As one looks around the Church today it seems there is a lot of imbalance regarding the character of God. To a large number of people He seems to be the great Sugar Daddy in the sky that exists to fulfill their every whim and fancy. To others He appears to be an austere Being who is constantly angry and poised with an upraised fist, just waiting for the moment He can gleefully rain down fiery judgment on sinful mankind. Talk about extremes! While both these pictures have an element of truth to them, it is easy to see that we need to move toward a more balanced view of the Lord.
The Balancing Revelation
For me, the revelation of God that provides us with the most balance is that of Him being our Father.
Think about it.
Speaking in the ideal sense, as the progenitor, of children a father has the responsibility to raise his kids and train them how to live in society. He therefore has the authority to set the standards for their conduct, as well as decide the consequences when the standards are not met. This is the side of authority and accountability that should command a sense of respect in the hearts and minds of a man’s kids.
Not only should a father be the one who sets and enforces the standards, he should also be the one who provides his children with a sense of love and contentment. They should know that he will make sure they have everything they need. They should also know that he is there to cuddle them close when they are sad, or tickle them senseless in a moment of unbridled joy. This aspect of fatherhood is typically addressed as “Dad.”
We can certainly find these two aspects in God as our Heavenly Father. Let’s look at a couple of examples.
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 1st Peter 1:14 – 19
Peter portrays our Heavenly Father as One who is absolutely unwavering in His standard of holiness. He is holy himself and expects His people to be holy. He will one day call us to give an account of how holiness played out in our lives. According to Peter, this should evoke a healthy sense of fear in our hearts.
On the other hand, we definitely see our Heavenly Father’s love. He is is the One who redeemed us from our sins with the precious Blood of His Son, as John tell us in in 1st John 4:9 – 10.
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
God loved us when we were the most unlovely and sent His Son to be the Sacrifice that would finally settle the sin question once and for all.
Do you see the two aspects of God as our Father?
The Spirit Cries Out
Now let’s look at what Paul says about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:6
The Holy Spirit of God brings us into an awareness of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Notice that He also causes us to respond to God in the balance of His character. When He comes into our hearts, He cries out “Father.” This causes us to recognize God as the One we look to as our Authority Figure; the One to whom we will one day give an account of our lives. He also cries out, “Abba!” Abba was an Aramaic term of endearment directed toward the male parent. Some say the closest English term we can compare it to is Daddy. This means the Holy Spirit also brings us into an awareness of our Heavenly Father’s love and care. We know we can come to Him in whatever season of life we find ourselves in and He will be there for us. Thus the Holy Spirit leads us to relate to our Father in Heaven in a very balanced way.
What’s Your View?
What is your view of God? If we leave out either aspect of His character we end up missing out on a lot in our relationship with Him. Ask the Father to bring you into a full and balanced relationship with Himself. Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the fullness of your Heavenly Father’s character. Only as we discover the fullness of God’s true character will we truly discover the fullness of what it means to be living in the Reign.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.