We Need the Father's Blessing
Did you know that there is a castle in Southern California? The Castle, home and headquarters of Teen Challenge of Southern California, a ministry which provides faith-based solutions to teen addictions, isn't like the castles of Europe that you've seen in movies, full of knights and nobles. Instead, this castle is filled with spiritual orphans who have never known the love and blessing of a father.
I have enjoyed the privilege of speaking at many different venues there past years, but to tell you the truth, I have never witnessed the kind of hunger I saw that night in the Castle. It was clear form the first worship song that the room was filled with a gratitude that comes to those whose lives have been rescued from the gutter.
Tears were glowing soon after I began speaking that night. At the end of the message, I asked the crowed, "How many of you did not have a father who knew how to love and bless you?" There was a sea of hands all over the room, and before I finished the invitation to come forward, they rused the stage. How many of these young lives had been set adrift because of not having a long father? What they needed was a new Father, and Jesus came to give them that relationship.
The prophet Jeremiah described our generation best when he wrote, "Orphans we are, not a father in sight, and our mothers are no better than widows." (Lam. 5:3 MSG)
Like many dads, my own early attempts at being a father failed miserably. I was raising PKs - pastor's kids - who were resenting the life and the ministry that I was living. Our family was broken because there was not a loving father present: me! What I needed was not another attempt at becoming a better dad. I needed a miracle in my heart. Without a blessing from my own father, I had litle to give my kids. I needed an encounter with God the Father so that my heart could turn away from myself and toward my kids.
I have never met a dad or mom who didn't want their kids to have a better life. Yet they struggle to give the love and blessing they themselves are still waiting for from their own fathers. I spent many years trying to prove myself to replace the blessing that I never received from my father.
I met an eighty-three-year-old Jewish man who told me, "I was never blessed by my father as a young boy. All I ever wanted from my dad was for him to tell me one time that he loved me and that he was proud of me."
This man went on to tell me that he had lived his entire life trying to prove himself worthy of his father's love and never received it. When fathers ache from the loss of their own father's love, it can set them on a path of doing the same things to the children they love.
So how does God hea the wounds from your father?
Effort alone didn't work for me. My good intentions were short lived. What I needed was an encounter with the only Father who could turn my wounds into a blessing.
It is time to stop beating up fathers and instead give them some tools and answers. It is my hope that this book is both miraculous and practical. It will be miraculous as you encounter the blessing of the Father for your own life - not in my power, or yours, but in God's - and practical in the many ways that you will be able to transfer that blessing to those you love. This book is for both men and women who are still missing the blessing that has eluded them.
The Bible says in Malachi that there will be a day when God will "Turn the hearts of fathers back to their children" (Mal. 4:6). I believe that we are in that day right now! Without the healing of men's hearts, we have little hope of turning the tide that is threatening to drown our families.
Jesus made a promise to His disciples before He went to the cross. He said, "I will not leave you as orphans, but I will come to you" (John 14:18). The word He used for 'orphan' is also translated 'fatherless'. I am sure that many in that crowrd did not understand why Jesus had just called everyone in that room "fatherless", especially since most of them lived within their father's community. Jesus was promising His followers the ultimate Father. The Father sent Jesus to unlock the door of our orphanage, and adopt us into His own perfectly loving family.
The key for the lock on that door is the blessing of the Father...