Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Father's Heart

Luke 15:32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

There is something amazing about answered prayer. I have so many people on my heart right now. I guess I always have but there is something different about it. My viewpoint has shifted.

The last two weeks have been a shifting time for me. I am a big sister and the eldest in my family. Most of how I see things is processed through the big sister lens. In Luke 15:20-32 Jesus tells the story of the prodigal son. I would always identify with the older son. I thought it was cool that the younger son came back but could identify with the older son's frustration.

Something has changed in the last two weeks though and it can only be that I have become a mother.
I have been a mother to my own kids for 10 years now and so you would think that this is strange but let me explain.

The reason why the older son was not happy when his younger brother returned is because he wasn't seeing him as his father saw this younger son. He was looking at his brother as a little brother who messed up and was getting rewarded for his bad behaviour. However the father did not care what his younger son had done or how much money he had wasted. Instead he was only happy that his son was back. If the older brother had only seen that the return of someone to the family is something to be celebrated and is of far more worth than being a good person and doing good stuff.

My Father in Heaven doesn't care what I have done wrong. If I am not near to Him He misses me terribly. When I have run away from Him He doesn't hide from me and sulk. He waits for me. He stays where I left from and waits for my return. He stores up His love to lavish upon me on my return.

I used to roll my eyes when people ran away from the good things in there life and the only thing I would wait for was the day they would come back and realise the wrong thing they did and repent.

Today none of that matters. Today I became a mother. Today I see people with the Father's heart. It is good to repent for what we have done but the main focus should always be on the return.

I pray for those that have run away from God to return to Him so they can feel love and not judgement. God wants to clothe the prodigals in your life with a ring of authority, a robe of royalty and sandals of sonship.

In our lives we compete with each other for the love of our parents. Any sibling can attest to this. Who hasn't said "mom and dad love you more than me because of xyz" I must've said it or thought it a few times. It stops mattering when we see your siblings as the Father sees them.

With our brothers and sisters in the Church how do we react? I have acted as a big sister and even as a little sister trying to win approval. My pastor last week said something that I had a good think about. He said that there are people who are looking for someone to be a father to them but what they really need is to be a father or mother to someone else.
There comes a time in our life where we need to realise that we no longer need to be fathered by anyone because we now need to step into a place of being that person to someone else.

Lisa Bevere puts it well in her book Girls With Swords. She was feeling unsure about how to step into the women's ministry God was calling her to. God said to her that all she needed to do was be all the things to these women that she always want from someone to be to her.

I wanted someone to always be there for me, champion me, look over my faults, encourage, support me and love me just as I am with all their hearts.

I really hope now that that is the person I am now. I want to be that person to those younger than me.

I have graduated from big sister to momma bear and I will fearsly and fearlessly protect and love all those God has put under my wing and those He has called me to mother. I want to be Jesus to people and I want to bring the Father heart to people.

God loves me so much. It is only in loving others as a mother that I have come to see just how much He loves me.
Imagine as a mother giving up your own child to save the life of one of someone else so that they can be a part of your family? The concept is foreign but that is what the Father did. He took his very Son who was part of Him and gave Him up so that you and I would know how His heart for us.

I give up my right as a sister and daughter so that I can be a mother if that is what it takes to bring you back to Jesus.

As a daughter and sister I had a right because I was the eldest and I was good and did nothing wrong. I didn't give anyone any trouble therefore I had a right to things those who mess up all the time didn't have. I would get really bent out of shape if I saw a "juvenile delinquent" get promoted over me when I tried so hard and there they are messing up all the time and now look they get a ring, robe, sandals, a fattened calf and a party! It is unfair!

There comes a time when you just want them back. You want to see them succeed and you just want to hug them again and hear their voice. There is nothing sweeter than a prodigal son worshiping the Father.

A friend came to church today. I prayed so hard over the last year for him. I saw him as a little brother. I have a little brother who lives very far away who I love very much. He isn't perfect but I miss him despite the mess. I have a few young people in church that I see as little sisters and brothers because mine are so far away but today when my little brother here in New Zealand came back after I prayed so hard for him I was so excited. I was so happy to see him again. It didn't matter that he was away for that long. I was just so happy that he was there.
I got to thinking about how God saw those who come back to Him. The absolute joy that the Father has for each person that turns back to Him.

I have read in the Bible where it says there is a huge party in Heaven when one person is saved and I thought that was cool but it only full registered today just how amazing it is.

So I was in a puddle of tears today as I thought about all the people in my life I am praying for. Answered prayer is sweet, so so sweet. Unanswered prayer when done without ceasing grows your faith.

Don't stop praying for those who are far from the Father. Don't lose faith and don't lose hope. Keep pressing on and when they return love them like the Father does. Love them as if they were your own child. As you pray for them, pray for them with the heart of the Father.

I thank God for His love for me.

I wrote this bit of a song in church today as I was worshiping.

I thank you Lord
I thank you Lord
I thank you Lord
Your love is Deep
Your love is Wide
Your love is Sure.

His love for you is deeper than any ocean and wider than any horizon. Above all it is sure and reliable and ever present.

My mother heart is always so much deeper and bigger than my sister heart. My sister heart always had conditions but my mother heart is unconditional.

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