I have revised this article in part to add a backdrop of my past history before accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior and to also include more revelation upon what I have already shared. I hope it brings encouragement and hope to those who find themselves facing the same struggles. I have often heard that those who do not have an earthly father or do not have a healthy relationship with their earthy father are also far more likely to have issues with their Heavenly Father. I have questioned this for many years due to the fact that my relationship with my earthly father was not near as adequate as it should have been. I am still not quite sure how to connect many of the dots as of yet because it has already taken most of my lifetime to get to a point to where I am willing to face and explore a past that I had been trying to bury as far back into my sub-conscience as possible. As I come to terms that some of my anxiety is a direct result of an unhealthy relationship with my father I also know there are other root causes as well. A few have already been mentioned in this book.
With that said; I believe my lack of trust in my Heavenly Father stems from the years of not trusting in my earthly father who in much of my recollection seemed to think of himself as more a god over all of his domain rather than the loving and compassionate father a family needs. If I were to compare him to a character in the scriptures the first one that comes to mind would be that of a Pharisee. Looking for the worst in others and not ever really looking in the mirror to see where they might be lacking.
In this day and age there are far more illegitimate children than their were back when I was growing up. True father figures nowadays are found fewer and further between the realm of what the Lord intended. However, no matter what the day and age it’s not really normal for a child of 5 or 6 years old to cry and beg her mom to divorce her dad. Yet, I remember it as though it were yesterday as my mom stood at the kitchen sink washing dishes. I had no idea where I had heard the word divorce from yet I know it was not from my mom as she never spoke a bad word of my dad in my presence. However, it really went without saying. It took her 3 or 4 years to finally get up the nerve to pack up the station wagon to the max and when she picked me up early from school that day I walked out to the car immediately asking, “what was going on?!?!” Very calmly she simply said, “I am leaving your dad.” I could not help but smile and as we approached a payphone where she made a call to him at work to tell him she had left. I think this may have been the first time I ever danced. I remember a smile that I know had to have been from ear to ear. Not that it happened but I can only imagine someone asking me why I was smiling so big and my response being more of an exclaiming with excitement and relief, “My mom is leaving my dad!” Yet that did not happen and once again I repeat, “not normal!” I am quite sure that day was my first taste of what it was like to “feel” free. However, I was not as free as I would have thought as there would still be more to come. Just a side note as to what the true definition of freedom really is. 2nd Corinthians 3:17, ” Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” John 8:36, ” So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” We may experience relief from no longer being in unbearable circumstances but as we navigate through life unbearable circumstances by which we feel there is no escape are bound to creep in one way or another and attempt to steel whatever peace and joy we have attempted to muster up whether it be in our natural state or by the Spirit of the Lord.
There is no reason to go into all of the details of how dysfunctional the family life was but there is no doubt this caused me to have a lot of anger , rage and hate at an early age which lingered years into my adulthood. After my mom left my dad it did not occur to me that I would have to go and stay during the summer, every other holiday etc. The only reason I looked forward to the visits was because it was the town I had grown up and played ball in since I was 5, my best friend was there and some family as well. Fortunately I also played ball in the town where I lived with my mom. As I got older my dad started threatening that once I turned 12 he was going to attempt to gain full custody of me. I was not a Christian at the time. I really knew nothing about the Lord except for little songs such as, “Jesus Loves Me.” Yet I really prayed for the first time and I meant business. It was a short prayer which basically was verbatim, “Lord, please let my dad die before I turn 12.” Little did I know my dad had lung cancer at the time. He went into the hospital shortly after I turned 12 and never came out. The day my dad passed away I was outside playing basketball in the driveway with some neighborhood kids. My mom called me in the house to tell me something. She told me my dad had died that morning while I was at school. I remember the exact day only because it was the same day and pretty much same time of morning that the hostages were freed from Iran. After I came back outside my friends asked what my mom wanted, “I said with no emotion whatsoever as though I was just making small talk, “My dad passed away” and then I continued shooting baskets. It never occurred to me until later on in life what they must have been thinking. I don’t recall them saying anything in response to it but I can picture them now probably looking at each other as I carried on my business as usual.
The only tears I cried were when my best friend met me half way between our houses to hug and say, “Goodbye.” I could hardly see Him through the tears as I walked his direction because somehow I knew I would more than likely never see or hear from him again. At the funeral I was sitting next to my sister in law who was in tears. I was looking at her and sitting there wondering what all the tears were for? Could it be she was blind to the man my dad was or did she see a life that was possibly doomed to Hell as I did. To outsiders my dad put on a good front but to the immediate family within the household his true colors was unbearable verbal abuse heaped full of loads of condemnation. Although my sister in law did not live in the household I do believe she along with most other family members saw him for who he really was. However, I believe I saw his downfalls at a much deeper level than possibly anyone. Because once my mom left it was just He and I on his custody awarded visits. It was at this point his inability at being a good father escalated even further out of control. With that being said I have no idea what a normal father and daughter relationship is supposed to look like. I know women who had wonderful relationships with their father and it left them heartbroken. However, I did not have a relationship as such and I do not respond like most people would because I was never programmed to be able to relate. Therefore, I have become desensitized to their pain.
Now as I am well into adulthood and am seeing my earthly father more clearly through the eyes of a Heavenly Father I know that Satan is the ultimate enemy. He came to steel, kill and destroy. One of his agendas is to destroy the family and who better to do it through them the father who is to be the head of the household? I see my father as someone who was miserable and in such a state made everyone else just as miserable as he was. I know there had to be a root cause. Whatever root cause Satan planted in him is only known by my Heavenly Father. It caused chains of all types of bondage to keep me bound in the freedom I so desperately longed for while under the same roof of a tyrant. Yet, my Heavenly Father came to destroy the works of the devil which is sin that goes back to the garden when man fell. He came to break all the curses which began that day by setting the captives free so they may not be entangled again in the yolk of bondage. Therefore, with a His working in and though us to will and to do of his good pleasure we have the freedom to not only be entangled in the bondages we face but in the bondage of others as well. I think of the woman who was caught in the act of adulatory and the Scribes and Pharisees were all ready to stone her. (John 8) Jesus said, “Let he who has no sin among you cast the first stone.” They were in bondage yet Jesus delivered her from that. I guess she could have stayed in bondage after the fact but she chose not to because she finally saw herself in light of the truth.
The other issue at hand is how I struggle with not feeling as though the Lord has forgiven me for past sins. I will not get into specifics as that territory stretches as far as the east is from the west. Although I am not quite sure how to put it all into words at this time I also have no doubt that my issues with not trusting in the Lords forgiveness also stems from my relationship with my earthly father. Perhaps for the most part because it seems I could never do anything right which just came to me as I started typing this paragraph as well as the next line you are about to read. My dad pretty much came out and said one day that “I was not as smart as my 3 brothers.” I never once remember my father telling me, “I love you” although it never occurred to me until later on in life. However, he did buy me pretty much anything and everything I wanted which I think was pretty much a show as his way of proving who the better parent was. I will admit I took full advantage of this and used him for the purpose of what I wanted every chance I got. So when parents say today, “Oh, my child does not realize how they are treating whoever the person in question may be” I can’t help but remember my childhood and remember quite clearly knowing how I nonchalantly worked things out for my good. I was quite clever at seeing through how my dad operated in regard to competing with my mom when it came to attempting to buy me with material goods.
So I write this article because I believe the Lord gave it to me to be encouraged as well as encourage others as I come to the divine revelation that He is far more capable of meeting my needs and to make up for what my earthly father did not provide. It is based on scriptural facts and as you have already read personal experiences as well. These knew revelations of truth have began to help give me great encouragement towards a healing process to produce a hope to fully understand and know that the Lord is my redeemer. He forgives me whether anyone else chooses to forgive me of past shortcomings or not. He sanctifies me. He is the rock of my salvation. He is my Abba Father. Romans 8:15, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by who we cry out, Abba Father.”” Psalm 68:5, “A Father of the fatherless.” May what you have already read bless you beyond measure as well as what you are about to read by giving you the insight the Lord desires for you.
To the saints of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Do you want to know how much your Savior loves you? How much you have been forgiven?
You may be struggling with “feelings” of doubt about how such a great and awesome God has possibly forgiven you of your past sins. I am not just talking about sins from since you have become a believer but since before you became one as well. These “feelings” may be causing you to be stagnant in the rivers of His mercy and overflowing grace. Believe what the word says and choose faith today. One of the verses that stands out to me the most in this regard is Romans 8:1, “There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” Cling tightly to Such promises as this even if your faith is just that of a mustard seed.
In Mark Chapter 9 a boy had been in need of healing since childhood. Jesus said to the Father of the boy, “If you can believe, all things are possible to Him Who believes.” The father of the child said, “Lord, I believe help my unbelief,” Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and it came out of the boy and entered him no more!” How is this ultimately possible? It is through the blood of Jesus as so vividly described in Isaiah 53:4-5, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” This must be combined with faith and not by feelings. It can’t be by signs and wonders as described in John 4:48 which says, “Unless you people see signs and wonders you will be no means believe.” If we are given all the signs we desire then there is no basis for faith. And we mustn’t forget Psalm 103:12 which encourages believers to know, “As far as the east is from the west, So far He removed our transgressions from us.”
It seems that quite often in previous months most of my questions go back to Adam and Eve. They actually had the Lord Whom created the Heavens and the earth and the garden itself right there with them. They fell and Romans 3:23 just confirms the fall as it states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” They had to suffer the consequences yet he pursued them just the same. Though we Who are in Christ can shout, “Hallelujah” as 1st Peter 1 19-20 states, ” But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, Who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” And in return we are instructed to respond in such a manner in 2nd Peter 3:14, “Be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless, and consider that long suffering of our Lord is salvation.” That means we have no excuse to live by the lusts of the flesh as described in 1st John 2:16-17, “For all that is in the world – the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life- is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” Otherwise, “How much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” Hebrews 10:29 “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2nd Corinthians 3:18 In other words we can’t have a relationship with Christ and then go out and live as we please. We must allow Him to work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians) or we are trampling on the blood that Jesus shed on the cross for the remissions of our sins. Therefore it is imperative to have a “Godly sorry that leads to repentance and leaves no regret.” 2nd Corinthians 7:10. As you will read in the following paragraphs scripture backs up that the Lord is forgiving of those who seek such a narrow way.
Ponder upon Matthew 18:12 which says, ““What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?” Jesus is speaking to believers here. Remember Romans 3:23 as to how, “We all fall short of the glory of God.” However, Philippians 2:13 states, “It is God Who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasures.” In the flesh you can do nothing on your own to please the Lord. By walking in the flesh you will naturally fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Allow the Holy Spirit in which you received upon believing to dwell in you richly. Believe you have been washed in the blood of the Lamb and made white as snow. Titus 3:4-7 “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace, we should be heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Think about Paul who was once known as Saul in Acts Chapter 8 and how he set out to wreak havoc upon the church by going into every house and dragging off men and women to be thrown into prison. He even gave his seal of approval for the stoning death of Stephen. Yet little did he know (Acts 9) that he would be converted on the Damascus road. He was not the least bit interested in seeking a Savior. In fact he was still breathing out threats and murder to the Lord’s disciples when the Lord touched Him! In Acts 9:4 the Lord asked, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
Personally in my own experience I was searching for more but I had know idea what it was until I came to the divine revelation that I needed a Savior. Saul on the other hand was in complete and total rebellion. Don’t get me wrong. I was living in rebellion as well. I still fight against the Lord because I get selfish and I want things my own way. Ephesians 2:1-3, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”
It was in the year of 1990 at the age of 20 during the Persian Gulf War which was immediately followed by Desert Storm that I first began my journey in search of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I have always been one who has anticipated World War 3 presenting itself right before my eyes and those wars did not help my feelings any. A few seeds as well had recently been planted to steer me in the direction towards the path in which I would choose to follow. I made my first attempts at trying to write songs at the age of 6 although no one was aware of it but me, myself and I. I’m sure had I attempted to make any debuts with any of my unpublished material at that time they would have not made sense to anyone especially when they did not even make any sense to me! It was at 15 when I had began writing poems that things began to fall more into place. Eventually the poems gots longer and songwriting eventually became my main focus. In my late teens I had began making attempts at writing Christian songs. However, I had no idea what it meant to be a Christian. I was somewhat like the Ethiopian In Acts 8:26-38. I had began reading scripture yet I had no idea as to what I was reading. I just knew it was very important. Then not long after that someone began witnessing to me and the light steadily began to overcome the darkness and I asked to be baptized. Although I did not understand what I was reading before as an unbeliever the scales had fallen off my eyes and I now have the hope of 1st John 2:27 which says, “But the anointing which you have received in Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. Now life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are just a glimpse of the numerous benefits I reap through such a divine deliverance. The life is a life that is found in Christ because 2nd Corinthians tells me, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Liberty as proclaimed in Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Happiness: Proverbs 16:20, “And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.”
After Sauls’ conversion his name was changed to Paul. He later wrote these scriptures as examples of the point in which I am hoping to make clear. Ephesians 2:4-9, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Ephesians 3:14-21 “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
I can’t help but think that when Paul wrote those verses along with many others that he reflected upon the life in which he had once known and was eternally grateful for the man he was becoming in Christ Jesus because little did he know that some day he would be joyously be walking out his salvation by faith while in fear and much trembling. For walking in a healthy fear of the Lord is the only way to be able to shun and run away from evil.
Many people think that because God is love that we should not fear Him. But to those who think such, I say to you, as a child having an earthly Father. When you did something that you knew would not be pleasing to him did you not become afraid of the consequences in which you might face? Hopefully you had a good earthly Father and you know that it was because he loved you and only wanted what was in your best interest. It is all the more with the Lord of Whom created the Heavens and the earth.
For how little did Saul know of the divine revelation he was about to receive when what seemed to appear out of nowhere was the presence of the great God Almighty Himself. If we only choose to see it in the natural then it is totally beyond belief that this same man would be blessed beyond measure in being able to describe his vision of paradise and how he had been caught up by the Lord into the third heaven. Fortunately for us the Lord does not have tunnel vision as He saw in Saul a mighty warrior who was bold and zealous and how much more so once he was to become enlightened with the truth? The Lords pursuit of His children is so beyond comprehension yet defined in 2nd Timothy 1:8-9 as such, “for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” It is timeless!
The Lord touched Saul even while still dead in his trespasses. Now to those of you Who already believe, don’t put the the Lord and all of His divine attributes in a box where they have no room to work in your life as he did in the life of Paul. “For it is in Him that we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28 Fix your eyes upon Jesus and trust in a great big God to do great big things in your life as you yield to Him. Allow His presence to dwell in you so that others will see the same love of a Holy Father while in your presence.
So I ask once again, “Do you know how much your Savior loves you?” In my pondering and my quest for answers I have wonderful news to those of us who are in Christ. Romans 8:28-29, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” 1st Peter 2:9, ” But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Now in return we are to, “Let our light shine, that the world may see our good works and glorify our Father Who is in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16 “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and the joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Romans 8:16
I have seen first hand the Lord graciously fulfill the promise of Psalm 68:6, “God sets the solitary in families.” My best friend and her extended family on her and her husbands side have taken me in for over 20 solid years. He has also given me 5 people in my life who confirm things to me that the Lord wants to get through my thick skull. They speak words of life and encouragement to me that have helped revive and breathe life into my soul.
Your Father in heaven loves you. He sent His one and only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in a Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Embrace it! Isaiah 55:6 “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.” “The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2nd Peter 3:9