Who’s Your Daddy?

Dear Child of God,

My dad never knew who his father was. Therefore, he made it a point to ensure that not only would his children know their father, but every person he came in contact with would know we were his kids. Like, everybody. Maybe it had a little something to do with the fact that he was in his 50’s when my sister and I were born and he didn’t like being mistaken  for our grandfather. Or perhaps it had something to do with the fact that he was a single white man raising 2 half black girls in a world with completely mixed emotions on biracial kids. I’m thinking it was a combination of things. Bottom line is he never denied his children and there was no way anyone could deny he was our father!

Guess what? That’s exactly how it should be with our Heavenly Father. He doesn’t deny His children and our relationship with Him should be evident to everyone we come in contact with. Whether others know us personally or not, they should be able to see our spiritual resemblance to God the Father. It should show in how we reverence Him and how we treat others. We often hear people say “God is first in my life”, but what does that really mean (and do they really mean it?)? When we truly put God first, the decisions we make will bear witness to our belief in God as our Problem-Solver, Protector, and Provider. Allowing other people and/or things to spiritually fill those roles will keep you crawling for cover instead of walking in confidence. Do you submit to God’s wisdom and authority or does your own pride get in the way of your spiritual development? Are you serving the Everlasting Father, or momentary pleasure? Tell me, who’s your Daddy?

God the Problem-Solver- It’s common for a child to run to his/her dad when something needs to be fixed. A trustworthy father has a track record of giving good advice, getting good results, and turning around tough situations. As a child of God, who do you run to when you have a problem that seems unsolvable? Do you have faith in the Word of God and lean on His promises, or do you have a bad habit of “helping” the Lord do His job? When it seems like God isn’t moving fast enough, do you turn to others to satisfy your needs or do you patiently wait on the Lord? Is He your Primary Authority or your last resort? Who’s your Daddy… your Father or your flesh?

God the Protector- My dad was a protector in every sense of the word. It was humanly impossible for someone to get away with doing us wrong… daddy wasn’t haven’t it! He once took his belt off and threatened to beat a boy in my 1st grade class because he stole the eraser off my pencil (I was utterly embarrassed and that kid never spoke to me again. But I got my eraser back!). Our Heavenly Father isn’t crazy like my dad was, but trust me when I tell you, He’s got our back! In the time of trouble, He will keep us safe (Psalm 27:5). When folks do us wrong, God will take care of them. No need to allow our hurt feelings or bruised egos to seek revenge (Romans 12:19). Tell me, who’s your Daddy… your Protector or your pride?

God the Provider- Philippians 4:19 tells us that God will supply all our needs. Not some of them. Alllllllll of them. And He’ll supply them according to His glorious riches, not our own. How wonderful is that?! Now, how many of you truly believe it? I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that most Christian Americans don’t genuinely trust God as their Provider. First of all, it’s estimated that only 3-5% of adult Christians actually tithe in the U.S. It’s hard to argue that God is first in your finances if tithing is an afterthought. Secondly, take a look at your spending. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). Do you have a pattern of racking up unnecessary expenses? How often do you pay with plastic? Every time you use a credit card as a personal bail out for living beyond your means, you are committing financial idolatry. Are you trusting that God will keep His Word and supply all your needs, or does your security take comfort in the familiar arms of debt? Are you working mad overtime or more than one job just to support an irrational lifestyle rather than eliminating the things that keep you in financial bondage? Tell the truth. Who’s really your Daddy… your Creator or your creditors? The Eternal God or your employer?

If you’re a “babe in Christ” (aka, a new Christian), you may not look too much like your Heavenly Father right now. When I was younger, I didn’t think I looked like my biological father. Now that I’m grown, I can not only see some physical similarities, but I also bear the fruit of some of the seeds of wisdom he sowed in me as a child. Likewise, the more you grow in the things of God, the more your spiritual DNA will mature into the person God created you to be. You’ll begin to bear the fruit of His Spirit (joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). And others will know that you are a child of God. It’ll show in your prayer life (communication with Him) and your praise (communication about Him). Proud children love to brag on their daddy… and it makes others want that same type of relationship with their father. You pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down? 🙂

The more we put God first, the more we’ll begin to walk and talk like Him. His Spirit is always there to guide us. Every time you follow God’s lead in solving your problems, have faith in His love and grace towards you, and trust Him to protect, care, and provide for you, you bring Him glory. He’s your Father, and you’re His child. He’ll never deny you, leave you, or forsake you. Don’t forsake His wisdom for your folly. Live a life of spiritual discipline by putting God first. Your life will be more fruitful when you truly honor Him as your Daddy. You’re a child of the King. Govern yourself accordingly. 🙂

Practically Yours,

~The Practical Chick

He’s Working It Out

Heard a classic Shirley Caesar song on the radio this afternoon: “He’s Working It Out.” I was in the midst of helping a family member deal with what looked like an unfair, irreversible problem that could easily progress to catastrophe. These lyrics really grabbed my attention…

“Though the pressures of life seem to weigh you down,
and you don’t know which way to turn;
God is concerned and He’s working it out for you.”

My family member (let’s call her Connie) approached me the other day with a financial dilemma that she just couldn’t figure out. Apparently, this was something she was confronted with months ago but failed to properly address in a timely fashion. The issue escalated to the point where she could no longer ignore it. She tried fixing it on her own but proceeded to make mistakes that just didn’t seem to add up. Thankfully, I have over a decade of helping folks manage their finances, so I knew just what to do to help her get things back on the right track. She came to the right person!

Seeing all she had against her, I told her it would take some time, but it was fixable. Through years of assisting others, I had enough faith and experience to see the light at the end of the tunnel. To me, the solution was simple. “Connie, just follow my lead and you’ll be OK.” You’d think my word would be good enough. Nope. Not so. I can’t tell you how much convincing it took for her to trust that I knew what I was talking about. And she came to me for help in the first place! *Woosah!*

No matter what I said, Connie was still determined to try to fix it her way. She was under the impression that I needed her input to help me figure it out. “No, Connie… all I need you to do is listen and be open to the process it takes to correct this situation. Yes, you’ll need to do some work. And yes, it may take some time. But it’s fixable. Just follow the plan I laid out for you and everything will be OK. Trust me as the expert and trust that I have your best interest at heart. You’re family, remember?”

How often do we do this same thing to God? We go to Him for help only to lend our assistance in helping Him work it out! It’s like going in for open heart surgery and trying to assist the doctor with the operation. You’ll be in a lot of pain, prolong the process, and waste your dollars. None of that makes sense!

When you’re carrying a burden that’s just too heavy for you to bear, don’t waste your time trying to help God carry it for you. He’s an Expert Way Maker, a Divine Healer, and a Professional Problem Solver. If He can make a way to save the world from its sin, surely He can create a solution for every situation you present Him with! He needs your faith, not your assistance. No matter how impossible things seem, trust that He has plenty of experience being God. Get out of His way and allow Him to lead you through the pain and to the peace. He’s your God and you’re His child. You’re family! He’ll never leave you nor forsake you. Take Him at His Word.

“God cares,
I’m so glad to know He cares,
I’m so glad to know He cares,
and He’s working it out for you.”