Shut the door in ’24: Abba Father

Teaching Resources

The reality of the spiritual world

In the most recent blog, Is Self a God for You? (click here to read), we looked at how a self centered lifestyle was the opposite of how Jesus lived (see Philippians 2:4-11).  It is clear from scripture that when we are led by self rather than The Holy Spirit, it opens our lives to demonic influence (James 3:14-16).

Let’s underscore the paradigm of spiritual reality in our natural world by reviewing a verse discussed in the most recent blog.  John 10:10 NASB95 tells us,

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Here we see two different spiritual possibilities placed side by side.  Everything centers around whether or not we are influenced by the thief, who wants to torment and harm, or walking with and being led by Christ, who came to give us abundant life.  One part of this description certainly pertains to eternal life.  When you have a faith experience in Christ, you will be with Him after death (see Romans 10:8-10).  But what about our time of life on earth after you come to faith? You can see the good & bad spiritual dichotomy present in numerous encounters recorded in The Bible.  Look at Jesus and his conflict with the Gerasene Demoniac in Luke 8 if you want a particularly revealing example.  

There are also overt commands to pay attention to spiritual dynamics like the one in 1 Peter 5:8-9 NASB95:

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. [9] But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

The stark, hopefully sobering, reality of life on earth is that it is intertwined with spiritual forces.  It is crucial to realize that what happens in the spiritual realm has significant consequences on our everyday existence and we are being influenced by the spiritual world whether we choose to pay attention to it or not.  Ignoring a thief not only doesn’t keep him from stealing, it strengthens his ability to do it!

God defines our identity

Galatians 4:6-7 NASB95 highlights a critical truth in an overtly spiritual context, 

Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” [7] Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

First of all, this expression, Abba Father, is the same one Jesus used in one of His most intimate prayers with Father God in the Garden of Gethsemane.  By implication, when this language is present, it speaks of a deep and pervasive bond in a relationship.  Here, because of The Holy Spirit, any Christian has access to this intimacy.  Jesus leaned on His Father’s love, specifically His position as His son,  time and time again, to do what seemed impossible.  He could only live the patient, miraculous, supernaturally sacrificial life that He did because He was clear that He was God’s son.  The way of Christ can be our way and it will be when we are certain of our answer to this question: Do we hear in our hearts clearly that we are sons and daughters of God?

1 Peter 2:9 NASB95 further emphasizes:

But you are a CHOSEN RACE, A royal priesthood, A holy NATION, a PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Here we see again, as in Galatians 4, that we are chosen by The Lord.  Part of being an heir of Christ, as it is described in Galatians 4:7, is to be able to show the redemption and love of The Father in the way that Christ did during His earthly ministry.  1 Pet 2:9 is direct in revealing that there is an unmistakable link between understanding that we are chosen and being able to proclaim His immeasurable benefits.  When we don’t know that we are chosen, our ability to speak of God’s excellence is compromised.  

The enemy understands that when we are clear on our position in God’s family that we are a danger to him.  He will lie to us any way that he can about our Christian inheritance.  He will try to change our focus from what God is saying in the spirit to what he infers about personal disappointments or failures.  He wants our eyes on natural circumstances which change constantly and rapidly and are very slippery footing to base our worth upon.  The enemy can attack our identity in Christ through a particularly difficult experience, a combination of smaller lies, or a combination of both.

A pattern followed by a command

Jesus gave us the answer to these issues and paved the way for us to live as spiritual children on earth.  He experienced tons of ups and downs in His own soul, difficult natural circumstances and plenty of dealing with the treachery in others.  He was never moved away from who He was as God’s Son because He always prioritized spending time with God in prayer (see Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16, etc.).  When He struggled with taking up The Cross of suffering, He drew near to The Lord (see Matt 26:36 & Hebrews 4:16).  He never stepped into selfish decision making and refused to do anything other than what God was telling Him to do (see John 5:19).  Listening to the truth, as God spoke it, was His response to calamity and the persistent nagging of doubt presented by every day life.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 NASB95 simply states,

pray without ceasing;

Jesus didn’t spend all his time on His knees in prayer but he was always mindful of what God was speaking from The Holy Spirit into his spirit.  Like Christ needed the steadying voice of His Father when He was on earth, we need to be ready to turn to Him and listen to The Holy Spirit when the devil, in whatever way, tries to lie to us about our place with The Lord.  It is crucial to remember that even though The Holy Spirit never stops living in us, we do have to make regular deliberate decisions to listen to Him and entreat Him about our state of mind.  Through the leadership of The Holy Spirit, we are the hands and feet of Jesus.  Don’t get discouraged about having a doubt or some discouraging thought. If we pause during such times and listen, we will hear the words, ABBA FATHER, echoing in our hearts!

Comments 4

  1. Thank you man of God…I learnt a lot from this teaching….For sure for me right now I am facing discouragement and dissapointments in the Ministry. Sometime i am trying to build people up so that they grow in the Ministry, the next time they begin to draw backwards.

    Pray for me and the Church always.

    God bless you and family. Greetings to Trina.

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      Brian just keep sowing. Remember that the words spoken from Him are seed. They spout and grow at times that don’t always make sense.

  2. Thank you so much for this teaching. I wish everyone would read this. I am so fortunate to know you through your ministries and teachings. You will be in my prayers. Please keep me in yours❣️

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