A Heavenly Father
What does the heavenly father think of you? Is he critical and unavailable, or does he see you for who he created you to be?
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By Sue Brage
Have you ever met those parents? You know the ones who have photos and videos of their kids all queued up the moment you meet them? The ones who post every milestone or special moment on Instagram? Sometimes, it’s even a grandparent! (Ok, guilty as charged. But seriously, #grandkidsrock.) We can’t help it. These kids are awesome.
You know, your heavenly father is just as proud of you.
As much as those parents or grandparents delight in sharing and “bragging” (with love!) about their little ones’ latest achievements, special gifts or amazing personalities (not to mention how adorable they are!), God delights in sharing who you are with others. He is a “proud papa” when it comes to you—your gifts, your personality, your special moments.
His heart is full of joy and excitement when he sees his children step out in their gifts in order to share him with others.
Our Earthly Fathers Vs. the Heavenly Father
Maybe you had a dad who supported you; one who encouraged you and pushed you to be your best. You can be thankful for his presence and encouragement. It’s a beautiful representation of our heavenly Father’s heart!
Unfortunately, many of us didn’t have that experience. We didn’t have a dad cheering us on, attending recitals or concerts, supporting our efforts, telling us we were (are!) amazing. Now that we are older, we realize how much that could have meant to us; maybe we would have been bolder, more confident, more willing to try new things.
That is the father’s message for you today: He is proud of who you are. He longs to see you using your unique gifts, strengths and personality to bring others closer to him.
Put Yourself Out There
We are created to reflect God’s image on this earth! Everything we are, everything God put in us is for the purpose of drawing others to him for his glory.
Consider Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world,” Jesus tells us. “A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
God is glorified when we serve others with the strengths and gifts he’s put in us. He is pleased—thrilled—when we risk putting ourselves out there. He isn’t concerned, nervous or fearful. He knows the good that can come from even our most feeble efforts! In fact, often it’s the times we fall most flat that he gets the most glory. Our weakness, our stumbling is often a huge encouragement to others.
A Childlike Heart: Our Father’s glory
In contrast, God isn’t glorified when we hesitate or hold back; when we keep ourselves to ourselves. He wants his children to be confident and fearless; as confident and fearless as a child whose father believes in them and knows how far they can go.
He isn’t waiting for us to mess up so he can critique or chide us. Like the loving Father he is, he will greet us with open arms and a huge smile on his face.
There have been times I’ve wanted to debrief with God, especially when I feel something didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. I’ve learned God just isn’t interested in that. He wants me to see the good that came from it, how pleased he is at my effort. It’s frustrating at times when I want him to commiserate with me when I’ve “messed up.” I can feel him smiling, waiting for me to finish so he can tell me how delighted he is with me.
I read this quote the other day: “The glory of God is man fully alive.” -SAINT IRENAEUS. Oh, if we believed that were true. If we lived like his children, fully alive, fully open and confident before him and each other.
What would you do if you knew your Heavenly Father was behind you 100 percent? Where would you go? Who would you help?
I’m here to tell you, he is. He is your biggest fan and loudest cheerleader. Because he knows what he put in you and how much good can happen when you share yourself with others.
I currently serve OMF (U.S.) in the role of Vice President for Communications. My passion is to help OMF share our mission and vision in fresh and relevant ways and to help others communicate well for his kingdom. As a writer and a leader, my heart is to encourage each of us to draw closer to Jesus and his purposes for us.
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