Are You Fathered?
God put a deep longing in us for loving family. And closeness with God is founded in being a son who’s comfortable with his father. Unfortunately, living as fatherless orphans leaves us languid, without an inheritance, without emotional resources and opportunities that only fathers can give. So how do we learn sonship? From the father we were given or the lack thereof.
Was dad there with acceptance and comforting love when I gave it my all but still struck out and my teammates sneered and scoffed? Did he rejoice with me when I worked hard and aced my final exam? When I wrecked the car and I knew he was upset, did I still know he was safe? Was dad’s love and authority a safe and warm place for my heart to rest — at all times?
Many of us had parents in the home, but their emotional absence or abuse left us feeling like orphans. They may have been physically there, but emotionally they weren’t. Walking with God is about embracing a posture of sonship. It is more than loyalty and obedience; it is a heart responding to love, crying out, “Abba Father.” However, if you didn’t learn this growing up, how do you get there? Is it possible?
Daniel LaRusso grew up without a father. At high school age, his mother and he moved from New Jersey to Los Angeles and he promptly found himself being picked on. Enter Mr. Miyagi. He knew how to father, how to believe in someone who doesn’t believe in themselves. He knew how to see potential in Daniel and draw it out of him. Gradually Daniel gained the ability to risk and take chances because Mr. Miyagi gave him the fathering presence that was a sure emotional foundation. Daniel was even able to risk fighting the Cobra Kai martial arts team, facing potential harm, with no guarantee of success. Many of you by now have recognized this as The Karate Kid story, but the truth is, we all long for a spiritual father to believe in us and give us strength and direction.
But to grow as a son you have to be willing to open your heart to a father. Realize he won’t be perfect and he may not fit your perception of how a father does things, but he’ll change your life if you let him. Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel to be teachable; he taught him to work hard and be obedient, not always having to have all questions answered or knowing the “whys.” Daniel had to take on the posture of a son if he wanted the inheritance Miyagi offered.
Romans 8:14 says we have to be led (teachable) in order to be sons. Verse 15 further says that by being led, the Spirit frees us of the fears that come from living in independence – that fear of having to fend for ourselves because we haven’t let a father be there for us.
God gives us adoption to sonship wherein we cry Abba (Daddy) Father. Hebrews 12:8, 9 says it this way: if we can’t receive correction from Father, we are as illegitimate sons. No father equals no inheritance. Verse 9, If we can receive correction, we LIVE! God’s life flows through us. Looking back at Romans 8, verse 17 confirms this that when we live “led,” we get inheritance, we are heirs with Christ. And with this we mature into what God has for us and make a difference in the world in the unique way God created us for.
1 John 4:20 says we don’t have in the spiritual what is not seen in the natural. In other words, if I have a heart of sonship toward God, you will see evidence of that in how I relate to spiritual fathers and authority figures, on earth. It starts with opening my heart and taking on the posture of a son. I believe God has some Cobra Kai battles for you to fight in your lifetime. Will you take the risk and allow yourself to be fathered?