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Pointers along the way #9

How do you talk to your Father?
- Jacob Ninan

The greatest privilege God has granted to us human beings is that we can become His children and know Him as our Father (1Jn.3:1). We can talk to Him, go to Him with our problems, ask Him for His advice and guidance, and experience His compassion, tenderness, mercy, goodness, kindness, patience, understanding, etc., just like little children go to their fathers. Of course, it is really not a good comparison, because the best human father is so imperfect when you look at God the Father. But I wonder how many Christians get to know Him and experience Him as Father, because people have so many wrong pictures of God.

Jesus came down to the earth to reveal the Father to us, to show us what God is really like (Jn.1:18). Jesus showed us what God is like by His own behaviour and attitude to people. Poor sinners flocked around Jesus because He did not judge them but wanted to save and help them. We see God's compassion by the way Jesus unselfishly spent time, sometimes even without eating, healing multitudes one person after another. He would not mind walking many miles up and down just to reach out to one human being. His anger burned only against hypocrisy and insincerity. Finally we see God's heart of love in letting His only Son suffer and die so that we need not suffer eternal death.

On the other hand, Jesus also showed us as a Man how our relationship can be with the Father. Jesus enjoyed a simple, frank, open, loving, trusting, respectful relationship with the Father. How about your own relationship with God?

Are you scared of God, thinking that He will find something wrong with whatever you do? Of course He finds hundreds of things wrong with us. But He takes no thrill in telling us about our faults, but only in helping us get out of our faults. Once we have understood that He let His Son suffer in our place for our faults, we will realise how His heart works towards us.

Do you think He will throw you out and refuse to speak to you if you did something wrong, maybe for the umpteenth time? No, He won't. If He asks us to forgive someone who does wrong to us 70 X 7 times a day, will He not do that Himself? (Mt.18:21,22).

Do you think He will get upset if you can't understand what He is doing, and question Him about it? Read the writings of the Old Testament prophets who did that very thing. No, God can take it from us people, because He understands that we are really perplexed and are only trying to understand His ways. Jesus Himself once said, "Why have You forsaken Me?"

How do you pray? Do you think that your prayer has to have a certain form and has to use, for example, the King James English with 'Thou' and 'Thee' and 'doest'? Why don't you just talk to Him in plain language? Tell Him exactly how you feel. You don't have to pretend and act pious before Him because He knows everything about you and you can't fool Him. You don't have to be afraid of confessing your sins frankly to Him because He knows anyway. Confide in Him, be simple, frank and sincere about it, and He will love you for it.

Listen also to what He wants to tell you. It must be a two way communication. If you don't quite understand what He is saying, ask Him to explain it to you! Remember, He is your Father and not your boss or school principal. Even if your experience with earthly fathers has been painful, remember that God is the perfect Father, and He is on your side. There is no one better.