Recently, a pastor friend of mine asked me to look over some notes he was preparing for a Father’s Day sermon. He had several good ideas and scriptures about fathers. A lot of them were able to stand alone as separate sermons. Like Luke 11:11-13. Jesus is talking: “You fathers – if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”
I think fatherhood looks different in different seasons. Babies need a lot of care. They can do nothing for themselves. They trust that all they need will be provided. Toddlers need a little less care (“I do it!”) but more direction. Young children need to be taught how to behave and learn to make good decisions, and so on. Eventually, once you reach adulthood, your earthly father is a peer, and someone you come to for good counsel and encouragement. You aren’t necessarily looking for approval or permission anymore.
But, as with all things in Christ, it’s “opposite world”. We never outgrow our need for God. He will always be our Father. Our maturity grows as we deepen our dependence on Him. We don’t get more self-sufficient as we become more perfect.
When we were spiritual babies, as in the natural, we didn’t concern ourselves with where our “food” came from. The Father provided. As the scripture says, “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it”. We didn’t question. As we progress in the Lord, we find ourselves needing to search out our own food. It’s part of the growing-up process. We seek out His presence, and we cry out for Him to fill us. We don’t become more independent; we become less, because we glimpse the “cracks” where He held us up, picked us up, and carried us. We are humbled. It’s almost like we are able to see in a greater way just how much we need Him. He lets us in, a little, on all He’s been doing this whole time. Our confidence in what He has put in us grows exponentially. Our love for Him expands as we see just how much He really does for us, every day, all the time.
James 1:17: Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.