In my time of prayer, the best place is in the cupped hands of my Abba Father.
So much of our spirituality and religion is greatly affected by who we know God to be. A.W. Tozer said, "Nothing twists and deforms the soul more than a low or unworthy conception of God." We all have within us a gallery images of who God is, and those images dramatically affect our responses to Him. This gallery greatly affects the faith and religion we live out each day in relationship with God. The trouble is many, if not most of those images are distorted at best or entirely false at worst. This God many of us relate and respond to is not the God of scripture, and we begin to wonder why some of us live out such a grim, hard, and loveless faith each day.
It is because the God we have come to believe is distant and hard to please. God becomes a cold Father demanding your work without encouragement or love or pride in you. It is very difficult to serve that god with enthusiasm or joy. It is difficult not to chalk up other more enthusiastic brothers and sisters to fanaticism when the god you know is cold, removed, and grim. But this is not the God presented in scripture. This is the god of the Pharisees and he will always drive a Pharisaic religion and faith.
The moment I was first ambushed by the love of God is when I came to see the Father of Scripture who loves and delights in me, His son. He comes close to me in a true fellowship where I can find rest and healing. He is not hard to please.
Yes, he disciplines us, but I have come to know His delight and smile. He will correct and challenge me with the smile of a Father who is tender and proud. My Abba is proud of me and knows I am His "imperfect by promising" son. I see His delighted smile which knows I am coming to look more and more like my Abba every day.
Abba, I belong to You. Abba! I have allowed the fact I can address You with such intimacy and tenderness to become far too plain and pallid. It has been years since I have allowed myself to wonder and gawk at the fact You have given me a spirit of Sonship by which I can address you as "Abba Father!" (Rom. 8:15)
I have known for too long or too familiarly that "Abba" is the equivalent of our English "Daddy". I have known that children would slowly learn the term Abba to address their father with an intimate tenderness. I have known it was and has been a scandal to the pious and righteous that you would be addressed with such intimacy.
That You who created this world out of the power of your voice, You by whose beauty and glory the Grand Canyon is dwarfed, You who hold all things together in life-sustaining precision, would ask to be addressed in such tenderly intimate terms has truly become too common and plain to me.
This is my confession and my repentance today. May I recognize and rest today in the wonder of the intimate spirit within me, who can address you so tenderly as my Abba!
Abba, May your spirit connect directly with mine! May my spirit truly worship yours! Today I am striving to bask in your love. Not to think about your love and try to feel your love, but to sit and bask in your love. I sit here right now drinking in your love. Your love that calls me your child and sees me as blameless. A love that relates to me in my spirit and not my flesh. I praise you and deeply thank you for loving me in my spirit instead of my flesh.
I swim in the love of my heavenly Father who has loved me despite my flesh and the mistakes and struggles it trips on. You love me because you see through my flesh, my feelings and my facade into my spirit which truly does remain blameless due to the outrageous price you paid for me so long ago.
Today, Abba, I rest in your love that I could NEVER receive from anyone else. I am skinny-dipping in the waters of your love that lavishes me in acceptance, mercy, grace and spiritual pleasure. I am truly drinking in a love I could never return. I long for you to be pleased, and I trip and stumble to make you happy and you still tell me not to compare and measure your love for me in terms of my love for you! I try not to compare my lazy, passive, conditional, emotional, and often theoretical love with your love.
I rest in your love today with the realization that no matter how amazing my wife or daughters' love for me is, it will fail in comparison to yours. That no matter how much my mother loves me, it will tremble at yours. That I CANNOT depend solely on Tonya, Bryleigh, Haddisen, mom, friends, books, or my writing to feel special, loved or valid, but to depend only on your love.
I am taking this moment to really trust in your love for me at my deepest core, to spend a moment claiming my identity as your beloved child, and TRUSTING that enough to believe...BECAUSE of that I am special, loved and valid. I am your child and I am drinking that love in right now. Thank you for loving me, Daddy. I love you and desire you to be happy, and I trust that I truly am special, loved and valid BECAUSE of your love for me.