Did you know that how your heart sees or beholds the Father – what it believes to be true about Him – will impact your day-to-day intimacy with Him? In moments of crisis, pain or disappointment, what you believe to be true about the Father’s heart towards you , will eventually come to the forefront of your mind, will, and emotions.
For example: you’ve just lost your job, you have little or no money saved, the rent is due and you’re maxed out on the credit card. You apply to all the right channels; unemployment insurance, temporary employment agencies (while you look for full-time work), create an online presence for prospective employers and link up with your local prayer group.
At first you’re full of expectation. You’ve read some really good inspirational books about how to walk by faith, confess the word and battle the enemy through prayer. But as the days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months, you find that it gets harder and harder to remember what the books said, confess scriptures with conviction, and believe that God is for you and not against you.
In other words, you wake up one morning in a crisis of faith, wavering on the goodness of God. Your heart has reached the end of its confidence in the Father’s love, and you’re in desperate need of a refill.
We love Him, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (NKJV)
Can you image how Jesus must have felt just hours before being arrested and tried for heresy, sedition, and blaspheme? He is the only begotten Son of God, the Darling of heaven and the Savior of the world. Yet if Luke’s account of His last evening with the disciples is to be believed, Jesus reached such a crisis of faith, that He actually sweat so much blood, Holy Spirit and angels had to comfort Him. Luke 22:39-44 (NKJV)
Sooner or later your intimacy with the Father, and the conviction you have of His love for you, will be challenged. It may be in the area of your health, your finances, or relationships; but just as surely as the sun will rise in the east and set in the west, the Father will allow your trust in Him to be tested and pressed thin.
So why would a loving Father allow your life to be challenged like that? If He really loves you, and His goodness and kindness is without measure, then why would He stand back and let you lose your job, your health, or your friends and family?
If we go back and look at Jesus in the hour of His own crisis, we may just get a glimpse of more than prayer or pre-arrest intercession. In the moment of Jesus’ greatest need, He saw something in the heart of His Abba Father that went so deep, that it pushed His heart past its present level of trust and confidence, and empowered Him to endure the most horrendous torture the world has ever seen.
The Father is never satisfied to let you or I stay at the same level of intimacy we have today. And though scripture confirms that He is incapable of giving us anything other than what is good, the principal is also there which suggests that He will allow crisis in order to step in and show Himself bigger and better than ever before.
“It is not the size of our faith that is important but the depth of our revelation of God’s nature. When we know what He is really like, when our hearts are emboldened by the majesty of His faithfulness and grace, then we know His commitment to His word and His people cannot be broken. His word will not return to Him empty. ..Faith is driven by what we have seen, heard and experienced of the true nature of the Father. “ (2)
The Father loves to demonstrate His goodness, kindness, and comfort. He loves to come into the middle of our crisis in order to draw us into a deeper, intimate revelation of the immeasurableness of His majesty and love. Just as a muscle cannot grow without being stretched and pulled, so your heart cannot be enlarged to greater capacities of love without being stretched and pulled as well.
Being a little child before the Father is not an absence of maturity; but rather, it is the ever-growing conviction that your Abba is bigger that any crisis you may face, and that in the midst of your darkest hour, He will never leave nor forsake you.
- Irenaeus, “Against the Heresy of Gnosticism”; pg. 48 Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning; Harper Collins, 2000
- Pg. 50, “The Language of Love”; Graham Cooke; Chosen 2004
- Find a quiet place without distractions (this would be a good time to play soaking music) and spend a few minutes thanking the Father of Love for sending the Son of His love Jesus to pay the penalty for every sin, adopting you into His family of love and wanting to bring you into an intimate encounter with His love.
- As you feel the Father’s embrace and begin to rest in His love think about the circumstances in your life. Maybe you’ve recently had to walk through some difficult and challenging times, or have had to confront something from your past. As the memory or thought comes to mind, ask the Lord where He was or is in all of that. Who does He want to be for you in that moment, that will help you to see and understand a deeper, wider, higher, or longer revelation of the Father’s love for you?
- Feel free to write down any feelings, words or impressions you get so that you can meditate on them later.