"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,
Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify
thee." JOH 17:1.
Our Lord knew His own deliverance. He knew He would be raised from the
dead. He knew of the joy that was set before Him. He had an eternal
right to heaven and glory and also a new right by the purchase of
perfect obedience unto death, yet He would have this right confirmed by
prayer. So it is with all believers. Even if we are independently
wealthy and have our assurance of mercy, yet we are commanded to
acknowledge our dependency upon His grace as our Saviour taught in MAT
6:11-13. "Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as
we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us
from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for
ever. Amen." This helps keep us humble, walking in the Spirit of Christ
and dependent on the Lord. You and I still carry that old nature. We are
still subject to temptation, and we must ask for this deliverance daily.
The Lord wants us to acknowledge these things and reflect as a little
child our dependence upon Him.
It is good to recognize that Christ did not commence His intercessory
prayer saying "Our Father." He distinguishes between His relationship
with the Father and ours even though we are coheirs with Him. JOH 20:17
says, "Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to
my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my
Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." He is a Son who
is coequal with the Father, and we cannot lay claim to that. We are sons
by adoption in Christ.
ROM 8:15-17 says, "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again
to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry,
Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we
are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and
joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may
be also glorified together." His relationship with the Father is the
original relationship, and our relationship is only through Him. In our
land, if you have a natural child and then you have an adopted child,
you can disinherit your own child, but you cannot disinherit an adopted
child. So now we become joint-heirs with Christ. We are not heirs by
nature; Christ is. We can be glorified together with Christ, but we have
no glory outside of the glory we have in Jesus Christ.
What an unspeakable blessing when we receive that spirit of adoption
whereby we can, "cry, Abba, Father," that we can address Him as our
Father. With such a parental relationship with our heavenly Father, we
beam with affection, holy reverence, confidence and childlike
submission, under the most trying circumstances. See Christ's example in
MAT 26:39, "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." Think of a time when
your child may have been on his death bed. It would draw all of your
love and affection for such a one, and that is where the heart of our
heavenly Father is toward His children. He was able to restrain His love
for His own Son because of the love He had for such wretches as we are.
We call into remembrance His parental love when we call to Him, "Abba,
Father." We come with reverence, yet we also come with childlike
submission. We can take the Father's hand as a little child, confident
that He will take care of all of our needs. We confess that our hearts
are in unconditional submission to His will.
See how that all Christ's prayers are bottomed on this parental
relationship with His Father. JOH 17:5 says, "And now, O Father, glorify
thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before
the world was."
Our Saviour taught by His example and in His teaching that we are to
come unto God through faith, addressing Him as our Father. MAT 6:9 says,
"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name." We are to come before God respecting Him and
acknowledging that parental relationship, which denotes authority and
submission, reverence, dependency.
The great work of the Holy Spirit is to rebuild this family relationship
between those whom the Father has loved from eternity and Himself. In
paradise, we that parent-son relationship with God the Father. We
rebelled against that authority. It is in that spirit of adoption that
we acknowledge and accept that He is our Father, and that we bow to that
authority, that we are drawn by that affection and love.
Those who remain under the "spirit of bondage" unto sin and self, may
well cry "Lord, Lord," but they cannot cry, "Abba, Father." We see this
in MAT 7:22-23, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we
not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in
thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I
never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." They could not
address God as Father because there was no humble submission to His
will. They were not in His service. They were still working iniquity
even though they called Him Lord.
Those who rightly "cry, Abba, Father" are not the workers of iniquity.
Can you dare to be a worker of iniquity and come and say, "Our Father"?
The spirit of a true child of God is a submissive spirit to the will of
the Father. Our Saviour said in MAT 7:20-21, "Wherefore by their fruits
ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall
enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my
Father which is in heaven." Those are the ones who enter His kingdom.
They serve under His Kingship. They humbly submit and obey.