The Revelation of God through Relationships 2
God's Greatest Gift: His Son
When God decided to give the world the greatest gift, He could have given us anything: technology, a miracle, or a person. He did not send us a great chief executive officer, or a general, or a secret agent, or some other modern heroic figure. When God wanted to send something to destroy rebellion and sin on the world, He chose a Son‑‑His only begotten Son. "God is a family man." John 3:16 says, "for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."
Jesus is the Model Son
Jesus was not trained at a seminary for Messiahs, but "He was raised and trained in a family," whose father was a carpenter. Luke 2:52 says, "Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men," as a child. "Jesus had been a good son" in his household, and the Heavenly Father said at Jesus' baptism, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well‑pleased," (Matt. 3:17). "We don't know at what moment Jesus' natural mind understood who He was in the Spirit." Yet, although He probably realized who He was at an early age, He submitted to His parents. He did not become rebellious realizing that He was divine and His father was only a carpenter. He learned how to submit and to be obedient, thus He became a perfect son for us to model our lives by.
"Without a proper understanding of sonship we cannot fully know the heart of the Father. We need to understand the Son. When we look at Jesus we can see it." "We can also relate to the Son as our elder brother, His bride, and His friend."
"Mom is like the anchor and like the nucleus of the family. She is behind the scenes. She is a real servant in the home." She loses her name and becomes anonymous as she serves and helps the rest of the family to get success and credit. The mother is a powerful force in this society. The most dominant feature of a mother, as God intended, is that she is there. "It is an extreme state of rebellion for a woman to leave her children;" thus, most single parent homes have a mother.
Children come to daddy for protection. They go to mommy for comfort. "The mother is the guide," and "amplifies the father's teaching." "She teaches." The Holy Spirit is not given a gender in the Bible, but "the role of the mother models much of the ministry of the Holy Spirit to us." Jesus said that He would not abandon His people, but He would send forth the Holy Spirit to be with them. The Holy Spirit is with us and guiding us and teaching us. The Holy Spirit is gentle and tender and sensitive and easily grieved. Like a mother, the Holy Spirit is behind the scenes. A quiet gentle spirit illustrates the model woman in Proverbs.
How Do We Enter the Kingdom of God?
"Are we recruited? Do we join up somewhere?" "We are born into the kingdom of God." John 3:3 says, "unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." "Birth is a revelation of how you come into the kingdom of God." Birth is a miracle, and so is the new‑birth where a person is regenerated by the Spirit of God.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Our identity in the kingdom is children of God (John 1:12). Beloved, now we are children of God (1 John 3:2). "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:26). "In Maranatha we actually act like brothers and sisters." To treat one another like brothers and sisters would also imply that you would not "make‑out" and kiss one another. There should not be that desire. Mark Caulk says, we should not make‑out "because the sister sitting next to you might be marrying one of your best friends (brothers in the Lord) in the future." "We are brothers and sisters because we have the same blood flowing from us."
Wrongly Performing for Acceptance
"The natural precedes the spirit. God gave us these roles in the natural so we could understand and conceive Him in the invisible realm." Often, people have insecurities because they had fathers that abused them or because their father abandoned them. As a result, they cannot properly conceive of God properly as a father.
Some people are trying to perform for parents, teachers, pastors, and then even God. We are already accepted by God. A little child does not contribute anything to the family, but a father is to accept him regardless. Later in life he will do work, but out of the relationship, not for acceptance. Some people were never able to please their parents no matter how hard they tried. Some women were never loved and approved by their father and they are flirting with men to see if some other guy will give them the love they need. The best husband will not be able to convince her that she is beautiful and all right as a women. Only the blood of Jesus can bring restoration to those who have not had a good father.
God's Plan of Restoration: A Father to the Fatherless
If a person has not been fathered properly or abandoned or not taken care of properly, then God will take personal care of that individual. He will be a father to the fatherless. Ps. 68:5 speaks of God, "a father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation. God makes a home for the lonely." In the NIV, Ps. 68:5‑6 says, "God is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in His holy dwelling. He sets the lonely in families." God will take care of widows and orphans and those who have been "fatherless." God will take care of them in His Holy dwelling‑‑the church, the family of God.
The Church is a Big Family
"A family not only hugs you and loves you, it also spanks you and disciplines you." When a baby is born, all he gets is loving and hugging; but, when the child is about nine months and does something wrong, they need to be spanked. At this moment, the young child thinks his parents have turned on him, but they are lovingly discipling him. They reject the behavior not the person. Similarly, when a person first comes into the kingdom of God, other people will "love him and hug him," but a time comes when he needs to be disciplined.
Family members have chores. "You have to work when you are a member of the family." A committed family member "gets to serve" and to be a part of the family. When guests come, they receive a royal treatment, but family members are to serve while the guests get to relax. A member of a church will receive love, but he will also have to serve and to be disciplined.
Purpose of a Family
"The whole purpose of a family is not so that you can live happily ever after and suck your thumb until Jesus comes back. It is to grow you up so that you can be a reproducer yourself." "Everything we [leaders] do in the kingdom of God is to prepare you so that you can reproduce, so that you can be a woman or man of character, and you can be a giver and you can be a blesser." God blessed Abraham so that he would be a blessing to the whole world.
Parents often idolize their children and "love their children to need them." The parents have then created a dependence between them and the children and vice‑versa. Children are to be brought up to be strong and independent men and women of God. Parents have children only for a little while, then the children should be launched out into ministry and put their dependence on God. The church is to train you to be strong in the Lord and to be able to stand on your own as a missionary or in some other ministry. "God wants to bring order, discipline, and security to this generation by setting them in families that will nurture them to God."
David was an Outcast‑‑Cast Upon the Lord
In Ps. 22:10 David speaks of God, "Upon Thee I have been cast from birth; Thou hast been my God from my mother's womb." Some scholars believe that David was born of another woman other than his brothers' mother, and therefore he was an outcast in the family. He was not included in Samuel's initial search for a king among David's household. He was not loved and accepted, but was "cast out." David was cast upon the Lord, as many others are today. "It is a privileged position to be cast upon the Lord," as a result of being "abandoned."
1. Honor Your Parents
The first key for restoration is to honor your parents, regardless of how good they are. Derek Prince states in his book God is a Match Maker, pages 64‑65:
If you do not honor your parents, you cannot expect it to go well with you. Bear in mind that it is possible to honor your parents without agreeing with them on all points or endorsing everything they do. You may disagree strongly with them in some matters, yet maintain a respectable attitude toward them. To honor your parents in this way is also to honor God Himself, who gave this commandment.
I am convinced that a proper attitude toward parents is an essential requirement for God's blessing on any person's life. In all the years I have dealt with Christians in teaching, pastoring, counseling, and other relationships, I have never met one who had a wrong attitude toward his parents and enjoyed the blessings of God. Such a person may be zealous in many areas of the Christian life, active in the church, energetic in ministry. He may have a place in heaven waiting for him. Yet there is always something lacking in his life: the blessing and favor of God.
Even if your parents were terrible and may have abandoned you, you can still at least be thankful to them for allowing you to be born and giving you an opportunity to live. Eph. 6:2‑3 says, "Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise). That it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth."
2. Recognize That Only the Heavenly Father Can Fulfill You
Jesus said in Matt. 23:9, "call no man father." Our earthly father is to "father" us for a short time, but God the Father then takes the place of being our "father." "We have only one eternal Father." Heb. 12:10 says, "For they [our fathers] discipline us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good; that we might share His holiness." "God always intended to be your father. And He gave you a father to give you some idea of what a father is, so that you would look for Him and grope for Him and find Him and then He would father you for eternity." Some people are looking for someone to be their father, but they won't find him by searching in the wrong place.
3. Stop Searching in the Wrong Place
"To look for a man or a woman to fulfill you is idolatry. They can't do it. Number one, they'll always fail. They're flesh and blood just like you are. There's no perfect people out there floating around somewhere that you're going to meet. Girls, you're not going to meet that guy on the white horse, you're going to meet somebody better. You're going to meet a frail human being like yourself whose filled with the Holy Spirit. And you're going to walk through life together learning God's grace. Amen. And guys, you're not going to meet some girl who just appeared underneath a lily pad somewhere‑‑delicate and perfect in every way. Do you know what I tell people about God's Perfect Choice? Do you know what to expect? Jesus kinda look in the mirror‑‑about your maturity level, Amen, about your physical level. That's what God is going to give you. And then you'll grow together. Some of you go 'Oh Lord, I'm in trouble.' Most of us we want to drive a Cadillac when we ought to drive a ford. Well, let me tell you something. You grow together. God's not unjust when He puts couples together. It's wonderful. It's beautiful."
We need to go to God and get our affirmation from God, not others. Fulfillment can only be found in the Heavenly Father, not in others.