Growing up, when I thought about God and Jesus, I always thought that Jesus was the nice one and God as being distant and angry. When I prayed as a child and young adult, I would talk to Jesus, but not to God the Father. I thought he was disappointed with me, cold, and judgemental.
Somehow, I received the message that God was upset with humans and Jesus protected us from his anger. When I eventually learned to see God as a kind and loving father, my entire walk with the Lord changed.
In this blog, we’re going to talk about what the Father heart of God means for us. We’ll look at why God the Father is misconstrued as a cruel and judgemental being, and we’ll study scripture that points to His true character as a devoted Father.
Why Do Some Think God the Father is Mean?
Unfortunately, the misconceptions about God the Father that I grew up with are not uncommon. Many people see Him as a distant God who is in the sky, with a white beard, and looks down on us in judgment. Where did this image come from?
It can be traced back to an early Christian writer named Tertullian. Known as the “Father of Latin Theology,” he was a brilliant attorney and writer, and he was the first writer to use the Latin word for Trinity in his writings.
However, Tertullian saw God the Father as a judge and Jesus as our defense attorney. He originated the idea that Jesus saved us from God’s wrath. His ideas have been passed down through centuries of church history, which is why so many people still see God the Father as a harsh judge today.
If you think about the atmosphere of a courtroom, the judge often seems authoritative, stern and unapproachable. It’s hard to relate to a scary judge, but it’s easy to relate to Jesus, who was both human and God and was known to be loving and kind. Plus, Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for us, so it’s easy to understand why He is worthy of our love and affection.
On the other hand, when you see God as harsh, cold and stern, it’s hard to feel close to Him, or want to have a relationship with him. This is the opposite of how our relationships with him are supposed to feel. Let’s take a look at what His true character as a Father is like.
What is the Father Heart of God?
God the Father’s true nature is as a loving Father who wants good things for us. For years, the church has taught that Jesus is the one who saves us, which is true. However, when you only have a relationship with Jesus and not the Father or the Holy Spirit, you miss out on the fullness of God.
John 14:6 says: ”Jesus said to him, ’I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’”
If Jesus is the WAY, then there must be a destination. His ultimate goal was to tear the veil between us and the Father and lead us into God the Father’s loving embrace. That is what the Father heart of God is all about.
In the next verse, Jesus says: “If you really knew me, you would know My Father. From now on you do know Him.” John 14:7
Jesus was sent to be a reflection of the Father and lead the disciples to Yahweh. He also modeled what it is like to have an intimate relationship with God as a Father; Jesus even called him Papa.
How to Know God as a Father
If you’ve grown up thinking of God the Father as distant and angry, it’s hard to immediately think of Him as a loving and gentle Father instead. It takes time and revelation to understand the depths of His love for you as a Father, but it is available to everyone.
We can understand more about this revelation from Jesus’s words in the book of Matthew: “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Matthew 11:27
God the Father must be revealed to our hearts. It is not enough to read that He is a loving Father and understand. We must allow His love into our hearts to begin to understand the depths of it. To hear stories of how people have received the revelation of the Fatherheart of God, check out my podcast interviews.
Why is it Difficult to Experience This Revelation?
Another major roadblock to experiencing God’s fatherly love is that not all of us have good relationships with our earthly fathers. It is common for us to project our views about our earthly fathers onto God our Heavenly Father. So, if you saw your earthly father as angry, distant, disinterested, abusive, etc. then it’s likely that you will see God the same way. Sadly, many people grow up fatherless, so it’s not uncommon for many to think that God is uninvolved in their lives completely.
The revelation of the Father’s love may feel difficult if you aren’t familiar with it, because how can we grasp something we’ve never experienced? The good news is that we can experience God’s love in a real, tangible way. Experiencing that love heals the wounds of growing up fatherless or with a father you weren’t close to. God the Father wants to have a relationship with you and be an active part of your life.
In John 14:18, He says that He will not abandon us as orphans. In 2 Corinthians 6:18, He says, “And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
Receiving the Father’s love
God’s fatherly love is always available to you. I encourage you to pray and ask God to reveal Himself to you as a Father. Ask Him how He sees you as his precious daughter or son.
If you need help understanding the revelation of the Father Heart of God, I would love to speak with you. Feel free to contact me or schedule a one-on-one ministry session.
Author: Anna Harris