Note: I know this is going to be a touchy subject for some of you because there will probably be someone who reads this who has no idea what having a good relationship with a father is like. I can only imagine what a deep hurt that must be. But I promise you, if you will hang in here with me to the end, I believe God has a word for you just like He has a word for those with a good relationship with their dads.
First of all, I realize how very blessed I am. Not only did I have an amazing relationship with my Daddy (I was a Daddy’s little girl) but my husband is a unbelievably wonderful Dad to our kids. And on top all of that, my grand babies have awesome daddies!
When I look through these pictures, I see love, pride, protection, rest and fun! But there are many things I don’t have pictures of. For example, the way our son Jake has a special way of calming his 5 year old boy, Jase, down when he is about to have a melt down. Or how our son Jordan has a special way of holding his baby girl, Ellie, when she is fighting her sleep – something she desperately needs and he knows it. I don’t have a picture of Kendall when she is hurting how all she wants is her Daddy, Justin. And it would be impossible to capture a picture of how when one of the guys walks in a room their children light up with excitement at the simple sound of their Daddy’s voice.
But my friend, I want to share with you how each of us has a Father – an ABBA Father who is infinitely more awesome, more wonderful, more loving, more anything than my Daddy, my husband or our guys can ever even think about being.
Mark 14: 35-36 – And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
Abba – The Holman Concise Bible Commentary – “Abba is the transliteration of the Aramaic term for father, implying great familiarity and intimacy.” Easton’s Bible Dictionary says it is “a term expressing warm affection and devoted confidence.” A respectful but intimate way of addressing one’s father. It is similar to the term we use as ‘Daddy’.
When Jesus calls God “Abba Father” in the garden of Gethsemane in Mark 14:36, He says it as an expression of humble admiration for His Father, as well as an intimate request asked of God, for God’s will to be shown in this “cup” of sacrifice, that Jesus wouldn’t ask of anyone but God.
Paul uses this same term ‘Abba’ in Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” and in Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
Paul refers to God as Abba Father when he talks about being adopted and becoming God’s children — this means that the God of the universe – the Creator of everything – the one who has always been and always will be – the One who is all knowing, all powerful, all present – this very same God invites each of us to call Him Abba Father! He is inviting us into a personal and intimate relationship.
But why is it important for us to see God as our Abba Father?
1. He gives you life and knows you intimately.
Gen. 1: 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Psalm 139: 13 -14 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
He breathed His very breath into you to give you life — every time you breath – that is the breath of God in you. And not only did He breathe life into you, He personally and intimately and lovingly formed you with His own hands. He even knows your thoughts before you think them, your words before you say them, and your actions before you carry them out. And with all that intimate knowledge of you, He continues to love you like the perfect Father.
2. You will never have to earn his love.
You may have felt that you had to earn your father’s love and respect by accomplishing great things to make him proud of you. God is not a father like that. Romans 5:8 tells us that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” While we were still sinners. While we were still blowing it. While we were not measuring up. While we were oblivious to Him and His love, He sent His Son to die for us. That is unconditional, sacrificial love and it is unlike anything you can experience on this earth. God is a Father who chose to love you and you didn’t do a thing to earn it.
3. His patience and kindness never runs out.
If you’ve ever felt you used up whatever patience or kindness your dad once had, you don’t have to worry about overextending your Heavenly Father. Psalm 103:17 says, “from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children.” Psalm 106:1 says, “for he is good; his love endures forever.” Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
4. He is always available, waiting and watching.
God never has a bad day, is never in a bad mood, and is never too busy or distracted for His child. When you are in relationship with His Son, Christ Jesus, you have complete access to your Heavenly Father’s ear, His heart, His focused attention. Hebrews 4:16 tells us we can “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” And He never sleeps which means He is on call 24/7 — Psalm 121:3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
And when we do mess up He always welcomes us back. We all mess up, but our true Father is constantly on the watch for our return, running to us with joy when we turn back to Him. The father in the story of the prodigal son is a beautiful picture of our Abba Father — He is waiting and watching and as soon as He sees us take one step in His direction, He runs full force to embrace us, hold us and whisper in our ear – I am here and its going to be ok, Welcome home! (Luke 15:11-32).
5. You will never blow it enough to lose his love.
Since there was nothing you could do to earn your Heavenly Father’s love, there is nothing you can do to lose it. Romans 8:38-39 tells us, “Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In other words, no circumstance, seen or unseen power, person, action, or inaction on your part can separate you from God’s love. That is powerful. And that is a promise that only your Heavenly Father has the power to fulfill.
I remember one day riding to the store with my daddy when I was about 4 years old. This was before car seats and seat belts – yes I am that old – and I remember standing in the seat right beside Daddy – leaning against him. We were only going to a little store right down from where we lived. When we got to the store, my daddy told me to stay in the truck; he would be right back. (It was a time when this was safe.) But I wanted to be with my daddy. I tried opening the door to get out so I could go in the store with him. But I couldn’t open the door. It was just about the time my daddy came back out so I decided to stay by the door – I had been disobedient and moved away from him. As we were driving home, the door came open and I fell out of the truck! Before you panic – we were not going very fast and I didn’t get hurt. But this is what I remember more than anything — even though this was my fault – my Daddy quickly stopped the truck, ran around to pick me up and made sure I was okay! Then he put me in the truck right next to me and kept his arm around me the rest of the way back home. I don’t remember if I ever got in trouble for disobeying but I will always remember the concern on my Daddy’s face and how he took care of me and held me close until we were safe at home!
Our Abba Father loves us, provides for us, gives us life, is patient and kind, is always present and available in a way that is greater and more personal than any earthly father ever could. The term “Abba Father” is not one that is just to exclaim praise or recognition, such as with heavenly Father or Father God. Abba Father reflects the knowledge of knowing that God knows us better than we know ourselves and that He established paths for us before we took our first steps as humans. It confirms that we can trust and believe He knows our greatest strengths, our greatest weaknesses, as well as knows our beginning and end. But instead of forcing His will on us, He allows us to meet Him in our own way, with intimacy which can only be felt between Abba and His child!
The Great I Am is inviting you to step towards Him, so He can run to you, pick you up and place you right in His lap – safe in the crook of His arm – just like a Daddy would do. He wants desperately for you to become His child and call Him Abba, Daddy. I am so incredibly thankful for being a Daddy’s girl – not just to my earthly Daddy, but more importantly to my Abba Daddy! I am an Abba Girl!!!!!