Trinity Part 3: The Name of the Father
To listen to our talk from Sunday 16th June please click here.
As a father of three boys I have often wondered what is my role in their lives. So I decided to Google it and find out, after all Google has the answer to everything! I found the following quote on a Dad’s talk blog.
“The goal of a father’s involvement is to nurture his child’s intellectual, emotional, physical, social and spiritual development. The key is to focus on his child’s strengths utilizing the natural assets of a father’s parenting style.”
So as a Dad myself how might I achieve this? How do I try to nurture my children to develop in all of the ways above? There are many ways but I guess one of the key things is that I try to give advice, I try to help them see good from bad, right from wrong, I try to guide them.
So if we see God as our father, we are therefore his children, so does He want to do the same for us?
In John 16 we get an idea of how it might happen through the trinity that we have been looking at over the last few weeks. The background to this passage is that Jesus is talking to his disciples before he is crucified and dies.
Jesus says this in John 16 verses 12-15
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he the spirit of truth comes he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
Let us try to break that down a bit to understand the logic! In verse 13 Jesus says the Spirit will guide us into all truth. So the Holy Spirit will guide us, but how does the Spirit know what to say to us?
In verse 13 it goes on to say He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears. So ok the spirit says what he hears but Who does the Spirit hear from? Well in verse 14 it says He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.
So what the spirit hears will come from Jesus, and all that Jesus has is from God, because in verse 15 it says, All that belongs to the Father is mine. So the trinity will work together to help us see how we can be led into all truth.
What does this mean well I believe it means God will show us things he wants us to do and maybe some things He wants us to stop doing.
So it’s easy then isn’t it? Listen for the Holy Spirit and we will find out what God wants to say to us?
But is it really that easy? How can we hear from God, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit?
Well I believe there are a number of ways it can happen
First of all from the Bible – I truly believe that if we regularly read our Bibles God can show us through the Holy Spirit what he wants us to do and be like.
Then through prayer – I have heard from God when I have prayed. To some this will seem odd but I have felt a “voice” helping me when I have needed help and direction.
Also through things we see when we pray – I have had times when I have prayed and have either had a picture enter my head, or I have seen a physical object that again I believe God has used to speak to me.
However it is not just a simple case of hearing from God we also have to act on what He tells us. So what might stop you?
Maybe it is that you don’t really think the “voice” or the “picture” is from God. Maybe you think it is just me, it isn’t God. When I have thought this I have turned to friends who I trust to help me. I have asked them I think I heard from God, can you pray and help me discern if it was. If it is from God others will be able to confirm it for you.
Maybe you think you are just not a good enough person or Christian to do what God has asked you to do. I think everyone feels this and the good news is there are plenty of examples in the Bible of people who God wanted to use, but they felt they weren’t good enough.
Maybe you are like me and just a bit risk averse. I like to think things through and constantly ask what if? What if this happened, what if that happened? Sometimes we just need to trust God and take that risk.
So let me finish with three what if questions:
What if you decided to accept God as your father?
What if you decided that God could speak to you, how can you “listen” to Him more?
What if you know you have heard from God but just need to take action? Maybe you need to take that risk?