Summary: The truth about the Father’s heart is that He wants you to come to Him and get to know Him as He truly is: Lover, Forgiver, Restorer, Hero and Eternal King
The Truth About the Father’s Heart
Intro.: Man’s great misconception is found in Psalm 50:21, “You thought I was altogether like you…” Isaiah 55:9 is much more accurate, “But as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God asked Job 110 questions about Himself. These questions revealed God’s nature and Job’s heart broke over his lack of the true knowledge of God and his ability to speak rightly about Him. As job realized God’s majesty and his own poverty, Job said, “I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know… I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You” Job 42:3,5. Isaiah responded the same way when he encountered God in the Temple. He saw the Lord sitting on His throne, surrounded by seraphim, filling the Temple with His glory. Isaiah said, “Woe is me for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips… for my eyes have seen the King” Isaiah 6:5. When Isaiah referred to his lips being unclean, he was saying that he was incapable of speaking rightly about God. He needed a supernatural touch to do so.
I. What is the basis for a typical spiritual evaluation?
A. Our expectations and values
1. How successful we are in our spiritual disciplines?
2. How much quiet time you have?
3. How much you fast?
4. How long you pray?
5. How engaged you were in worship?
6. How much Scripture you memorized?
7. How many people you ministered to?
II. What is God’s basis for spiritual evaluation?
A. Our understanding that we can’t earn anything from God
1. Spirituality is not “performance-based”
B. There is plenty of room in the Father’s heart for weak people
1. Think about Simon Peter
a. Argumentative, impetuous, self-willed, afraid…
b. He failed Jesus miserably by denying Him 3 times
c. Jesus restored him and made him one of the most powerful
voices in church history
C. Understand that, by grace, we can already experience the Father’s heart
1. This is the longing that exists in every human heart
a. Most people are looking for it outside the church
b. Inside the church they find guilt-ridden, fear-driven people
III. Obligation vs. Intimacy
1. Typical scenario:
a. We get saved and live on pure zeal for awhile
b. We pray, read the Word, fast, go to church, etc.
c. We begin to struggle with an area of weakness
d. We fall headlong into this area of personal sin
e. We repent over and over and over again and still fail
f. We finally give control to God and overcome
g. We promise the Lord that we’ll never disappoint Him again
h. We press in really hard so we will remain strong & not mess up
2. Here’s the problem: the motivation is “fear” not “love”
a. We are afraid of failing again and that’s what drives us
EXAMPLE: Have you ever seen “Fear Factor”? The people who compete aren’t doing those things because they enjoy them, they do them because they want to beat the competition. Many believers perform their daily disciplines because they don’t want to go to hell, not because they are passionately in live with God.