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Change your mind. Change your life.

God: The Perfect Father

 

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like an eagle; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. --~ Isaiah 40:28-31

God answers in 3 waysIf you have never developed a relationship with God, it may be because you have a distorted, negative relationship with your earthly father. If your earthly father was demanding, controlling, a perfectionist, you may think of God that way. But that's not true. In all of His dealings with us, God is the picture of love.

Accept that God loves you right now, the way you are. It's true! God knows that you can't do it on your own. He wants to help you, and promises to cover you with His grace. The more we know about God and acceptance of us, the more we will be able to embrace ourselves and each other, and the less we'll struggle with comparing ourselves to others and striving for perfection and approval. God's word is living and active.

The Bible says we are created in God's likeness, but who is He? Whether you have (had) a great dad, or not-so-great dad, you can at least picture how a loving father acts toward his children. With love, compassion, and wisdom, he guides and corrects his children, enabling them to live rich and full lives. God continually defines Himself in the Bible by saying who and what He is, and what He is not. He says what He loves and what He hates so that we can understand who He is. What He chooses and wills, what He wants and does not want, what He thinks and what He does -- all these things define who He is. And we define ourselves by much of the same functions.

He defines Himself by who He is:

  • I am your shield -- Genesis 15:1
  • I am God Almighty -- Genesis 17:1
  • I am the Lord -- Exodus 6:6
  • I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God -- Exodus 20:5
  • I am compassionate -- Exodus 22:27
  • I am holy -- Lev. 11:44
  • I am the first and I am the last -- Isaiah 48:12
  • I, the Lord, am your Savior -- Isaiah 60:16
  • I am merciful -- Jeremiah 3:12

He defines Himself by saying what He feels and thinks:

  • My heart pounds within me, I cannot keep silent -- Jeremiah 4:19 I am tired of relenting -- Jeremiah 15:6 NASB I, the Lord, love justice -- Isaiah 61:8 I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts -- Ezekiel 6:9
  • I love you with an everlasting love. So I will continue to show you my kindness -- Jeremiah 31:3

He defines Himself by what He chooses to do:

  • I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me -- Proverbs 8:17
  • I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you -- Ezekiel 36:26
  • I will not leave you all alone. I will come back to you -- John 14:18 I am leaving you peace.
  • I am giving you peace. I don't give you the kind of peace that the world gives. So don't be troubled or cowardly -- John 14:27 Don't be afraid because I am with you. Don't be intimidated:
  • I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will support you with my victorious right hand -- Isaiah 41:10 I
  • I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope. -- Jeremiah 29:11 But I will establish my covenant with you -- Genesis 6:18
  • I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you -- Genesis 12:2
  • I will instruct you. I will teach you the way you should go. I will advise you as my eyes watch over you -- Psalm 32:8
  • When you go through the sea, I am with you. When you go through rivers, they will not sweep you away. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned, and the flames will not harm you -- Isaiah 43:2

Most often His attributes, feelings and thoughts are defined in the third person:

  • The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him -- Psalm 103:13
  • My child, don't ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don't be discouraged when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights -- Proverbs 3:11-12
  • Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern -- Matthew 6:31-33
  • The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known his way to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love -- Ps. 103:6-8
  • The Lord is merciful, compassionate, patient, and always ready to forgive -- Psalm 145:8
  • God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we've done wrong -- 1 John 1:9
  • The Lord is my shepherd. I am never in need -- Psalm 23:1
  • He is the healer of the brokenhearted. He is the one who bandages their wounds -- Psalm 147:3
  • He comforts us whenever we suffer. That is why whenever other people suffer, we are able to comfort them by using the same comfort we have received from God -- 2 Corinthians 1:4
  • If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failures -- Matthew 6:14-15
  • No one can please God without faith. Whoever goes to God must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who seek him -- Hebrews 11:6
  • God is fair. He won't forget what you've done or the love you've shown for him -- Hebrews 6:10a
  • Don't love money. Be happy with what you have because God has said, "I will never abandon you or leave you" -- Hebrews 13:5
  • God is generous to everyone and doesn't find fault with them -- James 1:5
  • Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest -- Matthew 11:28
  • Since you are precious to me, you are honored and I love you. I will exchange others for you. Nations will be the price I pay for your life -- Isaiah 43:4
  • God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of his Son, whom he loves -- Colossians 1:13
  • It is God who produces in you the desires and actions that please him -- Philippians 2:13
Attributes of God

 

  • Omniscient - God knows all. He has a perfect knowledge of everything that is past, present, or future. -- Job 37:16; Psalm 139:1-6
  • Omnipotent - God possesses all power. He is able to bring into being anything that He has decided to do, with or without the use of any means. -- Genesis 18:14; Job 42:2; Jeremiah 32:27
  • Omnipresent - God is present everywhere, in all the universe, at all times, in the totality of His character. --- Proverbs 15:3; Jere. 23:23-24
  • Eternal - God has no beginning, and He has no end. He is not confined to the finiteness of time or of man's reckoning of time. He is, in fact, the cause of time. -- Deuteronomy 32:40; Isaiah 57:15
  • Immutable - God is always the same in His nature, His character, and His will. He never changes, and He can never be made to change. -- Psalm 102:25-27; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8
  • Incomprehensible - Because God is God, He is beyond the understanding of man. His ways, character, and acts are higher than ours. We only understand as He chooses to reveal Himself to us. -- Job 11:7, Isaiah 55:8-9; Romans 11:33
  • Self-existent - There is nothing upon which God depends for His existence except Himself. The whole basis of His existence is within Himself. There was a time when there was nothing but God Himself. He added nothing to Himself by creation. -- Exodus 3:14; John 5:26
  • Infinite - The realm of God has no limits or bounds whatsoever. -- 1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 145:3
  • Transcendent - God is above His creation, and He would exist if there were no creation. His existence is totally apart from His creatures or creation. -- Isaiah 43:10;55:8-9
  • Sovereign - God is totally, supremely, and preeminently sovereign over all His creation. There is not a person or thing that is not under His control and His foreknown plan. -- Daniel 4:35
  • Holy - God is a morally excellent, prefect being. His being is pure in every aspect. -- Leviticus 19:2; Job 34:10; Isaiah 47:4;57:15
  • Righteous - God is always good. It is essential to His character. He always does the right thing. Ultimately, since He is God, whatever He does is right. He is the absolute. His actions are always consistent with His character, which is love. -- Deut. 32:4; Psalm 119:142
  • Just -In all of His actions, God acts with fairness. Whether He deals with man, angels, or demons. He acts in total equity by rewarding righteousness and punishing sin. Since He knows all, every decree is absolutely just. -- Numbers 14:18;23:19; Psalm 89:14
  • Merciful - God is an actively compassionate being. He responds in a compassionate way toward those who have opposed His will in their pursuit of their own way. -- Psalm 62:12;89:14;116:5; Romans 9:14-16; Jeremiah 3:12
  • Long-suffering - God's righteous anger is slow to be kindled against those who fail to listen to His warnings or obey His instructions. The eternal longing for the highest good for His creatures holds back His holy justice. -- Numbers 14:18; 2 Peter 3:9
  • Wise - God's actions are based on His character, which allows Him to chose righteous ends and to make fitting plans to achieve those ends. -- Isaiah 40:28; Daniel 2:20
  • Loving - God's goodness causes Him to give Himself for another, even to the laying down of His own life. This attribute causes Him to desire the other's highest good without any thought for Himself. This love is not based upon worth, response, or merit of the object being loved. -- Jere. 31:3; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:8
  • Good - This attribute of God causes Him to give to others in a way which has no motive and is not limited by what the recipients deserve.-- 2 Chronicles 5:13; Psalm 106:1

    • The Lord is good. His mercy endures forever. His faithfulness endures throughout every generation. His mercy toward us is powerful -- Psalm 100:5;117:2
    • The Lord is good and decent. That is why he teaches sinners the way they should live -- Psalm 25:8
    • The Lord is good. He is a fortress in the day of trouble. He knows those who seek shelter in him -- Nahum 1:7
    • You, O Lord, are good and forgiving, full of mercy toward everyone who calls out to you -- Psalm 86:5
    • The Lord is good to everyone and has compassion for everything he has made -- Psalm 145:9
    • Don't you realize that it is God's kindness that is trying to lead you to him and change the way you think and act? -- Romans 2:4
    • Look at how kind and severe God can be. He is severe to those who fell, but kind to you if you continue to hold onto his kindness -- Romans 11:22a
    • Thanks be to the Lord, who daily carries our burdens for us. God is our salvation -- Psalm 68:19
    • Our Lord is great, and his power is great. There is no limit to his understanding -- Psalm 147:5 [God's kingdom is not just talk, it is power -- 1 Cor. 4:20]
    • God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble -- Psalm 46:1
    • He will put his angels in charge of you to protect you in all your ways -- Psalm 91:11
  • Wrathful - There is within God a hatred for all that is unrighteous, and an unquenchable desire to punish all unrighteousness. Whatever is inconsistent with Him must ultimately be consumed. -- Exodus 34:6-7; 2 Chron. 19:2; Romans 1:18
  • There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him:

    1. Haughty eyes (scornfully and condescendingly proud)
    2. A lying tongue
    3. Hands that shed innocent blood
    4. A heart that devises wicked schemes
    5. Feet that are quick to rush into evil
    6. A false witness who pours out lies
    7. A man that stirs up dissension among brother
  • Truthful - All that God says is reality. Whether believed by man or not, whether seen as reality or not, if it is spoken by God, it is reality. Whatever He speaks becomes truth as we know it. -- Psalm 31:5; Titus 1:2
  • Faithful - God is always true to His promises. He can never draw back from His promises of blessing or of judgment. Since He cannot lie, He is totally steadfast to what He has spoken. -- Deut. 7:9; 2 Timothy 2:13
  • Jealous - God is unwilling to share His glory with any other creature or give up His redeemed people. -- Exodus 20:5; 34:14
  • God is the Great Physician~ God's name is Jehovah-rapha ~ the God who heals.

Appreciate the Mystery and the Unknown

God is so awesome that the more we know Him, the more we realize we don't know Him. This is where worship begins. Begin to appreciate the things that you cannot figure out about Him, and let them be. This is why we call him God. If you can know everything about Him, then He is no longer God - you are. Worship is mystery. Get out of a black and white mentality that puts God in a box. He is much greater than that!

What can we say about all of this? If God is for us, who can be against us? -- Romans 8:31

Action Item: List the 10 best characteristics you can think of in a great father. Now read the list again, and know that God the Father is all of that and more. He is your perfect Father, and he is ready, willing, and able to love you with perfect love.

I will acknowledge the Lord's acts of mercy, and sing the praises of the Lord, because everything that the Lord has done for us. He has done many good things for the nation of Israel because of his compassion and his unlimited mercy. -- Isaiah 63:7

Where Is God?

Many of us have a difficult time explaining the "God business." We don't want to be considered 'religious', but at the same time we believe, and know from experience, that contact with God is necessary for real personal growth. Many of us can look back - we realize that a certain 'force' was moving us toward recovery long before we knew we needed any recovery or God in our life. But God works in ways that can seem to come from chance or coincidence. Quite often, we'll find that little events had far-reaching results in our lives.

When we review how such things happened, we should not conclude that this happens only to certain "special" people. All human beings are part of God's creation and can avail themselves of guidance and direction. The more serious problem is that guidance and direction are sometimes ignored or rejected. I'll go about my affairs today with the knowledge that God is making the important decisions in my life. I'll come out where God wants me to be.

Heal me, O Lord, and I will healed. Rescue me, and I will rescued. You are the one I praise. -- Jeremiah 17:14

Our Lord is the Great Physician ~

God's name is Jehovah-rapha ~ the God who heals. The God who is in the process of healing the woman with an eating disorder, or the one abused by her father, is the same God that can heal YOU. In Exodus 15:22-26 God wanted the children of Israel to learn an important principle: when things are difficult, run to God. Listening and obeying Him will bring healing.

God can take the bitter and make it sweet, because He is our healer. If you will do what God says, it will work. You can be healed. That does not mean you'll never experience pain again, nor that your past won't come up again. You will be able to deal with your hurt because you have God's answer on how to deal with your hurt, so that it works together for your good.


The Bible Shows Us That God Heals

 

  • They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. - Psalm 107:18-21
  • The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the Lord binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted -- Isaiah 30:26
  • He (Jesus) was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed him not. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. -- Isaiah 53:3; 1 Peter 2:24-25
  • See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. -- Deutoronomy 32:39
  • The Lord will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the Lord, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them. -- Isaiah 19:22
  • I was enraged by his sinful greed; I punished him, and hid my face in anger, yet he kept on in his willful ways. I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him. -- Isaiah 57:17-18
  • He helps the brokenhearted and binds their wounds. -- Psalm 147:3
  • Then Abraham prayed to God and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again, for the Lord had closed up every womb in Abimelech's household because of Abraham;s wife Sarah. -- Genesis 20:17
  • ...How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.-- Acts 10:38
  • Praise the Lord, my soul, and never forget all the good he has done: He is the one who forgives all your sins, the one who heals all your diseases. -- Psalm 103:2-3
  • If you are sick, call for the church leaders. Have them pray for you and anoint you with olive oil in the name of the Lord. (Prayers offered in faith will save those who are sick, and the Lord will cure them). If you have sinned, you will be forgiven. So admit your sins to each other, and pray for each other so that you will be healed. Prayers offered by those who have God's approval are effective. -- James 5:14-16
  • But he told me: "My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak." So I will brag even more about my weakness in order that Christ's power will live in me. Therefore, I accept weakness, mistreatment, hardship, persecution, and difficulties suffered for Christ. It's clear that when I'm weak, I'm strong. -- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
  • That is why we are not discouraged. Though outwardly we are wearing out, inwardly we are renewed day by day. -- 2 Corinthians 4:16
  • A joyful heart is good medicine, but depression drains one's strength. -- Proverbs 17:22
Why Doesn't God Answer My Prayers for Healing?

 

That is a great question, and unfortunately there is no concrete answer. I can tell you that God is aware of your eating disorder, and all your other problems. But He is NOT the cause of your problems. We make our own choices - both good and bad. God doesn't want the eating disorder to continue, but that doesn't mean that you should expect Him to miraculously make it disappear. God is the great teacher. He likes to teach us lessons on the way. He wants to mold us more into the likeness of His son, Jesus. He will give you all the help, courage, strength, counsel needed to complete your journey. But only if you let Him.

It takes great effort to recover from an eating disorder - sometimes years. If you don't think of yourself as overly religious, at least acknowledge that you have a spiritual side. People with faith are able to utilize God's strength, in addition to their own, to recover. However you view God (some call Him "Higher Power"), just know He can help you through the Holy Spirit. He will lead you to caring and loving people who can help you explore your past and future recovery.

 

Prayer

 

Now that you know God, ask God to help you walk in the truth ~

Father, I acknowledge that You are good and that everything You do is good. Thank You that You don't make mistakes, and that You can be trusted with every detail of this world, and my life. By faith, I accept that You have my best interests at heart, and that You are always going to fulfill Your perfect plan in my life, and in the lives of those I love. Please forgive me for the times I have doubted your wisdom, Your goodness, and Your love. I confess that I know so little of You and Your ways, and that my view of You is often flawed and not according to Your truth. Please teach me to know and love and trust You as you really are. In Jesus' name. Amen.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know his incomparably great power for us who believe. -- Esphesians 1:18-19

 


 

 

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