Hindrances to Knowing God as Father

Different Father Types

Good Fathers
God’s plan – being a model of His heart
A good father by the world’s standards – encouraging, providing, caring – but still not perfect!
Sometimes a good father prevents us coming to God as Father.
View of God – No need for His love because my father was good

Performance Oriented Father
Place harsh demands for perfection and obedience at all costs
High performance, love only expressed when you hit the target. Love is therefore conditional. Feel shame when you fail.
View of God – demanding, strings attached, shame based.

Passive Father
No great demands on children. Does not demonstrate love and affection. Good providers but a low level of involvement. Physically present but emotionally uninvolved.
View of God – God is there but He is uninvolved.

Absentee Father
No longer present at home (death, divorce, work or abandonment)
50% of children grow up in single parent families.
Struggle with abandonment. Blame themselves for absence.
View of God – Ready to abandon us at any time. He does not leave us as orphans!

Authoritarian Father
More interested in law rather than love. Stern, unquestioned obedience. No emotional relationship, rules with fear and intimidation.
View of God – Legalistic, disciplinarian, obedience as a result of fear.

Abusive Father

Verbal, physical, emotional or sexual. Leads to anger and fear. Hidden guilt, fear and shame. Distrust authority figures (eg pastors).

View of God – Angry at Him, unable to trust, lack of intimacy.

Ten Specific Hindrances

Hebrew 12:1 – “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”

Hidden Sin
Our sin has been dealt with at the cross – the cause of the separation from God has been removed. Power of the cross is enough – it will/can cleanse us and allow us to walk in intimacy with God. 1 John 1:9 confess our sin and He will forgive us.

Live as children of the light – 1 John 1:7 walk in the light. Eph 5:8-10 – walk as children of the light. Short accounts and transparency!

Our own effort and ability. We can not live a life for God in our own effort and self righteousness. Our own righteousness is like filthy rags and leads to independence rather than total dependence on Him.

Father’s love is a message of grace Eph 2:8-9. By grace we are saved. We can not do anything to make God love us anymore than He does right now!

Fear of Rejection
We fear abandonment, fear leads to mistrust and mistrust leads to unhealthy relationships. Fear paralyses!

Psalm 27:10 “though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me” The love of God is so high, deep, wide and long that we can not escape it. Eph 3:14-19. This is a major area where the wrong voice can speak to our heart. The truth is we are secure in Him.

God resists the proud (James 4:6) Pride is our desire to be self sufficient and live a life without God. Jesus was totally dependent on his Father – for everything.

Humble ourselves and come as little children. Dependence and vulnerability.

Hebrews 11:6 – without faith can’t please God. What He offers is too good to be true – it flows out of His extravagant love!. Our limited understanding of love can stop us believing the truth – we are limited.

Childlike simplicity and faith.

No shame before the fall. Shame causes us to hide from God and to cover ourselves – takes away the intimacy! Feel shame from parents, teachers, pastors, family.

He approves of us – Isaiah 61:7 instead of shame receive a double portion. Romans 10.11 trust in Him, never put to shame!

Rejecting the Parents God Gave Us
Honouring parents brings a blessing. Walking in right relationship with earthly parents makes it easier to walk with Heavenly Father. Jesus was always a true son, in his heart – to Mary & Joseph, to spiritual fathers (son of David) and to Father God.

John 10:10 – the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy. Satan is constantly lying about the character and nature of God. He wants us to believe that God is distant and angry and demands harsh service from us. God of this age blinded the hearts of unbelievers (2 Cor 4:3-4)

John 8:32 – the truth sets us free. Jesus is the way, the truth and life – he shows us what the Father is really like. He shows us the extravagant love of the Father.

Bitterness a poison pill we swallow thinking it will kill someone else! (Jack Winter)

Matthew 18:21-35 forgive others if we want to be forgiven by God. Release those who have offended you. Ask God for compassion for the person who has wounded you and for grace to be able to release them from the debt they owe you. Pray a blessing on them!

A Divided Heart
Can’t serve two masters! Greatest commandment to love God with ALL heart, mind and soul.

He is worthy of ALL our love. He withheld nothing from us. He is jealous for our total love.