40 Days To Lasting Change By Kyle Idleman

Devotional

“A Tale of Two Fathers”

Many people view God as an Unreasonable Father with a long list of rules that seem designed to take all the fun out of life. I’ve heard God described as “The Great Cosmit Killjoy” whose boundaries are a fence that imprisons rather than a guardrail that protects.

Some people see God as an Unmerciful Father, angry and borderline abusive and happily distributing punishment. He’s always watching and waiting for you to slip up, and when He catches you, it won’t matter how sorry you are—there will be hell to pay.

Unfortunately, religion uses guilt and shame to reinforce rules and present God as an Unpleasable Father. That’s one of the reasons Jesus wasn’t a fan of religion. Maybe you grew up feeling as though your best was never good enough for God. You brought home a B on your report card, but it should have been an A. Maybe you grew up in a church that perpetuated these beliefs.

Some people see God as an Uncaring Father who wasn’t there for them when they needed Him most. Their relationship with God can be summed up like this: “If He doesn’t care about me, then I don’t care about Him.”

Maybe you’ve adopted this view of God because your earthly father was distant or absent.

However, in truth God is a heavenly Father who is reasonable, pleasable, merciful, and caring. His love extends beyond the boundaries of our comprehension. His efforts to reach and heal and know us broke the cosmic law of life and death and changed the reality of the very universe for all eternity past, present, and future.

Our perceptions from life on this earth can get in the way or cloud our vision. But refocusing on our heavenly Father realigns our perspective. God’s Word reminds us that He takes delight in us (Ps. 149:4), rejoices over us (Zeph. 3:17), hears and heals us (Ps. 30:2), and loves us lavishly as His children (1 John 3:1).

Even if we’ve turned our backs and walked away from God, He is a loving, merciful, gracious, and caring Father. Who wants to do more than just help us—He wants to save us. And His perfect love is more than able to do so.

*How has your relationship with your earthly father shaped your view of your heavenly Father?