There are many way we can know God. In the past, I imagine that God is someone who sits on His Throne in a far away universe. Again, along the course of my life, I see Him as the one who wearing a Big Crown of gold and diamond with a very serious face. I address Him as formal as I could be due to a deep respect. Sometime, I imagining that God is like a policeman, who eagerly waits for me to make a mistake. I got it all wrong. I got a wrong image of God. The best image that we could give to God beside the Savior is as a loving Father.
When we view Him as a Father, we know that He is for us. Out of love He may discipline us and at the same time, out of love He wants to forgive us for every mistake that we have made.
My father was working as a construction worker. He came from a middle class family (a little bit lower) and a very hardworking man. Along with my adorable mother, they raised us with a loving care as humanly as possible. Father would wake up early in morning to work and provide every basic need for his children; clothes, food, shelter, transportation and the most precious of all- time. When he discipline us (what spoiled modern children today categorized it as 'abuse'), we know 3 things well. 1st, it was our own fault and we deserved it; 2nd, every mistake have to be punish; and 3rd, he loves us. This is the act of my imperfect father on earth, how much more, then, will our perfect Father in Heaven loves us.
I'm aware that some of you may have a negative image of your earthly father. He could be cruel, abusive, unloving, irresponsible etc. Do not let their mistakes change your view on God. 'I the LORD do not change.' (Malachi 3:6). Yesterday, today and tomorrow - He is our Father in Heaven.
As a youth serving in a local Anglican St. Margaret Chapel in Kuching*, the elders always 'force' us to remember the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Now I'm gratefully thanks to them for without this extra kick we won't remember a thing about the Scripture. When 'force' slowly became a pleasure and 'memories' melted then became a prayer, the image of God will never be the same;
"Apai kami tik di Serga..." (Iban version for, 'Our Father in heaven...') now became a sweet smelling fragrant toward Heaven's Throne.
Oh, every breath that calling Him 'Father' will find that He is close to us. He is near as father to his child. A new openness to and relationship with God. It is never a human achievement but by grace alone- the gift of God. This might shock some of you as you reading this; Jesus is the ultimate loving Father.
Do you want to experience this?
"See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God's children- and so, in fact, we are." (TEV 1 John 3:1) ... WE ARE.
*for my international readers, Kuching is a city in The Land of the Hornbills, Sarawak, Malaysia. A place like no other, simply because I grow up there.