The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, not just my Father. He has a special love for all His children, the redeemed who have repented of their sins and received the precious Saviour who came to suffer for them and wash away their filth. He is our Father, our perfect Father who loves us perfectly with great tenderness. Right away, Yeshua draws us away from self–centredness by showing us that this is a prayer that encompasses all of our brothers and sisters; it is not just for ourselves.
A lot of people claim that everybody is a child of God. We are in the sense that we all came from God. Every being got its start as an idea in God's mind. He formed us through the generations, choosing a specific egg and sperm to unite, and sent each soul into the egg when it was fertilized. Because we start off as a bright idea in God's mind that shoots into being like a spark is why the Bible says in James 1:17 that He is the Father of lights.
Some of the lights that came from God, though, are of different orders of beings and are treated according to different rules, depending on to how gifted they were in the day they were created. For instance, angels are more gifted than what humans were made at the outset, so more is required of them, and the penalty for failing to be loyal to God is more severe than it is for humans. Those of that order who rebelled against God no longer have light in them at all, except for a false light that they can conjure up through illusion.
As far as humans go, our spirit starts off at conception as bright, white clouds of God's glory that permeates our soul, but as offenses come, and we react badly to them, we start to lose that light and become stained with sin. Our spirit dies and our soul has taken on the look of dirty smoke, which gets dirtier and dirtier with each sin.
When we repent of our sins and receive Yeshua as our Saviour, the sins all get washed away in the blood of Yeshua and the glory of God is restored. Reunited with the Spirit of God, our spirit shines bright again, and serves as a command post for the renewing of the soul, regaining that territory as we allow the Spirit of God access to each part. This is a process that sometimes requires that God chastens us, so that we will open up the gates of each kingdom in our soul and let the Lord of glory come in and take it over.
God makes a distinction between the redeemed and those who have rejected, or not yet accepted, His redemption. He calls the redeemed His children, and those who have not yet repented of their sins and chosen to be redeemed, are still the children of the devil. Yeshua demonstrated this distinction in John 8:44 when He rebuked the religious leaders who rejected Him as their Saviour and refused to submit to Him.
Many, like illegitimate children, may claim that God is their Father, but does God claim them as His children? The Pharisees claimed to be children of Abraham and reviled Yeshua by telling Him that He was a bastard, as they did not believe that He was conceived by the Holy Ghost in the womb of a virgin, in accordance with the prophecy that the Messiah would come to Earth that way. Yeshua replied in effect, "No, it's you guys who are the bastards. You act like your father the devil; you carry his traits. I do not claim you as my own."
They wanted to know who He thought He was. They got really angry when He told them that He is God, which is what He meant when He said that Abraham saw Him and rejoiced to see Him, and He confirmed what He meant when He called Himself by the sacred Name of I AM. The Pharisees picked up stones to kill Him because they considered it sacrilege to say that Name, and they were even more indignant that He claimed that Name as His. If they had been His children, they would have felt drawn to Him, rather than indifferent or indignant towards Him.
Because the redeemed are all His legitimate children, God chastens us. He is interested in developing our character and fitting us to handle authority and power, so that we can wisely handle our inheritance in Him and take care of responsibilities that He wants to give us on Earth, as well as afterwards in Heaven.
God is never arbitrary when He chastises us; He does not do it for His pleasure, to satisfy Himself that He has made us pay for upsetting Him, the way earthly parents often do. It pains Him greatly to have to chastise us, but He does it for our good, and He makes the chastening perfectly fit the flaw that has to be corrected. He never goes beyond what is needed, and when it has done its work, He afterwards gathers us in His arms to comfort us and to comfort His own heart that ached for us in our suffering when He had to discipline us.
There are no orphans in God's family. There are no forgotten, neglected children, though sometimes we may feel like God has forgotten us when He is testing our faith to develop it further. Isaiah 49:14 – 16 says, "But Zion said, The LORD has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yes, they may forget, yet will I not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me."
This relates to a Middle Eastern custom where sometimes a woman whose son left home and went far away, would have his name tatooed on the palms of her hands. In this way, she made sure that she would never forget her boy, though he was not around any longer.
How could the God, who came down to Earth in human flesh and went to the cross for us, and submitted to having nails pounded into His mighty hands for us, possibly forget us? Those hands would have submitted to those nails, and all the rest of the torture that He went through, even if we were the only one who ever received Yeshua as our Saviour. I have heard it said that even if we just thought that we might want to get saved, but rejected Him in the end, He still would have gone through all that to give us the chance to be saved. Indeed, the name of each of His children is engraved upon His hands, engraved with a nail, right through to the other side.
God is our Best Daddy. No matter how wonderful our earthly father may have been or still is, he can't top God for being a Father. No matter how much our earthly father loves us, even if he would give his life for us, it pales beside how much our Heavenly Father loves us.
Some of us have had earthly fathers who weren't good fathers, and some have had fathers who were never involved with them at all, beyond donating their sperm to conceive us. In God's family, we are all on the same terms. We all have a Father who loves us so much that He can hardly contain Himself for the love He feels for us. God never favours one child over another. We are all His favourites.
Sometimes we may feel that He favours others more than He favours us. We can see other brothers and sisters who seem to have gotten a bigger share than ourselves of good looks, of health, of brains, of material things, of loving family, and whatever else it is that we are tempted to envy. We have to just trust Him that He knew what He was doing when He made each one of us, that He has a plan for why He made us the way He made us, or allowed us to seemingly be shortchanged.
In the meantime, I revel in the fact that, though I am not nearly as good–looking as Queen Esther, nor do I have her degree of graciousness and the intellect God gave her when she was Earth, God loves me just as much as He loves her. I am awed that, though I am not nearly as clever as Joseph or Daniel, and have not distinguished myself anywhere near as much as King David, or Moses, or Abraham, or any other saint that God saw fit to record in the Bible, God loves me just as much as He loves them, and when I get to Heaven, those guys are going to hang out with me sometimes, and enjoy being with me just as much as they enjoy hanging out with all the rest of God's kids. Isn't it amazing that we are going to be good buddies with people who were famous for God?
Our Father tells us that we are part of a family, His Family, the best family anyone can belong to. Sometimes we may feel alone, shunned by other Christians because they don't understand the things that God is teaching us, and they don't want to know those things because they don't think that they are important, but we are surrounded by a great crowd of brothers and sisters who are watching us from Heaven and cheering us on.
There is so much love in just those two words "Our Father" because of the Father whom they refer to. Think of the wonder of it! Our Father is the King of kings. He is the Boss of everything. It also means that we are kings. Kings, I said. Not kings and their queens. The Bible says in Revelation 1:5 & 6, "… Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And has made us kings and priests unto God and his Father … " He has made us rulers and is helping us gain our inheritance and learn how to rule it.
It matters not whether we are male or female, old or young, married or single, Jew or Gentile, what we look like, or how smart we are or are not. We are children of the Most High God whom God has appointed to be kings and priests. Some of us may have only a little kingdom; that is up to us – it depends on how far we go in following after Yeshua. But we are kings because we are the offspring of the King of kings, born again through the blood of Yeshua.
One time when I was preparing to praise the Lord in dance in church when we had a highly esteemed apostle as a guest, I felt rather intimidated about going up to the front of the church to dance. Then God spoke to my heart and said, "Why are you feeling this way? When you practiced downstairs before the service, you danced for me, the King of kings. Who is this man that you can't dance for me in front of him?"
That settled it for me; I am a child of the Most High God and don't have to be intimidated by anybody. If they don't like how I dance, it doesn't matter because I am not dancing for them. If God tells us to share a poem we have written, it does not matter if it is liked. It is enough that God likes it, and if He has told us to share it, it will touch at least one person's heart and help them.
When we share our gifts in obedience to the Lord, it is the same as offering those gifts to the Lord. This includes prophetic words. Our Daddy is the kind of Daddy who loves anything we do that shows we put some effort in it and are learning to operate in spiritual things. That dance, that poem, that prophecy, it might look like a dog's breakfast to people down here on Earth, but it goes straight into a gallery in Heaven where God proudly displays it to His angels and the rest of our brothers and sisters who are already there. And they like it!
I read the testimony of an Eastern European pastor who was imprisoned for his faith when the Iron Curtain was still in effect. He was tortured so badly that he could not remember Scripture verses. All he could remember when he was alone in his cell were the first two words of the Lord's Prayer, but when he said those two words, "Our Father," great love and comfort enfolded his soul and carried him away from his troubles. One way of storing extra oil for troubled times is to get the Lord's Prayer so deep in our spirit that it will come to our rescue when we are oppressed.
Through the blood of Yeshua that has washed me from my sins, I boldly enter into the presence of God Himself to present my petitions, or quite often, just to climb up in His lap and cuddle up to my Daddy. God is always willing to adopt more children. His lap is big enough for the entire population of the Earth throughout all Time. There is room at the cross for anyone who is sorry for their sins and wants to begin a new life in the Lord Yeshua.
Yes, there is a lot of nourishment in just those two words "Our Father." It is a shame to pass over them quickly and not plunge into the treasures contained in them and the words that follow.
Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
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