Have you ever heard someone refer to God as “The Man Upstairs,” or perhaps more piously, “The Lord?”
Certainly, the Bible is full of titles and descriptions of God, which are appropriate to use when we refer to Him. But there is one sense in which God reveals himself which truly shows the depth of relationship that He wants to have with His people. In fact, God reveals himself to His people as “Father.”
The Apostle Paul’s New Testament letter to the Galatians amplifies this point when it says…
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” (Galatians 4:5-8)
These verses are an incredible description of the type of relationship that God wants to have with us, and in fact, they present us with four things that every child of God has.
The first thing that every child of God has is adoption.
The Bible says that we become God’s children by faith in Jesus Christ. And when we become God’s children, we get to call God, “Aabba, Father!” That word “Abba” is the transliteration of what is basically our word for “Daddy.” In my own prayer life, I have begun to talk to God as daddy. Believe me, when you can pray that way, it changes what you are willing to pray about. It is interesting that even the Lord Jesus began to teach his disciples to pray by telling them to pray “Our Father.” That means that prayer is to be based on a deep, father-child relationship. I happen to have grown up the adopted son of my parents. When I was adopted, I became a Burchard, I was given a new name, and everything that the Burchards had became accessible to me. I also had a daddy to provide for me, protect me, and raise me as his own. I became a son who now had a father.
The second thing every child of God has is God’s Spirit.
Paul says that we receive “the spirit of His son.” That means that no child of God is without heavenly resources. When we come to God in prayer, we come with the spirit of Jesus, and God hears us call Him Father just as clearly as he hears His “only begotten son.” God’s spirit in us gives us full access to all of heaven’s resources, just as bountifully as they were available to Jesus himself! That is incredible truth!
Thirdly, every child of God receives freedom.
Notice that Paul said, “You are no longer slaves.” My relationship with God becomes one of free and fearless fellowship, rather than a fearful “master-slave” relationship where I am always wondering if I’m in trouble with God. As God’s children, we are free from the penalty of sin, free from the power of sin, and ultimately, we will be free from the presence of sin in eternity, all because we are God’s children by faith in Christ.
Fourth, and finally, every child of God receives an inheritance.
Paul ends by saying “if [you are] a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” This means that God has set aside special blessings for every one of his children to inherit. I tell our church “you get the whole enchilada.” That means that every promise God has ever made to His children automatically becomes yours. There are no “favorite sons” with God. All of us get all that God has!
From this fellow “adopted son’s” heart, may I encourage you on this father’s day to reconnect with God as “Abba, Father.”
I believe it is the relationship with God that you have always longed for.