Summary: In this message I discuss the second stronghold belief that Christians must have and that is the belief that God is a loving Father and within Him is no darkness.
Stronghold Beliefs Part 3
This is part three of my series “Stronghold Beliefs.” The first stronghold belief that I shared with you that all Christians must have is the belief that we need to be focusing on our Father’s business. That belief underscored everything that Jesus did and likewise it should be our focus as well.
As we are celebrating Father’s Day today, I thought it appropriate that we examine the second stronghold belief that we must have and that is to simply believe that our Heavenly Father loves us and within Him there is no darkness at all. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” The reason God sent Jesus to die for our sins is so that we could have a relationship with Him. Think about it, He sacrificed His Own Son so that He could have a relationship with those whom He so loved! So this morning I want to provide you the proof that you need in order to believe that God, your Heavenly Father, truly does love you and only desires the best for you.
To make this clear, I want to tell you about something God told me last week. As I was preparing to go to bed, the song “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by the Temptations came into my head. Immediately as the words played through my mind God said to me, “I am not a rolling stone – that is not Who I am!” Immediately I was stopped in my tracks. I could not fall asleep as I thought about the words of that song and why God wanted me to know that He was not a rolling stone. Please understand that this song is not one of my favorites by the Temptations because in reality it talks about a worthless father – a worthless man. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever associate that song with God, or my earthly father. I have shared with you many times stories about my father and how much he loved all of his children and did his best for us. Many of us have stories about how wonderful God has been to us – but this is not the case for everyone.
As I wondered why God brought this particular song to my mind and then stressed that He was not a rolling stone, He began to show me examples of how the world is painting Him. That is what I want you to understand this morning so that your belief in your heavenly Father is not shaken when you witness or hear about bad things happening. As I go through the message, I’m going to read some of the lyrics of this song this morning, and please, if you start singing the song in your mind, please remember that God said this is not Him! As I read the lyrics, I’ll comment on some of the lines.
Verse 1: “It was the third of September, that day I'll always remember, yes I will, cause that was the day, that my daddy died. I never got a chance to see him, never heard nothin' but bad things about him, Momma I'm depending on you, to tell me the truth.”
I want you to focus on the line, “never heard nothin’ but bad things about him.” There are people today who truly don’t know God. Based on what they’ve been told, the God they know causes bad things to happen to people. Based on what they’ve been told, the God they know picks and chooses the prayers He answers. In other words, they haven’t heard “nothin’ but bad things about him.” People’s understanding of who God “can be” in their life is directly influenced by their earthly father/father figure or a father they never had. If they have a good father, they can see God as being a good heavenly father. If they had or have a bad father, it will be harder for them to see God as a loving father, especially when they read the stories of the Old Testament without understanding what God was doing in those days. If they did not have a father or father figure in their life it’s even harder for them to believe in God as a father who will always be there for them. But we will do well remembering what God told the Children of Israel in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Doesn’t this sound like a good father? How many good fathers would want something bad for their children? I know without a doubt that God has a plan for each of us and that plan does not include Him destroying us or not answering our prayers. Let me continue.