Message of Redemption to the Redeemed Part I
Many Christians today, faithfully serve in church ministry, pay tithes, attend every church service, pray to God referring to Him as Father yet, have never really come to know God, our Father . . . have never grown to love Him the way we ought. We are too busy doing things for God to actually cultivate a relationship with Him as our Father. Yet we claim that we are “sons of God.” Is not a son an extension of his father? Is this not a position of intimacy? Yet, we, God’s children, have no intimacy with our Father.
This article is a message from the very heart of God our Father to His sons – a message of redemption to the redeemed that deals with the importance of intimacy between God the Father and His children. It is a message to turn the hearts of the children of God back to their Father.
How does God our Father feel about having children who do not know him intimately?
God clearly and vividly expressed His feelings to His first born – Israel when they chose to replace relationship with Him with religious ceremonies and customs. Through the prophet Isaiah God passionately declared, “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me?” And admonished them to “bring no more vain obligations;” vehemently stating, “my soul hate it.”
In the book of Isaiah chapter one, God unmistakably shows how much He wants intimate relationship with His children and how much He loathes the superficial homage they pay Him with their religious rituals. One can hear the Father’s broken heart, His disappointment, His pain, His sadness, His grief, His loneliness. One can hear the pleading of redemptive love to the redeemed—the Father’s tender offer of revival and restoration of love between Him and His first born; His goodwill offer of health, prosperity and success instead of sickness, calamity, and defeat.
God’s first born children, the Israelites were a praying people, a worshiping people, a sacrificing people, committed to the things of God, but in all their doings, they never touched the heart of God, they never came into an intimate relationship with Him and this broke the Father’s heart.
There is a generic law of God that is seen in Isaiah I, and that is, that a father inherently loves and honours his son and likewise, his son loves and honours his father. Just as the ox and the donkey instinctively know and automatically trust and obey their master so too, a son must know his father. Yet, like the Israelites, we, the children of God, born of the Spirit of God continue to live like orphans, not knowing our Father personally and intimately. We settle instead for merely knowing about Him and pursue our own timetables instead of pursuing Him.
In this first part of the message of redemption to the redeemed we will follow Jesus and the Father in their intimate relationship and learn from Jesus how we are to love our Father and God.
In the book of John, Chapter 5 we see Jesus setting the record straight with the religious leaders, establishing for them, His position of intimacy with God, His Father. When they accused Him of breaking the law by performing a miracle on the Sabbath, He informed them matter-of-factly that, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.”(John 5: 17). In other words, He was telling them in essence that: you do not understand the relationship I have with my Father God. I am an extension of my Father, we are so close that when He is working, I cannot rest, I must work too. Jesus went on to tell them that He, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do:” (John 5: 19). Throughout John, Chapter 5, the relationship between Jesus and His Father is portrayed. Everything that the Father is, He has extended to His son, Jesus. Whatever is done to One is automatically done to the Other because of their bond of unity – their oneness – They are inseparable! Everything that belongs to the Father belongs to the Son, the Father has given Him all authority based on His position of sonship.
Jesus expressed and demonstrated His love, obedience, respect, and honour for His Father openly. He was passionate towards Him. He was one with Him. And throughout the accounts of Jesus’ life we see an exchange of the Father glorifying the Son and the Son glorifying and exalting the Father conveying that sense of belonging to each other and establishing Jesus’ position of intimacy with His Father for, it is only when you are intimate with someone you will want to lift him up, elevate him.
Adam had that same place of intimacy with God his Father as Jesus did. God would leave the portals of Glory in the cool of the evening to come down to fellowship with Adam just to cultivate intimacy with him. But Adam did not treasure his position of intimacy the way that Jesus did. He did not honour the Father the way he should. In fact, Adam chose to honour his wife Eve above his own Father. Adam had more regard for his earthly intimacy with Eve than his heavenly, spiritual, eternal intimacy with his Father, God. This was evident in what transpired when Satan, in the form of a serpent got Eve to sin against God and convince her husband Adam to do the same.
When the devil came to Jesus with the same ploy he used on Adam and Eve, Jesus, unlike Adam, honoured his Father by repeatedly telling the devil: “my Father said.” What His Father said was everything to Jesus, nothing else and no one else mattered. Jesus’ defence was His Father’s Word. Jesus’ will was his Father’s will; His vision was his Father’s vision. Sonship enabled Him to know His Father’s heart; it enabled Him to know His Father’s ways and afforded Him access to more revelation of His Father. Sonship gave Him the honour and privilege to use His Father’s name and authority as He was always about His Father’s business.
A son in right relationship with his father can come to his father anytime and with anything and the father will receive it. This is what Jesus had with His Father. He attained and maintained His place of intimacy with His Father by always honouring Him; by His love and His faith and by His total obedience, doing everything that the Father said.
This takes the hassle and the mystery out of how to come into a relationship with the Father and into a place of intimacy with Him. Like Jesus, we have to purpose that, regardless of what man may say or do, regardless of what promises are made to us, we will honour the Father though our faith, unwavering love and total obedience to God and through our loyalty to the Word of God.
We must not be like Adam and put earthly relationships above the greatest relationship of all – the everlasting, supernatural relationship with our God and Father. Adam did not honour God and he lost out on all the privileges of sonship.
Today, many ministers and Christians want the honour, privilege and authority of being a son of God without making an effort to become one with the Father and the Son, without pursuing intimacy with Them. They are only after getting things from God, becoming rich, being blessed and highly favoured while going about their own interests. The plea of Jesus, the heart cry of the Spirit of God is to come back to the Father.
Let us learn from Jesus, if He needed to be intimate with the Father how much more do we need to be? It is a personal thing; no one can do it for us. We have to purpose in our hearts to pursue the Father’s love, to pursue Him in intimate relationship until He becomes our habitation our shield, our refuse and our strength. We must be willing to sacrifice our time and worldly interests, shut our door, unplug the telephone, cut ties with so-called friends and spend time with Him, in His Word, draw close to our Father. And when we do, the Father will see to it that no one will be able to separate us from Him.
The Church today is weak and people mock Christianity because we do not know the Father but when we come back to the Father when we walk into His embrace we will walk as sons. And the Church will regain its power, its influence its significance and its position.
Oh Church if we only begin to run into our Father’s arms, He will begin to elevate us. He will begin to show us off to the world. He will put us center-stage and people will declare – surely they are the sons of God.