To have a deep personal relationship with someone you have to know that person – who they are – what they are like – their qualities – what they like and dislike – how they respond – and so on. So to fulfill the command of Matthew 22: 37 to – Love the Lord your God – with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind – not only do you need to spend time with God but you also need to get to know Him. That word ‘know’ – is not so much about gaining information about God – but rather about actually experiencing Him – doing life with Him! So what’s God like?
In 1 John 4: 8 it says that – GOD IS LOVE! However love has no meaning outside relationship so this alone shows you that God desires relationship – a relationship with you built on His perfect love. So for God to be love and to be perfect – God is a three ‘person’ God – God the Father, God the Son (= Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit – living together in perfect love. (This is sometimes referred to as the Trinity or the Godhead 3 in 1.) They all have the same God nature and character but they each have different roles to play in your life.
GOD’S NATURE AND CHARACTER
God is infinite and it is not possible to fully understand an infinite God with a finite mind. So even with all eternity you will still be discovering new aspects of the fullness of God. So let’s focus on some of the key attributes of God’s nature and character. Also in this section since Father, Son and Holy Spirit all have the same nature and character – the term God is used in its plural sense – including all three.
God is eternal ruling an everlasting Kingdom. He has no beginning and no end (Revelation 22: 13). God is not created but is Creator of all things (Colossians 1: 16 – 17). God exists outside time and space as we know it – which is why your sins could be paid for on the cross even though you were born some 2000 years later. Since mankind is made in God’s image and God is eternal it explains why mankind has a yearning for immortality which Jesus has made possible. Only God is the giver of life and eternal life is to know God (John 17:3) which begins at your conversion.
God is love and everything God does is done in love. His love is unconditional because He is love and He doesn’t change. So nothing you do, can make Him love you more and nothing that you have done, will make Him love you any less. You experience His love through His grace, mercy, kindness, compassion, protection, tenderness, and all His other attributes.
God is holy. He is perfect, pure, worthy of praise and adoration, and far above every other created thing. God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4: 24) God is life and light and His holiness is manifested in His beauty, His majesty and in His glory.
God is sovereign. He rules over the Kingdom of Heaven which is everlasting and the greater reality. (Psalm 145: 11 – 13) As Creator of this world He also has final say in its outcome. He rules with love, grace and mercy as well as with justice. His throne is called the throne of grace (Hebrews 4: 16). To submit to God’s sovereignty is to be loved, blessed and kept safe.
God is good. God is good all the time for no evil exists in Him and everything He does is good. (Psalm 34:8) He is faithful and trustworthy to fulfill all His promises to you. He promises to provide for all your needs (Philippians 4: 19). His heart is to heal you and set you free from all the wounds of the past and release His peace and joy in your life.
God is omnipresent = is present everywhere (Psalm 139: 7 – 10)
God is omniscient = is aware of everything; all knowing (Psalm 139: 1 – 4)
God is omnipotent = all powerful, nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37)
This brief summary touches on just a few of God’s attributes and each of these is worth pursuing for further study. God is totally amazing and beyond your full comprehension and yet His heart is totally for you to discover all of Him, to love Him and live with Him forever. What’s more is that He wants you to partake of His divine nature! (2 Peter 1: 4)
RELATING TO GOD THE FATHER
God is the perfect Father. He chose us before the foundation of the world … having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself (Ephesians 1: 3 – 5) His whole purpose in creating you, is that you would become His son or daughter and that you would know Him as Father. Galatians 4: 6 – And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts crying out “Abba, Father!” Abba is the more intimate term of Daddy.
As your Father, He wants you to know your true identity (See Identity under the section You Belong) nurturing you in the fullness of all He created you to be. He protects you and keeps you safe, promising never to leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13: 5). He will train you up to walk in His ways and fulfill the destiny He has already written for you (Psalm 139: 16).
As your loving Father, He also disciplines you (Hebrews 12: 5 – 11) so that you don’t pursue things that will harm you. In John 15: 1 – 2 – it says that as Jesus is the vine, the Father is the vinedresser who prunes the vine – cutting away anything dead to produce healthier growth and fruit – in you the branch.
Your Father will supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19) and know every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights (James 1: 17). He tells you that if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all liberally (James 1:5). He is truly a good, good Father!
Listen to this song: ‘Good Good Father’ by Chris Tomlin
THE HEART OF THE FATHER
In the parable of the Prodigal Son you see portrayed the heart of Father God.
Read: Luke 15: 11 – 32
Consider the following:
Do you think the son, really understood the heart of his father when he decided to return home and ask to be a servant? Why?
What do you see about the heart of the father in the way he responds to his son’s return?
Does the older son really understand the heart of the father either?
Note: The robe speaks of the robe of righteousness you receive from Christ
The ring signifies the restoration of authority as the father’s son
The party (see other 2 parables in Luke 15) shows of the joy in heaven when you repent and return to the Father
Conclusion: Father God has given you a free will to make your own choices, but when you choose to move towards Him, He runs and embraces you, restores your identity and authority because He created you to be with Him as His beloved son or daughter and truly experience His love.
DEALING WITH WOUNDS FROM YOUR EARTHLY FATHER
Sadly many people have not had a healthy relationship with their earthly father for a variety of reasons. Some fathers were absent through neglect, rejection or divorce; others violent and/or abusive; some were emotionally disconnected even though present; others had high unattainable expectations and could never be pleased, never encouraged nor affirmed. This can leave deep wounds in your soul and can make it difficult to relate to your heavenly Father even though He is perfect and totally love.
So there are 2 things you should do in this case. Firstly get to know your heavenly Father for who He truly is – not based on the image of your earthly father. Secondly forgive your earthly father and if needed seek Inner Healing Ministry (for more details see Inner Healing under You Are Called. You can also check our Church website for contact details for help in this area).
Song: RUN TO THE FATHER – Listen to the following song which highlights the relationship Father God wants you to have with Him:
RELATING TO GOD THE SON = JESUS