clearly that you were created for connections. In this new message series, Connecting with God: The Lord's Prayer, Rick Warren lays out practical steps for you to connect with God and loved ones by examining the Lord’s Prayer. Christianity is not just a belief system; it’s a belong system. Learn how to connect and live the joyful life you were meant to live.
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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