A huge percentage of Americans are fatherless. This reality is continually revealed by the actions and choices made by those damaged by this absence. God created us in His image to be His children. He is our heavenly Father and desires to be the most ever-present reality in every life. Adam and Eve lived in His presence. In the garden, “They walked with Him and talked with Him and He told them they were His own.” They enjoyed intimate fellowship with their Father, experiencing the joy of His manifest presence. They were at peace, secure, living with confidence under His watch care.
Then the deceiver, the serpent, enticed them and the children bought the lie, took the bait, fell, and forfeited the relationship. Those who knew no fear were suddenly afraid of their own father. They were ashamed, felt naked, unclean, unworthy, unloved, and foolishly tried to cover their sin and shame with mere fig leaves. This was the first futile attempt on the part of fallen man to inadequately cover their shame and deal with the sinful, adverse affect of allowing themselves to be deceived by the father of all lies.
God the Father immediately set the plan in motion to restore fallen man to intimate fellowship with Himself. He always wanted a family and set out to establish a family of faith through whom He would bless the nations of the world. These truly blessed and chosen children of God could reveal clearly the heavenly Father to fallen humanity.
From the time of the fall and the sacrificial gift from the Father found in Jesus Christ to reconcile us to Himself, man has continually been deceived by the enemy to live as orphans without knowing a personal relationship with the one and only perfect Father. Failure to know the Father has led to fatherless families and nations. America’s fathers are too often missing, dysfunctional, idolatress, consumed by material pursuits, or at best living with an orphan mentality.
Just as Israel did, America and the nations of the world are seeking the wrong solution to a serious dilemma. Fatherless people keep asking for a king because as with Israel “everyone is doing what is right in their own sight.” People seek the wrong answers by establishing the wrong king and in so doing miss the necessary relationship with the Father.
What we all need is the King (Jesus) who will show us the Father. There is to be but one King and this King is the way to the Father because as He declared, “I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but through Me.” No religion, no ritual, no traditions or idols of men can substitute for this King.
We witness today in our own nation millions of citizens seeking to find the missing father by: 1) seeking the approval of others, when only God’s approval will suffice; 2) engaging in compulsive behavior and addictive practices which prove to be a tragic substitute; 3) becoming pleasure seekers but remaining empty, 4) joining something to find a sense of family or belonging (a team, club, lodge, gang, or even a religious group or church). Any family without a father – the Father – still reveals total emptiness.
In order to know the Father and no longer live as orphans, we must discover the King and there is only One, and then submit our will to His. We must lose our life in His purpose in order to find it and find it we will in all of its abundance. We must say firmly, “Your kingdom come, our kingdom and kingdoms go!” We must understand the absolute importance of the Sermon on the Mount with special focus on Matthew 6:33 where Jesus exhorts us to “seek first the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously and He will provide everything we need.” In the same chapter He referenced the evident manifestation of the Father’s watch care when He said, “Consider the birds. God cares for them.” And He pointed to the fact we are of far greater value. He said, “Consider the lilies of the field because even Solomon with all of his wealth was not adorned in more glorious array.” If God cares for the birds and the flowers, how much more care will He offer those who choose to be His children rather than live as orphans.
Many churches today are filled with people who have an orphan mentality. Jesus pointed to the cure when He said, “I have revealed the Father. If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen Him.” Christ revealed the heart, character and nature of the Father in heaven who is to be our personal God and Father. Jesus revealed His unconditional love, the power of forgiveness – our sins gone, removed as far as the east is from the west. Jesus, this Lamb of God, takes away the sin of the world. Jesus commands us to focus on the Father and His kingdom. He must be first. The Father in heaven loves us so much that “He gave His own Son to redeem us, not with silver or gold, but with the precious blood of this Lamb.” His focus is on us! We focus our attention on Him and discover that He has focused His attention on us. We don’t live as though it’s all about us; it must be about Him, His kingdom, His will being done in us on earth right now for His glory. But at the same time, the Father is vitally interested in our well being.
People in America and around the world must recognize that there is only one way to fill the gaping hole created by fatherlessness in the human heart and that’s with the presence of the living God. America and the nations of the world have substituted idols for God and they have missed the Father. Our own nation, along with the nations of the world, have made a god of governments while foolishly and futilely trusting the deceptive promises of mere men rather than mighty God.
I personally understand the negative effect of fatherlessness. Born the product of a forced sexual relationship to a single woman and living without a father did unspeakable damage to me as a boy and a human being. All the efforts to fill that vacuum with any source other than a relationship with God were in vain. When I gave my life to Jesus, He redeemed me and I moved from an orphan mentality to become a child of the Father. There is no substitute for this relationship. The best of earthly fathers diligently seeking to be all they should be can never fully fill the void created by man’s fall from grace. The most important contribution parents can make is to point their children to Father God. Great parents point their children to the Father. I have said many times that I know I missed the mark in many ways as a father, but by the grace of God our three children looked beyond this father and saw the Father and fell in love with Him. As a result, they have been effective parents and have clearly pointed to the importance of the Father, and our grandchildren have also fallen in love with Him while continually expressing their appreciation for their parents.
Please hear my heart as I diligently seek to point all people to the only One who can connect you and others to the Father all hearts long for. Fatherlessness must no longer be used as an excuse for detrimental choices. I know personally that the only perfect solution to the painful scars of fatherlessness can be found in the perfect Son and the perfect Father and the indwelling Spirit of both. The most important contribution we can make as parents and as Christian witnesses is to inspire people to know personally and intimately the Father in heaven by receiving the Son and yielding to His Spirit in every area of their lives.
Put King Jesus in charge and you will begin experiencing and expressing His kingdom life. The power of this kingdom release will positively impact all earthly kingdoms and all mortal men. This unshakable kingdom can point people and nations to the only sound, secure, and stable foundation upon which futures can be built with meaning and purpose. Our lives become the well-watered garden of God and an ever-flowing spring of His love. To Him be the glory forever and ever!