The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who is in Heaven. Think of it. Our Father, our Lord, sits upon the Throne of Heaven. He rules the whole Universe! He probably has zillions of universes, which we might possibly explore after we have gone to Heaven and learned all about this one. We don't know for sure that there are more universes, but we do know that there is only one God.
He says this of Himself in Isaiah 45:21 & 22, "Tell, and bring them near; yes, let them take counsel together: who has declared this from ancient time? who has told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."
Glorious, glorious, glorious! Our Daddy reigns. He is all knowing, all wise, all powerful, He is everywhere all at once, and He owns everything! Best of all, He is pure Love. He is totally good, totally holy, and can do no evil. We have nothing to fear from trusting Him. He can be utterly trusted because of that particular attribute of being pure Love.
If He were all knowing and all powerful, but was not pure Love, God would be terrifying. We would never know if we were going to get a kiss or an ill–tempered slap or a spiteful pinch just for the heck of it. One slap and we'd be goners. The same goes for the pinch.
God has the character that fits Him to be God, the ruler of the whole Universe, and all other universes. Okay, so people might put us in prison for our faith, and torture us, tear our hearts out and stomp on them, but they can never take away from us the fact that our Daddy loves us, and will never let us be subjected to suffering beyond our strength to maintain our faith in His goodness. Any pain He allows us to suffer, to demonstrate that the devil is dirty rotter who is not fit to rule, is going to be compensated for millions of times over in Heaven. He is that kind of a Daddy.
To put it in earthly terms, child of God, let's say your Dad is a billionaire, keeping in mind that after life's trials are over, the rewards are given in Heaven. You are walking to school one day, not chauffeured because your Dad cares about your health and knows you need to get exercise, and a bully (satan) comes along, slaps you across the face, says your Dad is a crook, and calls you bad names. Your bodyguard has instructions to not interfere, unless it looks like you are going to be seriously damaged, because Dad wants you to learn to stick up for yourself.
Somehow, you manage to deal with the situation in a mature manner. You have said, "I am not what you said I am and my Dad is not a crook, and no matter what else you say I am or what you say about my Father, I know it's a lie, because I know it is impossible for you to tell the truth, and I know it is impossible for my Father to lie; what you said is not what he says about me. Now you better just toddle off, because if you hit me any more, my bodyguard over there is going to whomp the stuffing out of you."
The security guard steps closer and bunches his fists, the bully runs off, and then your Dad's car pulls up. He sat there and watched the whole thing. In spite of knowing that He had to let you take some lumps so that you could learn how to stick up for yourself, and so that other people could see that bully for what he is, disrespectful even of princes/princesses, and a danger to the innocent, he is furious at that bully for hitting his darling and hurting his darling's feelings with his nasty scowls and bad names. He pulls you into his arms, kisses the welt on your face to make it better, clasps you to his chest and rubs your back to console your feelings, and orders the security guard to go give the bully a thrashing.
It doesn't stop there. Billionaire Daddy says, "I am going to make it up to you because of what you suffered." Then he takes you shopping, buys you a whole new wardrobe, then he takes you to a ranch and shows you a beautiful horse and says, "It's yours, and by the way, I bought this ranch for you, too."
Then you go on an private airplane to have dinner in Paris, and it is a luxury jet. Dad asks, "You like this jet? It's yours. I will keep it waiting on standby to take you anywhere in the world where you want to go."
You spend the night in a luxurious suite of rooms at the best hotel in Paris. All the staff are so nice to you. You tell Dad what a good time you had staying there. The next morning, he says, "I bought the hotel for you so that you can stay here anytime you like."
Then he takes you for more shopping that day, and he buys you a trunk full of jewels, ten gold watches, five cars, and a yacht. You get on the yacht and sail off to a fabulous Greek island. You get off the yacht and Daddy says, "I bought this island for you. Come take a look at your new mansion." The new mansion is splendid, like nothing you've ever seen before, fully staffed, and it has a helicopter pad, complete with a helicopter and pilot.
You stand there in awe and ask, "Daddy, why are you doing all this for me?" He replies, "Because that bully gave you pain when he slapped you and he hurt your feelings when he called you names. Also, I am very proud of you because you did not lose faith in me, no matter what the bully said about me, though it looked like I didn't care about your suffering because I let it happen." Your mind reels as you think, "But that warn't hardly nuthin'!"
Isn't this something like what the Apostle Paul meant when he said in 2 Corinthians 4:17, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;" Light affliction he called it! Think of what Paul went through.
In 2 Corinthians 11:23 – 28, Paul said of himself, "Are they ministers of the Anointed? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths often. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which comes upon me daily, the care of all the churches."
In addition to all that, Paul very likely knew a lot of Christians whom he loved, some whom were his own relatives, that were thrown in prison, degraded, tortured, and killed. He had to deal with the grief of knowing that people he loved were going through those things, and sometimes he was even forced to witness it. But he ends up calling all of it light affliction, in comparison to how he expected God would compensate him in Heaven for what he had endured on Earth.
God is the God of Heaven; He has all the goods to make good on His promises. He doesn't just have all the goods, He has all the power. He is in control, even when it looks like evil is running amok and gaining the upper hand.
Only one third of the angels were cast out of Heaven when they followed satan is his rebellion. The wicked angels are outnumbered two to one by God's angels. As Elisha said in 2 Kings 6:16, "Fear not: for they that are with us are more than they that are with them."
God doesn't really need the angels to be of assistance to us, though. With the slightest twitch of His baby finger, He can knock satan and all his hordes to the other side of the Universe. He chooses to use the angels to fight battles against satan because He is training them for higher things.
God is in Heaven, but He is not far removed from us. He sent Yeshua to bring us near to Him, to reconcile us through His death. Yeshua is God Himself, the physical expression of God. He came to this Earth, lived among us, died for us, was raised from the dead, and then before He returned to the Father, He left behind God the Holy Spirit to live not just among us, but now right within us, to maintain His connection to us and our connection to Him. Wow!
God the Father stays in Heaven to maintain control of the Universe and keep His children under His loving, watchful eye. The Son sits triumphantly on the Father's right hand, not at His right hand, signifying that it is through the Son that the Father performs His works. Yeshua is resting from the works that He came here to do, interceding for us, observing how the Holy Spirit is helping us to will and do His good pleasure, and implement the victory that He won on the cross.
There is a huge sense of safety in the words "Our Father, which is in Heaven." Yeshua wanted to establish that we can feel secure because we have a Father, He loves us, and He is in charge and in control of everything.
Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
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