A Personal Relationship With the Father
Our first perception of God is shaped by our relationships with earthy fathers. There are those who had healthy relationships with loving fathers, but this is not true for everyone. “Many have had the sad experience of being forsaken by father or mother. Broken homes, differences of belief, addiction to drugs or alcohol, even psychological isolation can leave children crippled by this loss. Even as adults, the pain may linger. God can take that place in our life, fill that void, and heal that hurt. He can direct us to adults who may take the role of father or mother for us. His love is sufficient for all our needs.” (Life Application Notes, Psalm 27.10).
My own twisted perception was formed in early childhood. My Dad was the pastor of the church where we sang about an all-seeing eye that watches you. The song was intended to be comforting, but to me it sounded ominous. There was no escaping the policeman in the sky who demanded that I perform to perfection. There were no allowances for error. I viewed Him as rigid, harsh, critical and punitive. For many years I lived in fear, believing that one day He would cause the ground to open up and consume me, or worse—He might take one of my children.
Nevertheless, in certain situations I knew He was my only hope, and so I prayed just as my parents had done every morning and evening. I believed in my parent’s prayers, but because of my picture of God, I did not approach Him with confidence. My image of a harsh God framed my prayers. All my prayer efforts were hit or miss.
When my circumstances were too uncomfortable I prayed with tears of desperation asking God to get me out of situations brought about by my unwise decisions. It never occurred to me that I could have an intimate relationship with God, or that He really cared for me. I thought that He was only concerned with my performance.
My perception of God began to change in January 1969, when I experienced a revelation of the love of God that surpasses natural understanding. Reading in the book of Ephesians for the first time, I read that God chose me before the foundation of the world according to His plan and for His good pleasure. He loved me unconditionally, not because of anything that I had done, but because He had chosen me to be His child!
If you need a new Image of God, keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better (Ephesians 1:17 NIV). Have a designated quiet time to read your Bible, pray and meditate on His Word each day. Go to a church that helps you become more intimately acquainted with God.
God talks with you through the pages of the Bible, His personal love letter to you. His thoughts toward you are happy thoughts. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). He is a good God. God—the Creator of the Universe—lives in you—He walks with you and He talks with you. You have the privilege of calling Him, Abba Father (Galatians 4:6).
Prayer is talking to God. You can risk being honest with Him—He loves you unconditionally. The power of life or death is in the tongue, and everything that you speak in conversation with the Father builds or hinders a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him. His loves remains, we are the ones who sometimes shrink back from His presence. So quickly we can return to His embrace.
The purpose of prayer is not to make you feel good, undo your mistakes or fix those around you. The ultimate purpose of prayer is to develop an intimate relationship with God your Creator. Good relationships are built as we spend time together, talking openly with one another, listening, relating intimately, receiving love and giving love. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are (1 John 3:1).
An intimate relationship is shaped in times of solitude, meditation, prayer, Bible study and submission to a Father you can always trust. He will lead you and do what is best for you. He is concerned about everything that concerns you.
Quiet heart and undismayed.
You will know things strange, mysterious,`
Which to you no voice has said.While the crowd of petty hustlers
Grasps at vain and meager things,
You will see a great world rising
Where soft sacred music rings.
Leave the dusty road to others,
Spotless keep your soul and bright,
As the radiant ocean’s surface
When the sun is taking flight.
From the German of V. Schoffel
Streams in the Desert™ by L. B. Cowman
Germaine Copeland is the author of the best selling book series, Prayers That Avail Much. She has written scriptural prayers for the family. Read your Bible, pray and attend church where you can soak up the love and faith of God. You will receive emotional healing, experience spiritual growth and become more intimately acquainted with your Heavenly Father, and your relationships will grow stronger.