February is Father heart month
Finding ultimate value in who you are, not what you do.
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – Romans 5:5 (NIV)
My father was orphaned twice. First, when he was two weeks old his mother died, so his father gave him and his two older siblings to another family who adopted them. My grandfather went back to his homeland, never to be heard from again. Second, when my father was nine years old, his adoptive father died. So, my dad was fatherless at an early age.
There were, obviously, profound repercussions to these events. The most fundamental was that my dad grew up with what I refer to as an orphan-mindset. My father became quite successful in life, professionally, socially, economically and in other ways. But the mantra in our home as I was growing up was, “If you want anything in life you just gotta work for it. Life doesn’t give you any handouts.” In other words, there was no sense of an inheritance; no grace to be freely given and received.
What this led to, as I was growing up, was a deep-rooted performance-orientation in my heart. My sense of worth and value was intricately tied to how well I could perform – or not. Education was a big deal in our family and because I was only average during my early school-years there was no reinforcement of my self-worth as being valuable just for who I am. So, I grew up with a gnawingly persistent sense of inadequacy. I could never live up to the task, whatever that might be.
It needs to be said that none of this was deliberate on the part of my parents or my family. This was just a natural outcome of living in a world full of orphans.
Thank God for the outpouring of His Spirit which began in 1994! I began to have a continuous drink at the healing and refreshing fountain of the Father’s Love. As I listened to teaching on the Father heart of God and as Holy Spirit poured God’s love into my heart, I gradually got in touch with my core identity as a Son. Orphan tendencies – rejection, abandonment, competitiveness and independence – began to dissipate. My heart began to agree with the truth that I am loved by God not because of what I can do for him but but because of who I am in his precious Son, Jesus!
This revelation of the Father’s Love continues to bring healing to the hearts and ministries of countless people across the globe, even right here in Mexico, where I am writing this on retreat.
Jesus, would you reveal the Father to those reading this now. Would you evangelize their hearts with the Good News of Abba’s love for them in profound and life-changing ways. Amen!