[Today we will be finishing up our study into the Father which was started on Monday, and continued on Tuesday as well as Wednesday. Thanks for your patience as I've gotten these articles up, I hope you've been blessed by them. I know I have. Also, there are a couple thing's I've written previously that pertain especially well to this series, you can find them here and here.]
Many of us know the Lord’s Prayer, growing up in a Catholic home my family always called it the Our Father. And while the Catholics often use it as a type of penance, they have good reason to call it the Our Father. That’s who it is addressed to, after all. Now, I’m not planning on really picking this prayer apart, though admittedly I wasn’t planning on this study being so very long either, but perhaps we will get into it. I don’t know quite yet as I’m just sitting down and typing.
God is our Father, I think Scripture clearly has shown that; He loves us and guides us better than an earthly Father would do. So, it makes sense to think of Him as such. The Scriptures are clear, we are to honor our father and mother, to do any less is a sin. How much more should we honor our heavenly Father then? And how do we honor our Father? Scripture is clear, by obeying and submitting to Him, by accepting Christ’s sacrifice for our sins and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform our lives, these are ways we can honor the Father. Everything, and I do mean everything, in our lives should stem from that. When we desiring God to be honored and glorified everything we do and say should reflect that (Yes, we’re going to mess up. I do on a daily basis. But what I can control, I should control, and those momentary slip ups? That’s why God has blessed us with the ability to repent.). And His Son was the perfect example of honoring the Father. He came to the earth willing to submit to His Father. Every step He took, every breath that was found in His lungs, all done in submission to the Father.
The father is the leader (the guide), the head of a family...or should be, Biblically...and so the mother, sons, and daughters traditionally defer to the father to follow his lead. Jesus demonstrates this model through out His life. He constantly sought the Will of His Father and gave thanks for His provision (Matthew 15:36) and lifted up His name in His dealings with the Pharisees (Matthew 11:25-26). Christ modeled the behavior and attitude we are called to follow. Everything about Him, including His prayer life, reflected and demonstrated this fact. Even in time of exceeding sorry He always went to the Father for strength and did as the Father commanded. We see this in perfectly in the Garden.
And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. (Matthew 26:37-45)
In the midst of this time Christ gives us advise, a way to honor our Father. In moments before what was probably one of the most devastating moments of His life (who wouldn’t be heart broken that a trusted friend has turned you over to die?) He remains fixed on His Father’s Will, because it is through Him that the Father would be glorified. And as if that weren’t enough He passes this onto us:
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)
Watch and pray. Simple, yet astoundingly useful advise from our loving Savior. When we follow this advise, when we stop and pray and resist temptation we glorify the Father. Christ doesn’t stop there, however, on His quest to fulfill the Father’s will.
At His most trying time, at the absolute height of His anguish Christ still found the energy to model for us the behavior that would honor the Father. From the Cross He cried out, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) In a moment of pain that must have been excruciating He still had compassion on those who would kill him, He brings honor to the Father as He prays to the Father on behalf of His executioners. Clearly seeking the Father’s will and bringing Him honor is of the utmost importance, even to Christ. And as we bare His name, since we claim to be the adoptive children of the most high God, bringing honor and glorifying Him should...no, it must be of the utmost and crucial importance to us as well.