The New Name for God, Pt. 2
In the last entry I said that Jesus gave us a new name for God, one rarely used before. It was Father. Jesus went on to call God "Father" 165 times in four gospels!
When I found Christ, that became a problem. I didn't understand why at first. I loved Jesus. I could relate to Him and what He said. Jesus was great, but I had a hard time with God the Father. I would be uncomfortable when Jesus called God Father. I was especially uncomfortable when someone would call God, “Daddy”. I felt like hollering, “Daddy!? How can you call God Daddy? He’s The Father!”
As time went by I realized what was bothering me. Unconsciously I was having a difficult time with the name Father because I had serious issues with my father when growing up. Father, was not a pleasant term or memory for me. Somehow, my earthly father’s image was being transposed over my Heavenly Father’s. The longer I was a Christian, the more this certain issue was exposed. As I began the long and arduous journey of healing, this wrong image of God and all the lies attached to it had to be dealt with. When we have a problem with our fathers or other major authority figures, it gets passed on to God the Father. I have seen this repeated over and over.
One of the enemy’s big plans of deception is to discredit God as a good Father. Because our security and identity are supposed to come from the Father’s love, not having that derails our lives. We end up striving, insecure, trying to earn God’s approval, feeling that He is not pleased, feeling condemned, seeking for love and acceptance in the wrong places; and the list goes on.
All Jesus needed at His baptism was "This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased." Once you know you are a beloved son or daughter and that He is pleased with you, once you know and feel loved by God, all your security and identify comes from that. The world teaches performance, many earthly fathers teach that, unfortunately, many churches also, but not God the Father. You are loved just as you are, not for who you can be. But of course, when you know you are loved and approved of, and that love is your joy and identity, you change - into the image of the One that loves you.
I always thought God was mad at me, unhappy with me, displeased with me, that I wasn't good enough, that I was too sinful, too weak, that I didn't do enough, that I needed to work more, work harder, etc, because that is how I grew up. These were the parameters of my existence. So after I was born again, it wasn't long until I started to think the real Authority figure in my life was the same way. In my head I knew that wasn't true but in my heart was a different story. No matter what our heads say, we usually believe what our heart is telling us. If your heart is broken and unhealed, it will keep telling you lies.
As I found myself acting out in immature and unhealthy ways, or in the subtle ways of hidden ambition, jealously, and striving, it all came back to the same root. Father.
Here are some scenarios I've heard from people over the years:
“You're a %#**# stupid idiot!”
“I wish you never born!”
“You are such a disappointment!”
“Can”t you ever do anything right?”
"Why don't you use your head?”
“Why can't you be like ___ they are such good kids!”
What you did was never good enough.
You were never smart enough.
You weren't talented enough.
You never did anything right.
You failed at everything.
Someone else, sibling, neighbor, was always better than you.
You were often punished unfairly.
You were often hollered or screamed at.
You were taught that your value was based on performance.
You were guilted.
You were manipulated.
You were shamed.
You were sexually molested.
You were physically abused.
You were verbally abused.
Then you find Jesus.
How are you supposed to relate to Father when all you know is some version of the above?
My next blog entry will give some answers and directions for healing, plus recommend some great resources. In the meantime, you may want to look at these verses (John 17: 20-23; Romans 8; Hebrews 8:12,13, 10:9-20; 1John 4:16-19 )