Which Father is Yours?
Grace Whispers: The Law and sin punish, but I discipline those I love. Discipline is never pleasant for the moment but if you embrace it, it will bring forth fruit of righteousness.
My new book, “My Return Home to Innocence,” (found on Amazon), Chapter 16 entitled, “Law Glasses Cleaned.” This chapter reveals how I was indoctrinated under the law of fear and punishment; it was difficult to receive our Father’s love unless it came in a certain package. In the denomination which I was saved, women weren’t allowed to wear pants, make-up, open-toed shoes, or jewelry. We loved the Lord, but we were so focused on the outer man which left our inner man shackled and unable to be free to be whom we really were In Christ. We were very sincere in our dedication to the Lord, but we didn’t understand that trying to follow laws and rules in the Old and New Testament kept us bound and unable to experience His grace and love only found in the Law of Grace in the New Testament. We were bound by fear of punishment rather than bound by the discipline of His love. The Lord cleaned my law glasses when He came in the disguise of a woman in pants and red lipstick who prayed for me when I was broken and hurting. She restored my soul to life! The letter of the law, always brings fear of punishment, whereas, the law of Grace brings freedom and life. Let me share a story to shed light on the subject.
There was a little girl named Rula, who grew up with a father she believed loved her. He was very strict and had lots of rules to keep her behavior in line. Rula tried desperately to please Him by obeying everything he told her to do; she was afraid of his rejection and failure. When she went to school, her teachers adored her because she did everything they told her and got ‘As’ on all of her report cards.
There was another little girl named Grace, who grew up with a father who loved her and she knew it. He was kind, gentle, patient, and forgiving; he had rules, but his rules were used to keep her safe and protected from danger, but never to cause fear. This little girl didn’t always get ‘As,’ but she did her best in whatever tasks given her. She loved to please her father, not because of fear but because of the love he showed and had for her; she was never afraid to fail.
One day, their English teacher was out sick so a substitute teacher came to teach the children for the day. “Today children, we will have a pop quiz so take out a sheet of paper and write your names on the top left-hand corner of the page, the teacher said.” Rula objected, “We always write our names on the right-hand corner of the page.” The substitute teacher listened to her and said to her, “I know that’s how you always do it, but today we will do things a little differently.” Rula got angry and because of being rigid and unable to adapt to changes easily, she refused to take the pop quiz. So for the first time in her life, Rula got an ‘F’, on her assignment. Rula cried and begged her teacher to change her grade because she knew how upset her father would be if he knew she failed a test. The teacher said, “No Rula! You made the choice not to take the test, you will have to endure the consequences for your actions.” Rula cried, “My father will be angry and disappointed with me, I can never tell him what happened!” When Grace heard how upset Rula was for failing the test, she came to her and said, “Rula, give me your paper and I will give you mine. I will erase the name on my paper and you can add your name to mine. I got an ‘A’ on the quiz, but it will be yours, I will take the ‘F’ home to my father, I know He will understand.” So, Rula wrote her name on Grace’s paper and took her ‘A’ home to her father. Her father looked at it but didn’t say a word. Rula tried hard to win his affections, approval, and acceptance, but it was to no avail; she always felt she was never good enough. She longed for his love and a relationship. However, when Grace took the ‘F’ home to her father and told her father what she did, he said to her, “Grace, I am so proud of you not for what you did, but for who you are… my child, my beloved, and the joy of my heart whether you are right or wrong fail or succeed, I will always love you and never reject you… you are mine FOREVER.”
Which one is your father? Does your father use the Bible to teach you his rules to change your behaviors and if you fail, you fear being punished, so you try harder not to fail? Is he the father you are always trying to make proud and get closer too? Or is he the father who shares the Bible to help you see the amazing relationship he has provided for you to enjoy with him, his son, and the Holy Spirit? Is he the father who welcomes you into his arms when you sin or mess up, then sits you upon his lap and says to you, “Let me teach you or discipline you by using your failures so you can learn from them and I can use them as paths of growth and freedom?”
The first father was mine for years. I reacted and responded to Him because of fear; I hid my failures, weaknesses, and sins. I pretended to be someone I wasn’t. I wore the spiritual mask for years. I built my life around How Much; how much time I spent reading the Bible, praying, ministering to others, witnessing, memorizing scriptures, fasting, being used by God in ministry, and more trying to be accepted and make him proud. And when I couldn’t measure up to what I thought I should be or others’ expectations, I felt like a big failure, lost, and alone.
But one day, I met the Father of Grace (my ABBA, my Papa). He was the one who helped me take off my spiritual mask, and I learned to share my heart with, be honest with, and to let him see all of my sin, struggles, and failures. He was the Father I fell in love with; HE IS MINE AND I AM HIS FOREVER MORE!
The Truth is:
If the Law is your father, he tells you who you ARE NOT and what you MUST do to become. He can never provide an intimate relationship with you, no matter how hard you try.
If the Law of Liberty and Grace is your Father, He tells you who YOU ARE and reminds you of WHAT HE HAS DONE; only in Him will you find acceptance, peace, love, and an AWESOME relationship! (James 1:25 Amplified and above Galatians 4:6)