Friendship with the Father has a thrill factor that must be somewhere around infinity!
If that sounds a bit imprecise, especially coming from a former physicist, it is because I don’t think it can be measured. The Father’s love for us is beyond measure and indeed it is infinite because he is! And his friendship entails a deepening of the revelation of his heart to us, and ours to him, even though that sharing is ridiculously lop-sided on any scale.
Nevertheless, we can explore his heart because he has opened it to us, as his friends. And because his heart is the most fascinating place in the universe, we cannot even guess how thrilled we will be at our next discovery of another facet of his multi-textured love. The previous one, whatever it may have been for you, was surely beyond your full understanding!
I emphasized a key implication of friendship with Abba in my previous encouragement in this series for Father’s Friends, but it bears repeating here again because of its enormous blessing.
Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. [John 14:23]
The desire of Jesus and the Father is to “take up residence” with those who love them, with the obvious implication of entwinement of their hearts with the believer. This is one of the hallmarks of close friendship.
Let’s pursue this a little further. The heart-entwinement just mentioned gets us a bit further along the avenue of exquisite thrill! Not only does the Father lovingly search our hearts, but he also invites us to search his and his love is evidenced by the vulnerability he displays as a result.
Exploring this facet of our friendship with Abba could keep us busy on into eternity, but for now, let’s focus on the sharing of emotion with our Friend. He truly cares about our emotions and understands them in exquisite detail. The fact that he gave us the ability to experience emotions is of course (partial) evidence that we are made in his image. But his motive behind this gift in enthralling in its own right – he truly loves us with purity beyond our comprehension.
Indeed, this infinite love of God places a “demand” upon itself, if you will allow me to phrase the concept this way. An example is that he will not withhold any good thing from those whose heart is blameless toward him (see Psalm 84:11 [ESV]) and his emotions are certainly good “things.” What did Abba want to share when he gave us emotions? The obvious answer is that he wanted us to share in his joy. In fact, he takes great delight in us (see Zeph. 3:17) and wants us to be able to do the same, namely take great delight in him (and in each other!). This is just one of the exquisite facets of heart-entwinement with God.
A thrill of this kind of sharing is that we can actually feel the heart of Abba as he experiences emotions of all sorts, and we can know that he feels our emotions as well. He delights right along with us when we hold a new-born baby or tenderly hold a loved one close to us.
There is also an incomprehensible sadness that we can experience when the Father grieves over a child who is lost. To be sure, our own hearts grieve in this way as well, but when we allow Abba’s emotion to permeate our hearts we can sense how he feels in addition. I like to say, in fact, that pure, godly, compassion seeks to make Abba’s heart pain-free, not just our own.
This brings me to another encouragement, perhaps an exhortation, for you. Consider how Abba feels when you pray that his heart would be blessed. I have personally made it a habit to bless my Father’s heart with the fullness of his children taking their places in that infinite heart of love. I can feel his pleasure in that prayer of mine, because our hearts are entwined, and more so every day.
Search Abba’s heart for his emotion that he wants to share with you today, and let your own heart be blessed along with his as you experience the heavenly entwinement of your hearts that increasingly beat as one!
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