When it comes to spiritual growth, our ability to connect to God deeply has a lot to do with how we see the word Father. The reason is because God is Father. If we have a faulty lens of what a father is or should be, we will carry a distorted lens in our relationship with God.
Millions of people have difficulty relating to Father God and much of this goes back to issues regarding their earthly father. A relationship with a father should be a fruitful experience, so that we can more willingly relate to our perfect Father in heaven.
When approach God, we can not only call him Father, we can communicate even more intimately to Him, by using the word, Dad. In the ancient writings, the word Abba, is a personal and intimate reference to Daddy. Its what a child calls their father in settings where they can be themselves, jump into daddy’s arms and just feel loved.
This is what God is heaven wants for you. But many cannot connect to Dad when it comes to God for two main reasons:
- Their experience with their earthly father left wounds in their heart that does not allow them to connect to Father God intimately as Dad.
- Religious training has taught us that calling God “Dad” would be irreverent or sacrilegious, even though the word Daddy, or Abba is used in the Scriptures.
The word Abba, which means Daddy, is used 3 times in New Testament Scripture. It is expressed once in Galatians, once in the Gospel of Mark and once in Romans.
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Galatians 4:6
The usage of Daddy in Galatians was to help move the believers out of a slave mentality and into a son mentality. God wanted them and us to walk with a new lens on life–not based on what we do, but who we are.
And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:36
Another place Abba was recorded is in the Scriptural account of Jesus praying in the garden, just before He would be led to suffer and die. This time of prayer was no doubt the most intense time of His earthily life. As Jesus prayed out to the Father, He was facing the most excruciating thoughts and challenges. His prayer was so agonizing, the Bible says that drops of blood fell from his pores. Although it is biologically possible for our bodies to do this, it would take a great deal of intensity for it to happen.
All throughout His life, Jesus lived in deep communion with the Father, and it was here in the garden that He needed His Father’s strength the most. No human being could understand what He was enduring. His disciples fell asleep praying. His friends were unavailable. Only the Father could meet His need for strength anyway.
Jesus’ cry to the Father was very honest. It is totally possible for You Father to change this situation and make way another option. But I choose to do Your will, which You sent me to this earth to accomplish. When Jesus addressed His Father, He did not just use the formal word for Father. He also addressed Him by the intimate expression that we were trained to use from childhood. He cried out to Abba. Daddy!
His cry is basically saying, “Daddy, if there is another way, please show me, but because You are My Father, I choose to do Your will. And I know that You are with me and will give me the strength to fulfill this.” In His most challenging moment, there was no time for formalities. Jesus needed His Daddy. So do you and I.
During our days of struggle and uncertainty, there is a cry within that wants to know “Daddy, are you gonna be here for me?” In His most challenging moment, there was no time for formalities. Jesus needed His Daddy. So do you and I.
We long to know that as little children, but we also need to know it as spiritual children of our Heavenly Father. We need to know we can come boldly before the throne of grace and cry out “Daddy, I need you right now.” Because of Christ’s example, I can have the honor of busting into heaven’s courts as God’s child to boldly ask for Him in times of need.
But this Daddy revelation brings it to an entirely new level. Without this Daddy understanding, we will not be able to receive the strength that Jesus carried in His life.
The third place we see the word Abba word used in Scripture is back where we have been reading, in Romans 8.
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15
Developing an ongoing relationship with Abba helps us to firmly establish our sonship and adoption. The key ingredient to note here is that the manifestation of receiving the Spirit of Adoption is being able to cry out to Daddy without feeling weird or uncomfortable.
Being able to cry out to Daddy helps to ward off any attempts of the enemy to place roots like rejection, fear and insecurity into our lives. This Daddy-Child relationship is what needs to be firmly built up in our lives to ward off the enemy’s devices, which seek to separate us from this understanding.