This life is marked by a single choice: who or what will we center our lives around? This choice takes each of us down a path of decisions that shape who we are, what we feel, who or what we value, and what we will have accomplished at the end of our days. To center our lives around ourselves or the things of this world leads only to destruction. But, to center our lives around meeting with God fills each moment with the glorious abundance of God’s love, provision, and transcendent peace. May your life be marked by union with your Creator as we explore what it means to center our lives around meeting with God this week.
Scripture:“Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” 1 Corinthians 8:6
If there’s one name for God that has the power to dramatically transform the lives of believers, it’s that we can call God “Abba” or “Father.” To see God as our Father changes everything. In Brennan Manning’s book, The Furious Longing of God, he asks a pertinent and powerful question:
Is your own personal prayer life characterized by the simplicity, childlike candor, boundless trust, and easy familiarity of a little one crawling up in Daddy’s lap? An assured knowing that the daddy doesn’t care if the child falls asleep, starts playing with toys, or even starts chatting with little friends, because the daddy knows the child has essentially chosen to be with him for that moment? Is that the spirit of your interior prayer life?
When I first read these questions I thought to myself, “Surely it can’t be this simple. Surely this can’t be all God expects of me.” We’ve missed the mark on what it truly means to be children of a good, near, and loving Father. We’ve projected our own insecurities, perspectives, and experiences on a God who is love embodied. There is nothing we can ever do to make God love us any more than he already does. And there is nothing we can ever do to make him love us any less. God loves us because he loves us. He enjoys us because he enjoys us. He wants to be with us because that’s how he is, not because we somehow earn his desire for us.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Even while we were in sin and separation from God, he loved us enough to pay the highest price to have us. So great was his depth of love for us that Jesus laid down his own life as the atonement for our mistakes, failures, weaknesses, and frailty. If God loved us then unconditionally, he loves us now unconditionally. If God would choose us then, he chooses us now. If God desired us then, he desires us now.
If we’re going to center our lives around meeting with God, we must understand the nature of his love for us. We must begin to relate to him as our good and loving Father above all else. We must cast aside any notion that he is angry with us, far from us, or void of affection or desire for us. We will only be drawn to our heavenly Father to the degree that we take him at his word and trust in his love for us. Take time today to receive the overwhelming, unconditional love of God for you. Allow his love to reorient your perspectives and beliefs. And respond to his great love by opening your heart and having fellowship with your Creator, Sustainer, and all-loving heavenly Father.
1. Meditate on the goodness of God being your perfect Father. What does it mean for your relationship with him if you would truly see him this way? How are you to reorient your perspectives in light of his word?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.” Matthew 23:9
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17
2. In what ways have you viewed God other than a loving Father? In what ways have you seen him as a taskmaster, distant Creator, or angry or passive Father?
“Is your own personal prayer life characterized by the simplicity, childlike candor, boundless trust, and easy familiarity of a little one crawling up in Daddy’s lap? An assured knowing that the daddy doesn’t care if the child falls asleep, starts playing with toys, or even starts chatting with little friends, because the daddy knows the child has essentially chosen to be with him for that moment? Is that the spirit of your interior prayer life?” Brennan Manning, The Furious Longing of God.
3. Ask God to help you encounter the depths of his love today. Take time to receive his presence and rest in his goodness. Open up any parts of your life that aren’t bearing the fruit of his unconditional love and receive all the affection he has to give.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 1:3
You are the child of a good, near, and loving Father. Seeing God as your Father not only impacts your perception of him, but also of yourself. You are loved. You are liked. You are enjoyed. The God who only thinks, feels, and says truth values relationship with you enough to send his only Son to die for you. Never let the world or the enemy shake the foundational love of your heavenly Father. No failure, weakness, or sin could ever change the fact that you are loved, accepted, and valued. May you find peace today where there has been only loneliness, pressure, and disatisfaction.
Extended Reading: John 17
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