Have you ever felt like you don't belong? Have you ever observed yourself doing whatever it takes to make sure that people will like you? I have! Even though I have had a great family and wonderful friends throughout my life, I always found myself feeling like I didn't quite belong in any group that I was a part of. I never felt like people really knew me.
Also, since I reconnected with Jesus about ten years ago, I have had a pretty intense desire to have some kind of spiritual father. I felt like I needed someone older to really help me and father me in the faith. God has provided some awesome friends and mentors throughout the last ten years but I have felt like I have always been searching for that father figure to come along and make everything better, to make me feel complete.
This last weekend I had one of the most amazing encounters with God that I have ever had. I was sitting on the floor with my wonderful wife after a great church service and felt the presence of God tugging on us to stop and pray. God was inviting us into an encounter with Him, an opportunity to know Him more!
It started with me feeling that same old need for a father, except that this time it was very, very intense! Like a black hole right in the middle of my heart. Then Megan, my wife, says to me after I told her this, "I think you need to declare God your Father." Well, when your wife is right, she is right! As I started to declare out loud that God is my father, I started remembering all the times in my life that I knew God had been present. I just knew that He was always there beside me, helping me even though I didn't know it or acknowledge it. He then reminded me of a previous vision that He gave me where I was a newborn baby that had just been delivered. As I lay there, a helpless little baby, I was surrounded by angels and Father God stood over me. They were rejoicing over my birth, they were anticipating that very day! How wonderful is that?!! God and His angels rejoice over everyone of us when we are born! Psalm 139 says that God knits us together in our mother's womb! If God goes to that much trouble, you can bet that everyone in heaven is very excited when that baby enters the world!
As all of this is happening I am feeling that void in my heart for a father disappearing. God was filling one of the deepest needs of my heart. And if that wasn't enough He starts speaking to me, telling me that I belong. I saw a picture of a huge table that extended further than I could see. I was sitting at this table with millions of other people, God's children! I heard God saying that I belonged at His family table. That He was my Father and I belonged in His family! If you know me, you can imagine that at this point I was heap of tears and snot, sobbing uncontrollably next to my very gracious wife! I can't even express how loved and accepted I felt in that moment by my heavenly Father!
It has been a week since this encounter and I have to say that this has been one of the most joyful and peaceful weeks of my life. I haven't been stressed out like I have been the last couple years and the underlying anxiety that I have always dealt with is gone! I have always known with my mind that I am God's son and am accepted, but now my heart knows it and it makes all the difference! I am so grateful to my God and Father for how much He loves us all! He is so kind and generous to everyone, even when we don't give Him the recognition.
I share this with you because I know that what God did for me, He wants to do for everyone on this planet. He wants us to know that He is a gracious and compassionate God. That He is slow to anger and abounds in steadfast, never ending love! May He receive all the glory and all the honor for everything! We are most blessed to be called His children!
If you don't know Him as Father, I encourage you to receive Him as your Father. This is the very reason that Jesus died on a cross, 2000 years ago, so that our sins would be forgiven and a relationship with Father could be restored. We all have this same desire and only He can fill it. There is nothing we can do to earn or lose His love for us. God proved His love for us already, on the cross. Now He wants us to experience the best life imaginable and its only available through the resurrection life of Jesus! He wants to fill us with His Spirit and cause us to be burning and shining lamps of Gods Great Love to all the earth!
May God's Father heart, overwhelm and bless you today!