What is humanity’s number one problem? It is not sin – it is fatherlessness. Adam fell because he did not know God as his father. The same could be said of much of the world today. We live on an orphaned planet alienated from the love of our heavenly Father.
What is the solution to humanity’s problem? Jesus! He came to reveal the true character of our Father. “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known” (Joh 1:18). Jesus came to make the Father known and He did that by representing Him in all that He did. Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (Joh 14:9).
All of your questions regarding the true nature of God are answered in Jesus. What is God’s will for healing? Since Jesus healed everyone who came to Him, we can only conclude that the Father’s will is to heal everyone. Jesus never gave anyone sickness to teach them things so neither does the Father. Jesus never gave and took away good gifts so neither does the Father. If Jesus is full of grace and truth, then so is the Father. If the Son has forgiven you, then so has the Father. The Son is the exact representation of the Father’s being.
Dead religion will tell you one of two things about God: (1) He’s schizophrenic (He loves you but He hates you) or (2) He’s mysterious (nobody can figure Him out). In contrast, Jesus gives us a consistently clear picture of the unconditional love and grace of God. As John Sheasby writes in his book The Birthright: Out of the Servant’s Quarters into the Father’s House, “Jesus’ entire life was one, long, streaming video that displayed the goodness of the Father.”
A revelation of the Father’s goodness is what this world needs more than anything. Instead of preaching diluted law that leaves Christians condemned and sinners shaking their heads at our hypocrisy, we need to proclaim the good news of God’s grace. God loves you! But this is difficult since most Christians relate to God as servants, rather than children. They view God as a divine employer and they treat people as sales prospects. There may be fullness of joy in the presence of the Lord but these dear servants of God aren’t experiencing it. They are riddled with performance anxiety, battling condemnation, and constantly making and breaking promises to God.
If that describes you, then you need to read this book! In The Birthright, John Sheasby paints a true picture of the Father to counter the distorted picture handed down to us by religion.
Religion tells us that first we must get our house in order. Repent or else! But what does Jesus say? He says to whoever hears his knock and opens the door: “I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev 3:20). In other words, “Let’s have a feast!” But what about the wretchedness, the moral poverty, the spiritual blindness? … He knows that you, like Zacchaeus, will not be changed by performance but by his presence. The power of his love, the joy of his presence, and the peace coming from his acceptance are far more capable of changing the human heart than rebuke, censure, condemnation, and rejection. (p.94)
The devil would love for you to remain ignorant of your birthright, so Sheasby writes to make sure you know what’s yours. As a son or daughter of God you have full rights of access along with an inheritance. Most Christians have some awareness of the first birthright – intimacy – but they are less sure of the second. They are like crippled Mephibosheth who was content to dine at the kings table even as the wicked Ziba stole his father’s possessions (2 Sam 19:30).
Mephibosheth enjoyed access to the king but lost his inheritance. The trouble was his self-consciousness. He was more focused on his own unworthiness than he was on the promises David had made to his father Jonathan. Similarly, many Christians have trouble receiving from God because they see no value in themselves. Why should God be so good to me? I’ve done bad things!
The problem is this: we are unable to see ourselves as God sees us. We are so self-consciousness; the recorded memories of the past and the misunderstanding of the gospel combine to blind our eyes to the truth….is imperative that we allow the truth of God’s Word to challenge the lies of Satan who uses our history against us. ‘Behold the Lamb,’… Not once did the priest examine the worshiper! Not once!… Where is your focus? The Lamb or yourself? (pp.131-2)
You will never rise up in your true and God-given identity until you have had a revelation of how crazy much your Father loves you. You are the apple of His eye! He rejoices over you with singing! And through Christ He has made you an heir of all things.
– Who do you think you are?
– Son, servant or friend of God?
– Son or sinner: What are you confessing?