Have you ever wondered, “If the man upstairs is trying to get even with you?” Or “If God really does not care for you?” Or have you blamed God because something bad happened to you or to someone that you love? If you have had these thoughts you are not alone. The problem with each of these questions is they assume that God is against you. This is not what God has revealed to us about himself.
This past week I asked a number of people two questions. The first question was, “Did you father have an impact on your life? And if so was it a positive or negative impact?” What surprised me was the number of people that shared how their relationship with their father (or lack of relationship) had a negative impact. One gal shared how her father’s absence left her feeling that she did not matter. Others shared how they felt they could never satisfy their father. If they got a “C” grade on a test dad would ask why did you not get a “B.” If they earned a “B” then why didn’t you get an “A.” And if they got an “A” in a class why didn’t you get an “ A“ in the other classes. Of course there were those that were blessed with good dads and they were able to share positive ways in which they were influenced. My second question was, “Has your relationship with your father influenced your perception of God?” Everyone that I spoke with said yes, except for one person. Obviously, those that had a good dad had a good impression of God while those with not so good fathers had a poor view of God. The gal mentioned above about the impact of divorce shared how it definitely has influenced her perception of God. She struggles with feeling that He does not care. She added and that her step-father’s focus on his wife (her mother) and his children also reinforced that feeling that she did not matter which also contributed to her view of God.
How about you? How would you answer those two questions? What I realized in preparing for this message is that our view of God, influenced by our earthly fathers may be one of the greatest barriers to a healthy relationship with God. If we feel that God is out to get us, then we are going to push him away or we are going to do things out of obligation driven by fear. If we feel like God does not care, then we will not be motivated to worship Him, learn of Him or even lean on Him by bringing our needs to Him in prayer. Jesus even used how the healthy example of our earthly father meeting our needs as a motivation for us to pray. He then makes this connection with God when he states, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)
I do not have the space to go into everything that we looked at Sunday so I encourage you to check on the full sermon here. We scratched the surface by looking at how God loves you demonstrated in His sacrifice, purity, kindness and when necessary correction. We also touched why you can trust God with your life as we looked at Him knowing everything, being everywhere present and all powerful. If your personal relationship with God is lacking maybe you need to dig a little deeper to learn more about God and His love for you! He really is the father that you always wanted.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson