Check up on your Father’s Influence
by Pastors Dave and Cheryl Koop, Coastal Church, Vancouver
God sees every chapter of your life, from the beginning to the end. He has thought through the plot. You’re most likely familiar with Jeremiah 29:11 where the Bible says “I know the thoughts I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
We also have thoughts and plans for our future. We keep a close eye our financial and investment accounts. We keep track of our education and workplace opportunities. But there’s another account we should track that affects our future. It’s our account to God for His faithfulness as our Father. Using the word CHECK as an acronym, let’s look at five reminders on how to be good stewards of this account.
C – Count on God as our Father
There’s a name for God that occurs only once in the Bible but a quality seen throughout. In Ezekiel 48:35 He’s called Jehovah Shammah which means, “The Lord is there.” It’s the Israelite’s desire to rebuild the temple so they can once again worship God. It had been 14 years since it had been trampled. The people were dismayed and discouraged. Remember that the temple symbolized God’s presence among His people and in their darkest hour they were reminded that God is there.
We may feel that it’s our darkest hour but just as we read in Ezekiel, we can count on our Heavenly Father to be dependable and encouraging. He will empower us and give us the strength needed to fulfill the dreams He’s put in our hearts, as we too desire to worship Him with our very lives. In fact, 1 Corinthians 6:19 tells us we are God’s temple which means we have the assurance that Jehovah Shammah is with us!
H – Honour Him as your Father
Exodus 20:12 says “Honour your father and your mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” One way to honour our Heavenly Father is to honour our parents. God knew the sacrifice and choices this would take. It takes humility to recognize the weight of responsibility on dads – the innumerable sacrifices to lay down their personal wants and desires for a higher calling as they ensure their family is protected and provided for. How do we honour the Lord by honouring our dads? With a thankful heart to God for giving you life through your parents and then allow the full expression of His unconditional love to flow through you towards them and others.
E – Encouragement from your Father
The Lord needs you to be counted among the brave. The Lord spoke to Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous, don’t tremble or be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9). Conquer the chapter of life you are living with zeal. 1 Timothy 4:12 is yours to live. “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”
C – Challenges from our Father
Our Father would never expect us to fulfill a vision without empowering us for the task. King Lemuel’s mother understood this when she instructed her son in Proverbs 31. Speak words of life, and purpose to be the person who accepts the challenge to have truth and mercy bound around your neck and written on the tablet of your heart. In other words, let this be who you are, how you speak, how you act as well as react.
K – Keep close to our Father
“Submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.” (James 4:7,8) We submit projects to management for approval, submit school assignments for credits, submit job applications for review. Dads, submit the role of fatherhood to the Lord for approval. He is Jehovah Shammah, the God who is there.
This Fathers Day let’s be encouraged to check into the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father and give Him the praise He deserves as the ultimate example of a father.
PRAYER: Dear Father, today we honour You by honouring fathers. Empower each man by your Spirit to be the man you see him to be. Grant him the desire and power to be a faithful disciple of Jesus. Call him to walk in Christ, equip him to live like Christ, and send him to work for Christ. Help him to grasp that he will feel most alive, most useful, and most content when he is doing what he was created to do. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen