Becoming Radiant Expressions of Father’s Heart
March 3, 2017Faith-based, Fellowship, God's Love, Growth, Guidance, Life purpose, Maturity, Personal Father, Relationship Building, Spiritual Intimacy
As our loving heavenly Father, God is always responsive when we turn to Him and spend time in His Presence. His personal interaction with us fuels our ability to grow into His image and likeness; we become expressions of Father’s heart. This growth process is our life purpose and it brings ultimate fulfillment. Intimate Father-to-child fellowship with each of us is one of His greatest joys. Our fellowship with His Presence enables us to progressively mature into the potential He has placed in each of us.
To better understand how our progressive growth occurs, let’s visualize ourselves as an apprentice. God’s personal instruction as our loving Father can be seen in the relational roles of a highly-skilled teacher sharing his passion, wisdom, and knowledge with an apprentice earnestly seeking to know more. Functioning as an apprentice to Father, our role is to draw near, learn His ways, and apply what we are learning through practice.
Living Life Abundantly
The deep insights Father desires to share with us far exceed our imagination and greatest dreams. What love He has for us! The God of all creation equipped the earth as a place to birth and parent His offspring. Humanity, each of us, began in God’s mind before the progressions of time even started. Father has special intentions for every one of us.
Are you experiencing the life-changing effects of walking in God’s ways?
Don’t miss out on this extraordinary gift of living life abundantly in His Presence. We want to understand that enjoying a few spill-over benefits of God’s ways is not the same as the life changing effects of knowing and consistently walking in those ways. When we understand His relational ways, we are able to make more sense of His actions toward us.
Jesus gave us specific insight about knowing God’s ways when He said:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened (Matthew 7:7-8).
Earnestly Seeking Father’s Fellowship
We are all able to seek like this; every one of us! Numerous Scripture references illustrate how Moses was an example of someone truly seeking after God. Moses went from knowing God exists, to having encounters with Him, to being a faithful servant, and eventually into friendship. Our heavenly Father responds to our seeking. Following Moses’ request to know God’s ways (Exodus 33:13), God began to reveal His ways. As Moses began to understand and know God more intimately, he became a great expression of his heavenly Father’s heart.
Earnest pursuit of the Father and His way of life (further explained in my book, The Christ Culture) helps establish us in our destiny. In order for us to progressively be better reflections of Father, we must be open to the fellowship of his guiding presence. Fellowship is defined as a sharing of common interests, views, experiences, and goals. Isn’t it exciting and rather mind-boggling that we can really share interests, views, experiences, and goals with God?
Equipped to Hear Father
It’s true; God understands where we are in our life process and wants to advise, lead, and guide us along the way through all our ups and downs. Our Father’s care and concern for us is so strong that He continually calls, speaks, inspires, and offers direction to each of us, even to offspring who do not believe. Where do you suppose inspiring thoughts and new ideas come from? The spirit of life in each of us equips us to hear the inspiration God shares. We hear most effectively when we are consciously paying attention.
The spirit of life in each of us equips us to hear the inspiration God shares.
What does it look like in our daily lives to intentionally open our hearts and minds to God? When we spend time reading Scripture, listening to the still small voice of God, and entertaining His ever-abiding Presence among us, we get to know our heavenly Father and become better expressions of His heart. Certainly, our Father’s nurturing also takes place during times of personal prayer and meditation. Prayer connects us not only to God’s provisions but more importantly to a place of fellowship in His Presence.
When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, he gave these instructions:
When you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret (Matthew 6:6).
Pray, then, in this way, “Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours in the kingdom and the power and the glory forever” (Matthew 6:9-13).
Many people suppose prayer is a way to appeal to God for forgiveness, provision, and protection. While these are valid prayerful goals, Jesus presents us with three primary objectives in prayer: To acknowledge God as Father, to honor His name (identity), and to welcome His kingdom (governing) influence into our lives. Jesus’ emphasis in prayer is toward acknowledging and building our personal relationship with Father.
Jesus’ emphasis in prayer is toward acknowledging and
building our personal relationship with Father.
Personally Interacting With Father
Biblical prayer is our two-way conversation with God. When Scripture says we are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), it speaks of living in an attitude of prayer. A prayerful attitude postures us to be open to our interaction with Father throughout the day. When we make our requests known (Philippians 4:6), we want to listen for God’s response.
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us (1 John 5:14).
This verse says God hears us. While it does not say He will fulfill all our requests, we can trust our loving Father to put our welfare above our desires. We should be asking for His guidance as we deal with things, then listening for His still small voice to provide the insight we need for the situation. Consistently conversing with our Father is fundamental to deeper intimacy and becoming a true reflection of Him.
Experiencing God’s Presence with Others
Further growth as maturing children takes place in the midst of our fellowship with one another. God understands the importance of having others come alongside and support our childlike response to Him as the real guiding force in our life. In His wonderful concern for us as Father, God provides people with whom we can mutually share our insightful experiences.
Interacting in godly ways and sharing what God is saying and doing
invites His Presence to become more obvious.
Interacting in godly ways and sharing what God is saying and doing invites His Presence to become more obvious. We refer to the atmosphere of living where God’s inspiring Presence is experienced as the culture of Christ. This culture is a nutrient-rich environment where lives improve due to a receptive submission to Father’s guiding Presence. As our fellowship with God deepens, so does our desire to please Him and draw others into the wonderful life He wants us to live.
But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
While God invites all to interact, we choose when we respond and to what degree we partake of Father’s insightful fellowship.
Expressions of Father’s Heart
We can accept God’s call to fellowship and experience a relational rebirth, yet fail to realize our awakening is meant to activate fellowship with Him. It’s possible to be confident of a life after this life, and yet be complacent about an active interaction with God in this world. Moreover, we may even receive insights from God and respond as a faithful servant, and still miss the insightful sharing that comes from a fellowship of hearts.
God loves each of His offspring so He blesses the just as well as the unjust (Matthew 5:45). Abundant blessings fall upon all who partake of God’s fellowship and go from childhood disciplines to mature friendship.
You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you (John 15:14-15).
Father has special intentions for us in our individual situations and circumstances. We can all partake of His richly rewarding insight and learn from Him. Let’s actively receive the Abundant Life His fellowship provides and become more radiant expressions of Father’s heart. Others will notice and be eager to know what we have found.
Keith Carroll, Relational Gospel Founder
Resources to help
We share resources about our relational God here on our website. Both of my books, Created to Relate, Insights Into Our Design and Purpose, and The Christ Culture, A Way of Life Like No Other are available for your devotional read, and for purchase in printed or eBooks.
Many folks are finding my books to be insightful and stimulating reads, excellent for personal understanding and to share in small groups. We provide a Leader’s Guide to facilitate discussions.
Receive our Biblically based insights and teachings via email. “Living Relationally” is a bi-monthly email notice of our latest blog articles (and nothing more.) Sign up at the top of this page. As a Thank-you, we’ll send our exclusive insights “10 Secrets to Secure Healthy Relationships” just for subscribing!
Relational Gospel – making sense of Scripture and this gift called life.