Of Fathers and Sons

We live in a Fatherless World, as I explained in a recent post. So, how do fathers and sons work together to create this fatherless situation? That’s the question I want to explain in this update posting.

Fatherless-ness Defined

Fatherless-ness is the condition of being without the true fathering which God intended. Fathering is a divine calling and privilege. Yet in today’s world men think they can make of it what they want. So they become the kind of fathers that they choose to become, without regard for their divine calling. Most people today have lost sight of the foundations for their lives, so they follow the crowd. If other fathers do things a certain way then that social norm becomes the reference point for most fathers. Then, in the absence of truth to guide fathers to their real calling, they function as something less than a father. That creates a situation of fatherless-ness.

When a child is raised without the high level of spiritual responsibility and guidance that a real father is meant to bring to the child, then the child is fatherless, even if that child has a very present, very pleasant dad in their life.

Dad doesn’t create fathering. God created fathering and calls men to fulfil that mandate. Sadly, most men are either ignorant or irresponsible. They go about providing what they choose to provide in their role as dads. So their children are fatherless.

How Dads Create Fatherless-ness

When a dad is absent the child clearly is fatherless. With immorality rampant many children are born without fathers and not able to determine who their real father is. I spoke recently with a woman who was told by her mum that her dad would have been one of two men who the mum was not married to. Without DNA testing the daughter cannot be certain which of the men is her real dad. But she is at least lucky enough to narrow it down to two.

So the absentee father is one cause of fatherless-ness, but it is not the greatest cause of this problem from the dad’s side of the equation.

The more insidious fatherless-ness occurs when there is the appearance of a father, but the absence or true fathering, as I described earlier. When ever a man fails to be the man that God has called him to be or the father that God has called him to be, then he creates fatherless-ness.

I once worked with a family where the father had virtually no manhood. He acted much like his own children, but he had less intelligence than they did. He held down a menial job and left the running of the home to his wife and her father, who provided the mature male role in the home. The man’s children mocked him openly. He was a joke to them, and yet he thought such a situation was normal and reasonable. Such a man creates fatherless-ness, because he is not functioning as a father in that home.

When a dad lives for himself and raises his children as it suits him, he makes his children fatherless. When a dad ignores God’s authority over him and through him to his children, he makes his children fatherless. When a man abdicates from his manhood and leaves the home to his wife to run, he makes his children fatherless.

Dads create fatherless culture by their failure to be the fathers God created them to be in their child’s life.

How Children Create Fatherless-ness

Children also create fatherless-ness. They do it by rejecting their fathers. When children rebel against the instructions of their father, they make themselves ‘fatherless’. Just as refusing to drive a car, even when you have one in the garage, makes you effectively ‘car-less’, so refusing to honour your father, even though you have one in your home, makes you effectively ‘father-less’.

Children choose to become fatherless when they find that their dad frustrates their will. When the child decides to go against the father’s instructions or pull against his limitations, the child removes their self from being ‘fathered’. So the child becomes fatherless.

When children spend much of their life under the influence of their peers (as is the almost universal experience of western children) it is to be expected that the children will value the peer culture above their parent’s values. The child will be sorely tempted to side with the peers rather than the parents when these cultures conflict. When the child chooses to side with the peers that child replaces the father with the peer culture. The child is then fatherless.

Since the child will likely be determining his or her values from social norms, rather than from Biblical truth or some other external and unchanging reference point, the child will be encouraged to think that their fight for independence from parental control is normal and reasonable. They will have no idea that they have permanently damaged themselves and contributed to the fatherless world in which they live.

God the Father

Among the various responses that can be suggested in this fatherless world, the most powerful one is to firmly set God as Father in our lives. God is a father, as Jesus pointed out when He taught us to pray, “Our Father in Heaven…” That truth was already given in the Old Testament Scriptures.

“But now, O LORD, You are our father; we are the clay, and you our potter; and we all are the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8

“For whom the LORD loves he corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12

“Like as a father pities his children, so the LORD pities them that fear him.” Psalm 103:13

God is not only a father, He is the most perfect and complete, fully functioning father that could ever be imagined. Having God as our father brings into our lives all that our natural fathers were incapable of binging to us. So it is more than a nice idea to have God as our Father. It is an extremely powerful reality that will impact who we are more than just about anything else we could do.

I encourage you to overturn fatherless-ness in your life, but entering into intimate relationship with God as your Heavenly Father.

Sovereignty Banned!

As I have reviewed the subject of personal sovereignty with you in recent months I have sought to open your eyes to the special privilege you have of doing business, directly and personally, with the God of all creation. Our greatest authority comes from the highest official – and so coming under the direct authority of God gives us authority that cannot be trumped by lesser beings.
True sovereignty, however, is not found in asserting personal rights, attending assertiveness training courses, defying authorities or the like. True sovereignty is all about you being in direct, personal relationship with God. He is the ultimate sovereign citizen of the universe. No-one can contend with His authority. When you are an intimate friend of God, falling at His feet and living only to do His will, you can walk in the fullest expression of your personal sovereignty.
Much of what others might think of as exercising their personal sovereignty may well be rebellion, arrogance, defiance against authority, self-will and ignorance. Please avoid such things.
Now, as I have pointed out, a person who truly walks in their personal sovereignty is able to exercise power and influence greater than governments, regimes and armies. That is the reason, I suggest, that evil regimes are so determinedly antagonistic to Christian faith and the Bible.
There is no more empowering experience and no more sure way to establish a person’s personal sovereignty, than to have them enter into personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no more empowering resource than the Bible. When people live by faith in God, through Jesus Christ, committed to the Bible as the inerrant word of God, they are empowered and willing to exercise personal freedom like no other people. Evil regimes, therefore, run the risk that divinely empowered people will be able to challenge them in the same way Elisha challenged the King of Syria, or David brought down Goliath. No evil regime wants to have young people in its own domain who can exercise greater clout than the dictator, nor some lonely prophet who can topple their power.
Have you noticed that communist and other dictators are quick to ban the Bible, restrict Christian worship and punish people of faith? It is a trade-mark of many regimes. They ban the Bible and Christianity, because they are trying to do away with personal sovereignty.
Notice this quote from Horace Greeley: “It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom.” The ‘human freedom’ identified by Greeley is that right to stand before God. A person who can stand confidently before his maker is the freest person on the planet. He may be in prison, outlawed, or otherwise oppressed by man, but his soul and spirit are free, even freer than the dictators who incarcerated him.
Napoleon also recognised the incredible power inherent in the Bible and the faith that springs from it. He said: “The Bible is no mere book, but a Living Creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it.”
For that reason Bibles have been taken to oppressed people, as part of the process of setting those people truly free. The Bible has the power to liberate souls, and consequently to liberate peoples and nations.
Note, however, that in the West there has been a subtle banning of the Bible. It is no longer allowed to be read in schools as it was when I was a boy. A weekly Bible lesson was conducted in my classes, by the school teacher, as part of the class curriculum. That small inculcation of the Word of God had its effect, especially when combined with the many other places where the Bible was spoken and its teachings propagated. But today much of that sowing of the Bible has been made illegal, and we have a generation more ready to succumb to tyranny than we had before. We have a people closer to losing their human freedom.
I, for one, am keen to propagate the Bible and its teachings. I also encourage every one to explore their personal sovereignty before God. I want whole generations committed to walking with God, according to the Word of God, living by faith in God, obedient to the will of God, empowered by the Spirit of God, so that they can build the kingdom of God and turn back the forces of oppression which aim to enslave them and their children.
I commend to you your personal sovereignty. Don’t let anyone ban it or rob you of it. Pursue God. Read the Bible. Put your faith in Jesus Christ. Humble yourself before God. And live the destiny God has uniquely created for you. I challenge you to do so, in Jesus’ precious and powerful name. Amen.

Touching Lives

This is a posting I made on another site and thought I would share with you. Many years ago, when I was a young sales rep, I found myself sitting in a high-powered office overlooking Sydney Harbour, in front of the Advertising Manager of an International Cosmetics company. In the minutes that followed I sensed that this man had something troubling him.

I had been praying that God would give me opportunities to share about Him with people. After shifting in my seat for a while I ventured to ask if there was something bothering him. He said, “Yes”, and then he poured out about his wife leaving him and his life being in a mess.

I suggested that he needed God. He didn’t throw me out of his office, but looked like he wanted to hear more. So I explained why we need Christ and God’s forgiveness. I explained the wonder of relationship with God.

Then, with a gulp, I asked him if he wanted that kind of help in his life. He said, “Yes”. I led him through the sinner’s prayer, anxious that I get him to pray all the right things. I stumbled my way through to the “Amen”.

I looked up, itchy with discomfort. He just sat there with his head bowed, for what seemed like ages. Then he slowly lifted his head and looked at me. He said, “That was an amazingly emotional experience.” Well it sure was for me – I was exhausted by it all. But there he was, touched by the hand of God. 

I never saw him again. I was just a boy and he was a high-powered executive. I have no idea what came of him after that amazing encounter. But experiences like that have given me a strong taste for helping people. Touching lives is a privilege we all want to have – and touching lives with the love and power of God is an exciting moment for us all.

Godly Seed – with a Heart After God

Parents have the challenge of raising “Godly Seed“. Each child is to become a Child of God, by faith in Christ and a life of godliness, worthy of God as their Father. Malachi 2:15 instructs us that “God created marriage because He wants GODLY SEED.”

“The issue of “seed” is significant, since a seed REPRODUCES itself in succeeding generations. Just as an apple tree creates new apple trees through succeeding generations, “godly seed” will produce new godly seed through succeeding generations. God is not looking for “good kids”, “nice people”, “good citizens”, “successful people” or any such thing. God is looking for “Godly Seed“!!!

So, what is a “godly seed” that will produce another “godly seed”? The answer lies in the “heart“. Godly Seed children have a “heart after God“. David the shepherd boy is said to have a “Heart after God’s own heart” Acts 13:22. Don’t mistake godliness for certain prescribed behaviours. Godliness is not a ritual, liturgy or external display of approved actions. Godliness is in the heart, or it does not exist at all.

Godliness reflects a relationship with God, based on faith in God and trust in the Salvation that is ours through Jesus Christ. It involves a “heart after God”, which longs for God’s presence and operates in the fear of God.

Parents, your challenge is to create godly seed. But before you go off putting legalistic strictures on your child, so they behave in a worthy manner, stop and recognise that your focus is not the actions, but the child’s heart. And a word of inspiration for you – Don’t expect to guide a child’s heart toward God if you have not already won the child’s heart.

“Our Father……….” What an IMPACT!

It is not uncommon to find people who are lost and in search of meaning and direction in life. It is also not uncommon for such people to find exciting meaning and direction in life when they experience God as their “Father” in a new way.It was Jesus Christ who promoted relationship with God as “Father”, particularly through the prayer that came to be known as the “Lord’s Prayer” (since it came to us from the Lord – Jesus Christ). 2,000 years ago the Jewish people thought that God should be revered by being made unapproachable. They decided not to call God by His name but to identify Him by the four lettertetrogram, YHWH. It was even considered blasphemous to call God by a name.When Jesus came on the scene and spoke freely of God as “Father”, He not only threw aside religious superstition, but also connected people to God as a loving and gracious resource with special interest in their lives.The Lord’s Prayer starts with “Our Father, who is in Heaven…” By that prayer Jesus taught people to approach God as their Heavenly Father.So it is that when people encounter God and discover Him as their Heavenly Father, they often find meaning, direction, fulfillment, confidence and wholeness which they did not know before. This is the Impact of having a Father!!!So take a moment and think about the implications of all this. When people who feel an absence of the ministry of a loving father in their life find God as their Heavenly Father they come to levels of completion, direction, meaning and so on, which they previously longed for. What does that say about the value of having a “father” in your life? Doesn’t it clearly indicate that each one of us would be enriched and impacted if we could all enjoy a higher level of fathering in our lives?Praise God that He is a “father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5). When the level of fathering we experience is deficient, we are as one who is “fatherless” in the affected areas. So God can then be a “father” to us in the areas where we are “fatherless”. God is able to meet each one of us and bring incredible ministry into our lives, whether we are a genuine orphan or have grown up in a loving home.Yet, recognize also that it is FATHERING that makes the difference!! This is a significant observation for all fathers and men to note. The role of fathers in the lives of their children is so valuable that God Himself takes it up if the fathers have failed.This article is called “Our Father” What an Impact! ….. because I want you to recognize the vital importance, the IMPACT, of “fathering”. Wives need to realize the desperate need for their children to have the ministry of a “father”. This comes both from the child’s natural father and also through God making up the deficits left by a man who does not rise to his calling. A double dose of “mother” does not replace the “father”.I need to insert here that a step-father or adoptive father can most certainly provide the input of a “father” in a child’s life. How can I say that? Because God, as our Heavenly Father, ADOPTS US into His Family. We are His “adopted” children, and yet His Fathering in our lives is the VERY BEST FATHERING we could ever get.So don’t get distracted by the hopelessness of the absent biological father. Just choose to value the wonderful provision of “fathering” which God upholds by His own example.

And remember, you don’t have to go chasing after a man to fill the fathering need in your child’s life. God is the very best father and so your children need to be introduced to Him, as their loving Heavenly Father, who is vastly better than all the other fathers on earth put together.