It is a rare thing to find someone who lives “before the Father.” And yet, the Lord Jesus did all things to please Him, only accomplishing that which He saw the Father do. It was to the Father that He constantly made His appeal for the answer to every need. This bears out in his dealings with those around Him, who came to Him for help, healing, or salvation. The Father was His greatest companion, the object of His entire trust, and thus, the One upon whom He totally depended for all things. The ultimate measure of the trust and affection that He had for the Father was expressed in His appeal to Him before the cross, in the Garden of Gethsemane. And it was in His last moments that He would speak to the Father, asking Him to forgive those who had crucified Him, “…for they know not what they do.” It is only recorded in Luke’s account of the crucifixion, but among the last words that Jesus uttered before He died were, “…Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit.” Never has there been such a demonstration of trust of a father by his son as this Son’s trust in His Father. Why is it so important that we consider this relationship?
Paul writes in his letter to the Romans 8:15, “…but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, ‘Abba, Father.'” In declaring this truth, Paul brings us face to face with the great reality of the relationship that is now the believer’s, that of God being a Father to His son, to His children. Now, we might say that we know all about this…but do we really? Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:6 that we are to “…pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” I wonder how many of us truly live this reality, that of living in “the secret place of the Almighty,” living truly in the presence of the Father, and personally meeting Him in prayer. This is one of the most extraordinary realities of the Christian life, and I cannot explain why it is so….that the Almighty God would choose to become a loving Father to us, to be real to us, to reveal Himself to us, to answer prayer and provide. But it is so nonetheless. Again the question must be asked, “Who really knows what this life before the Father truly is, and this in his or her own experience?
If we are to begin to enter into this relationship, and KNOW Him, then we must take by faith that it exists. I believe that it was William Faber who wrote:
“No earthly father loves like Thee, No mother ere so mild, bears and forebears as Thou hast done with me, Thy sinful child. Father of Jesus, love’s reward, what rapture will it be, prostrate before Thy throne to lie and gaze and gaze upon Thee.”
Here is a man who not only believed that it existed, but lived it.
Beyond grasping the truth, we must practice the reality. “Pray to thy Father which is in secret…” There comes a promise with this command: “…and thy Father which seeth in secret will reward thee openly.” Again, do we practice what we believe, and do we live in the expectation of the intervention of the Father. I fear that there are few who truly live like this, and have a first hand knowledge of the Father, simply because they do not believe, nor practice what they believe.
So, today, may we ask God for grace to change the way we think, and then enter into the quiet place before Him. Let us pray, and praise Him. Let us look up into His face by faith, trusting, believing, living in the light of His favor and love, and let us ask, and receive. Dear Father, teach us what it means this life with and before Thee. Bring us all into that new and fresh realization of Thy presence, and fulfill all Thy purposes through us for Thy glory. Amen.