Daddy Issues Part 4

Daddy Issues Part 4: The Hearts of the Fathers

Open in prayer

My father set up a college fund for me when I was a child. I was told that by the time I graduated high school that there would be enough to send me to any school I could get into. My high school years were rocky at best. I got expelled, went to a charter school, then finally dropped out.

After I got my GED, and I started walking with the Lord, God showed me that I was to preach and teach, so I applied to ORU to get a degree in theology. So, I went to my dad to see about money for college. That’s when he told me that there wasn’t any.

What I didn’t know is that when it looked like I wasn’t going to finish high school, much less go to college, my father cashed out my college fund to start his own construction business. Then, in 2008, the market crashed and he lost everything. His business, his savings, and my college money.

I was disappointed to say the least. I no longer had access to what was supposed to be my inheritance because of my failures and the unexpected losses on the part of my father.

For the past few weeks, we’ve looked at the story of the prodigal son. It’s a gut wrenching and heart-warming illustration about God as our Father, running to meet us, to restore us and to welcome us back home.

But it’s also a story of inheritance. The son squandered what the father gave him. Tonight we are going to look at God’s desire for us, not just as sons and daughters, but as fathers and mothers, and what that means for our children and their inheritance.

Main Point: The distortion or destruction of God’s design for a father, results in a distorted perception of God as Father or the destruction of belief in God altogether.

Main Text:
Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

Father (Hebrew – Ab; Greek – Pater): Originator, transmitter, ancestor, title of honor and respect, one who looks after another in a paternal way.

So father in the Hebrew and Greek means, father.
Same word when Jesus teaches His disciples to pray.

1 Corinthians 4:15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers.

This is the condition that I see prevalent in so many churches today.

So what’s the difference between a teacher and a father?
A teacher instructs, a father instills
A teacher grades, a father guides and grows
A teacher explains the what, a father explains the why and demonstrates the how

A teacher’s goal is the student’s attainment of a specified intellectual or practical objective.
A father’s goal is the growth and development of a son / daughter into their purpose, destiny, and legacy or inheritance.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way [they] should go, and when [they are] old [they] will not depart from it.

Hezekiah – decent king, bad father
Isaiah 39:5-8 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: 6 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the LORD. 7 ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ 8 So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good!” For he said, “At least there will be peace and truth in my days.”

1. Parents are to be Like their Father in Heaven.

To be a good father, I must learn to submit to God and learn from Him.

Hebrews 5:8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son, He learned obedience from the things He suffered.

Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Paul learned from Jesus as a son, that is why he became a spiritual father,
1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
* Me: submitting, mentoring, fathering

When we follow Jesus’s example, we get it right. When we don’t, we don’t.

2. Selfishness & Rebellion Bring Destruction.

David is a prophetic prototype of Christ. He was a man after God’s heart. But he messed up the prophetic picture on more than one occasion.

David: He was both a good father and a terrible father.
This is seen in how he relates to his children.

2 Samuel 12:10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.

His oldest son, Amnon, rapes and then shames his half-sister, Tamar (2 Samuel 13:1-19). Tamar's full-brother, Absalom, hates Amnon for that crime, but does not speak to him about it. David knows of the matter but decides to ignore the situation (2 Sam. 13:21). Absalom had Amnon killed then tried to take over the kingdom and force his father out.

David – bad father. His kids had some deep “daddy issues”

The opposite of love is not hate, but selfishness and indifference.
Permissive parenting is not love, it’s destructive and brings an immediate illegitimate “peace” which results in long-term chaos, rebellion, and destruction.

We must be intentional. Yes, we must choose our battles, but just because you can’t fight every one doesn’t mean we don’t fight at all. We are not fighting our children – love is fighting for our children, even if that means engaging in some struggles with our children.

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.

Ephesians 6:12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil…

I’ve said this to my daughter and to my spiritual sons and daughters: “I love you and want God’s best for you. I am fighting for that, I will even fight you for you, so you can experience God’s purposes for your life.”

As a parent, we can see beyond what are children are feeling in the moment. It is our job to help them move from where they are to where they are called to be.
* I have counseled many who were excited about where they were, what they wanted, or a dream they had. Many times God will give me a word to lay it down or to wait.

I just knew I was called to preach and teach so I would tell anyone who would listen, until I finally learned to submit to God and the authority He placed me under. 10 years went by…
I learned obedience by the things I suffered. Sometimes Joseph has to stay in the prison for 10 years to prepare him for the palace. His dream wasn’t about feeding himself, but keeping other people alive.

My gifting and call is not for me but for you.

Your gifting and call is not for you, but for those that God wants to bless through you.

We are trees planted by the Lord. He desires that we bear fruit, not so we can exalt ourselves in how pretty our fruit is, or compare our fruit with other fruit trees, but to feed other people. Trees don’t eat their own fruit.

Your fruitfulness is not based on how you feel about your fruit or the other tree’s fruit. it’s about the soil of your heart and how much you’re watering it with the word. We need to just keep our eyes on Jesus, listen to what He is saying to us, stay planted where He called us, water our hearts with His word and trust that in due season, He will bring our the fruitfulness – not for your fame or for your feelings, or for your sense of significance, but to feed His people.

Restoration of Peter – Do you love Me? Feed My lambs.

1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.

Maturity results in fruitfulness, but maturity only happens as you stop being selfish and start focusing on feeding others physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, etc.

From the late 70’s to the late 90’s our country experienced a great economic boom due to the efforts of the post WWII generation, known as the greatest generation. Advances in technology and global industry acted as a catalyst for our economy.

You had white collar CEOs, lawyers, doctors, politicians, stock market gurus, and captains of industry becoming increasingly wealthy and increasingly selfish which resulted in outright slavery and labor camps in third-world countries, a ridiculous amount of waste and pollution (trash island), a loss of credibility around the globe, a diminishing military, and a crumbling economy.

We have eaten our own fruit and left nothing but rotting apple cores for our kids to fight over.

But there is a glimmer of hope even in the darkness that we face in our generation.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

David wasn’t all bad as a father, however. When it came to preparing Solomon to be the next king, he did well.

3. A Good Parent Prepares for their Children’s Future

1 Chronicles 17 – David can’t build the temple. Too much blood on His hands.
Prophetic picture – David did wrestle against flesh and blood and that wasn’t going to be the foundation of worship. Isaac was a man of peace symbolic of our Prince of Peace, Jesus.

But David, still having a heart to honor and worship God, doesn’t give up. He then turns all of his attention to providing for what his son would build.
1 Chronicles 20 – David makes provision for his son’s work.

How many of us are willing to pour all we are into building an inheritance and a legacy for our children? Even when our own dreams seem to die?

David instructed his son in the ways of God. Solomon then did the same with his sons, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

* My wife set up a fund for my daughter so that she didn’t have to pay for school. We saved up and what extra debt or expenses she had after graduation; we were able to pay off as her graduation present.

It’s not just about financial provision, but how much of our time, talents, and resources are we investing for and into our children. I don’t want to be a work-acholic absentee father who can send my children to school but have them live their lives with an orphan spirit never really knowing me or benefiting from who I am.

This is why I spend so much time mentoring and counseling. Rather than just build a church, My wife and I are called to build people.

Taking up the mantle of being a father or mother in the natural or spiritual is a difficult task, but the very fabric of our society and our souls depend on it.

God wants to roll away the reproach of the failures of fathers and mothers, and begin the process of redeeming, healing, and restoring us.

First, we must repent of our selfishness and rebellion against God.

Then we must forgive ourselves – there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus.

Forgive our children – remove offense so we can love them.

Ask God how to start today in building a legacy and inheritance for our children. Financially, spiritually, relationally, etc.