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By Andrew Wommack
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
“Abba, Father” speaks of an intimate, loving relationship with God. Today we would say “daddy” or “papa.” Sadly, though, many do not have this kind of relationship with the Lord. They’re so worried about not sinning themselves into hell that they can’t process the idea that God might actually love them unconditionally.
Even those who know they are saved still believe God will give them a disease, keep them poor, or refuse to answer their prayers. They try to put a positive spin on it by saying God is trying to “perfect them,” but the bottom line is, in their minds, they are being punished for not being good enough. That creates a spirit of fear and puts them in bondage to sin.
That should not be how a Christian relates to God.
First John 4:18 says,
If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
New Living Translation
Just because you fear that God wants to punish you doesn’t mean it’s true. It just means you don’t understand God’s loving nature yet. I believe one of the reasons many Christians perceive God as angry or demanding is because they have never thought of man’s redemption from God’s point of view.
God made man in His image, after His likeness (Gen. 1:26). Contrary to what many pet owners think today, a dog is not in the image of the man who takes care of it. But a child is. God made man to be His child. That’s why in the Gospels, Jesus repeatedly refers to God as “your Father.”
We know that from the Garden of Eden, God wanted Adam and Eve, His children, to live in beauty and provision. There was no sickness, no death, and no lack. Man ruling over a perfect, blessed world was God’s perfect will.
Imagine, then, how this loving Father must have felt when one day His children were hiding from Him. He had literally given them the whole world. There was only one thing that was bad for them, the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God had warned His children that they would die if they ate of it, but instead of trusting Him, Satan convinced them that God was holding out on them. They still believed there was some sort of enjoyment their Father did not want them to have.
This act of disobedience transferred man’s authority over the earth to Satan, making the devil the “prince of this world” (John 12:31). It’s also the reason there is death, sickness, and lack. Those things do not exist in God’s kingdom. They weren’t in the Garden of Eden. They aren’t in heaven either. They only exist where Satan is in authority. When people blame God for suffering and death, they are getting their kingdoms confused.
God hates human suffering. It was never His will, nor is it in His kingdom. But the world was created by the integrity of His Word. The Lord had given the authority to rule over this world to Adam. Adam voluntarily chose to hand it over to Satan and separate himself from God.
To me, this is where the Lord shows His true nature. He could have just said, “You made your bed—now lie in it.” He could have destroyed Satan’s kingdom immediately, sending man to hell right along with it. But God didn’t do either one. He never stopped loving His kids, so instead of punishing them, He sent Jesus with the sole purpose of paying their ransom with His death (Matt. 20:28).
This made the way for right relationship with God. Anyone who believes in the name of Jesus can be reborn as a child of God. The moment we receive this salvation, we are no longer sinners in His eyes, but are righteous and truly holy (Eph. 4:24). It’s our nature to want to tell God how unworthy we are, but God doesn’t see us that way.
Hebrews 10:17 reads,
And their sins and iniquities will I [God] remember no more.
Born-again believers are not on probation. That’s what most Christians don’t understand. We are not trying to work our way back into God’s kingdom. The moment we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are delivered from Satan’s kingdom and translated back into God’s (Col. 1:13).
That’s why Jesus taught His disciples not to worry about life, or having enough food to eat or clothes to wear. There is no lack in God’s kingdom. If you need something in life, don’t look at yourself and your abilities; instead, “seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Luke 12:31).
Religion has taught us that prosperity is a dirty word used by people who are spiritually immature and selfish. That isn’t true. Being blessed isn’t about our will; it’s about God’s nature.
Jesus said in Luke 12:32,
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
If you surveyed the average Christian today about what gave God pleasure, most would answer with something about repentance from sin or dead works. Probably not one out of a hundred would answer, “Seeing His children blessed.” On the other hand, if you asked one hundred parents what gave them pleasure, most answers would include something about seeing their children happy and doing well.
If it is in a parent’s nature to want to see their children prosper and be in good health, why would God be different (3 John 2)?
That’s exactly the point Jesus was making in Matthew 7:11:
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. God doesn’t just want you to have a cup; He wants you to have a cup that is overflowing. God doesn’t just want you to catch a few fish; He wants you to catch so many fish, your nets are breaking and your boat is about to sink. He wants everyone to have their fill with twelve baskets left over.
Many argue that the existence of struggling Christians is proof that it’s not always God’s will to see His children healthy and prospering. Again, they are getting their kingdoms confused. Sure, we still live in a fallen world. We still have an Enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy us. But that’s why we must receive our blessing through a supply channel called faith.
Hebrews 11:6 refers to this:
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Many Christians don’t feel worthy to come to God in faith that He will help them, because they have been taught that their sin has disqualified them. But, see, that doesn’t please God. He doesn’t want you to think of Him as the punisher of those who aren’t perfect; He wants you to come to Him with the expectation of reward—not because you are good but because He is good.
I know this is the opposite of what religion has taught us, but it’s clearly illustrated in the parable often referred to as the Prodigal Son. When most of us read this story, we relate with the son who ran away. We know our behavior has made us unworthy to be in the presence of our Father, so maybe if we beg forgiveness and confess our sins, God will let us live in His kingdom as a lowly servant.
However, Jesus was not telling this story to illustrate man’s nature; He was illustrating God’s nature.
Luke 15:20 explains how God feels about us when we become born again.
But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
The son confessed his unworthiness to the father, but the father didn’t even acknowledge it. There was no putting his son on probation or making him work his way back into the father’s good graces. The father wasn’t interested in punishing his son; he was too excited about getting back to what brought him pleasure—blessing his children.
He immediately restored his son into the family by putting a ring on his finger, shoes on his feet, and dressing him in the best robe. Then he threw a party. The son’s disloyalty and rebellion would no longer be remembered or brought up. It didn’t matter anymore. The only thing that mattered to the father was expressed in Luke 15:24:
For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
That’s the attitude of a loving father. That’s the true nature of God.