Who do you know God as?
Friend? There with you no matter what? Psalm 37:1-4
Father? A faithful friend who Loves you and ticks you off when you need it? Fathers give their children good faithful advice and guidance and expect their children to follow it. Psalm 37:4-11
Lord? Friend and father who you are totally sold out to who guides you and leads you and who is the only valid source and control you recognise in your life. Psalm 37:11 on.
It is helpful to remind ourselves here of who Jesus really is as in Isaiah 9:6, 7. For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be on His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. There is no end of the increase of His government and peace on the throne of David, and on His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will do this.
Psalm 37:1 – 4. Do not distress yourself, stressing over evil doers; and do not be envious against the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon wither like the grass; and fade as the green herb.
Trust in The Lord, and do good; you shall dwell in the land, and you shall be fed on truth.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
God our friend
Generally speaking, at first God shows us His awesome friendship, and abundant blessing flows in our lives. This period of friendship usually follows fairly quickly after being filled and released by the Holy Spirit, and is more evident in new believers. Prayer is answered and answered and answered without reservation almost! In quick and powerful ways as God unreservedly proves His complete friendship and kindness to us.
Some Christians can look back to what seems like halcyon days full of God’s closeness and blessing. This is a time of enthusiasm joy and amazement, even wonder as Jesus becomes our "first love". Some of us need to remember those times and be encouraged. God shows us during this period that He is always there walking with us through thick and thin. Even when we feel a long way from Him, He is always there.
We are learning to trust Him, because trust is a bond that is grown, not given. Learning to trust Him follows the pattern in verses 1 - 4 of walking in greater and greater trust.
Getting closer to Him as Father follows the pattern of verses 4 – 11.
Psalm 37:4 – 11. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5. Roll your way on the Lord; trust also in Him, and He will work.
6. And He shall bring forth your righteousness like the light, and your judgment like the noonday.
7. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not distress yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of him who practices wickedness.
8. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not stress yourself to do evil.
9. For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
10. It is but a little while, and the wicked shall not be; yea, you shall search his place, and he shall not be.
11. But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the overflowing of peace.
During the time that God pours out His friendship, proving to you and me His love, caring and concern, He is asking and waiting for us to give Him permission to be a Father.
God our Father
Then He begins to show us His Father love for us. In John 17 Jesus said “for the Father Himself loves you.” Our Father gives us hugs by touching us inwardly with His love and peace, restoring and calming our inner person and being. As He begins to show us His fatherhood, we begin to have to wait for answers to prayer.
We are still going mostly our own way with involvement with His friendship, and He uses all of His answers to teach us to look for His guidance and approval as Father, as well as friend. He has a calling on your life you see, which will not be able to be fulfilled without His Fatherhood in your life. A trusted, loving Father who is a true friend, counsellor and giver of peace because He is the Source of Peace.
We learn that we lose our peace when we don’t take His advice. It’s quite simple and very effective. As a Human child there is peace in your relationship with your parents when you are following their imperfect guidance.
As a child of God there is perfect Peace when following our Heavenly Everlasting Father’s advice. Psalm 37:4-11 As we yield to His Fatherhood, we learn to be told off and pulled up in our tracks by Him and at first some confusion comes as we can misread signals and think that God’s stop signs are satan’s interference, and misread satan’s out of time “go for its” as God saying “use your faith”.
This is a time of learning to hear and discern our Father’s voice. It is a time of learning to hear and obey His voice, not satan’s, and not the thoughts and intentions of our own selves. Isaiah 55:8, 9. “Your thoughts are not My thoughts, neither are My ways your ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
It is a time of teaching and gentle chastising until we are ready to be taught Jesus’ Lordship.
Jesus Our Lord
God as Lord to us and our attitudes toward Him as Lord are confused by lots of opinion and word usage found in many Christian circles around us. To describe that for many of us, -- we say that He is Lord and we call Him Lord - but do not live it out. There is a time in our growth in Him that He begins to teach us what relating to Him as Lord really means and to begin to really respect Him as Creator Lord and overall ruler of our life. To properly relate to Him and serve Him as Lord we must have walked in Friend and Father places first, otherwise we will engage in a fear relationship instead of an awe relationship. He is a benevolent but firm overlord, not a wilful and severe despot (or ruthless dictator).
Heading into His Lordship is a time of learning to lean on God, a time of learning to live with our Friend and Father as Lord in control, learning to lean and depend on Him alone through all the battles and trials and good times as He shows us His Lordship and we learn to be not only friend of God and child of God, but His bondservants or freewill slaves. We learn the truth of Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit! For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven”. We learn that we truly are poor in spirit and have nothing of ourselves to offer except what He has given, and is giving us in the moment. This verse also tells us that at this point of our journey where we truly have learned our lack and our dependence upon Him as our true source of everything, God can trust us and give us the kingdom of heaven.
The full revelation and realisation that “without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5) squashes all self agendas and self importance, and brings a desire to find out what He wants to do and to resolutely press on into it, seeking His way and wisdom in everything we do and having learned an alertness to watch for His guidance and His bidding.
Isaiah 55:1-3 Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat. Yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Why do you weigh silver for what is not bread? And your labour for what never satisfies? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Bow down your ear, and come to Me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
Isaiah 57:15. For so says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity; whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, even with the bruised and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the bruised ones.
John 15; John 16
Then and only then is the Kingdom ours and we become gateways for God’s kingdom to flow out into the world around us. What happens is that our life is full of evidence of obeying Jesus’ commands and is carried and underpinned by His awesome peace. Isaiah 9:6. For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be on His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Oneness is entered into at His choice and it comes as a result of journeying through Lordship. You can ask for oneness and cry out for it and He will prepare you for it as much as you allow Him to. At the right time and depth of your relationship with Him, you will hear Him begin to talk about what "We are doing", what "We can do" as He draws you into a oneness of being and existence with Him.
This is a full expression of the oneness found in John 17 and other places where Jesus describes it. It is the relationship place that Jesus walked in fully and this is the place empowered sons walk in. There are no formulas for walking this way with Him. It is relationship with Dad based living which looks different and unique to each son of God depending on how He made you and what His place in the Kingdom for you is.
The way He works with us
During the time that God pours out His friendship, proving to you and me His love, caring and concern, He is asking and waiting for us to give Him permission to be a Father. He never forces His ways on us, never does anything in our lives that we have not talked with Him about.
His answers or solutions to our problems can often surprise us, because we think that it is not what we asked for. But He gives us better than we asked for. When His solutions hurt a bit, we really are in a position of deciding to trust Him no matter what, and those are the first steps to accepting His lordship in our walk.
A slave is totally dependent upon his master for life. If a master doesn’t look after a slave the slave dies. And so it is in the spirit. The truth is that without His life we get dry, shrivel up inside and die. Jesus warns us about it in John 15.
Your heavenly father is doing His very best within the boundaries you set to show you His Friendship, Fatherhood, and Lordship. Are you making it hard for Him? Do you hear His thoughts, or do you harden your heart when you do, because He is talking about things you don’t want to surrender to Him? Are you ready to work in the harvest yet? Or do you still fear to walk out His commissions and do what he asks?
Blocks and Traps
Some of us have become involved in His lordship and forgotten His friendship and fatherhood. When this happens, we have forgotten to be friends and sons to Him. Some of us are involved in being children who are told what to do and have forgotten His friendship and have hit a block in our relationship with Him.
Walking this out from here
I believe that God has something special for each person. Try opening your heart to Him now. Are we willing to say to Him who loves us more than anyone else could “here I am do whatever you want with me”. Do you value His friendship and care enough to want Him to give you breakthrough blessing and to want Him to bless everyone else.
If you do start to open your heart more right now, I pray for you a blessing of further breakthrough. All you need to do is let the barriers down to Him and invite Him to start moving in you now. I am asking Him to touch and fill everyone who is reading this with an open heart to Him and Him alone. Be bold and surrender to Jesus and be filled. Let us declare “Lord my friend and Father and Lord have your way with me”. John 3:16-18 God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have (His Son’s) eternal life.
This is the way. Let us continue to yield to Him personally and continue in the way.