God is my daddy, not my employer

How I first think of God today makes a difference.

abba father

My first thought when someone mentions God is often that of a cosmic ruler, someone evaluating my life while keeping the universe in motion. Not good. I have to remind myself that is not the image Jesus brought us. But it is my default setting.

And he said, “ABBA, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36 ESV)

“Abba” was the Aramaic term for daddy. It was the term toddlers used for their dads. It was not a religious term or even a particularly respectful term. It was a term of endearment. A term of loving dependence.

In His darkest hour, Jesus was keenly aware of the nature of His relationship with His father. He called out “Abba” as He submitted Himself to His father’s will. He did not relate to God as His employer, the Creator, or even the Almighty God. He was His daddy.

When we are tempted to think of ourselves as God’s slaves, the Holy Spirit reminds us that we are our Father’s toddlers. We are adopted sons. That is the relationship the Spirit promotes in us.

For you did not receive the SPIRIT OF SLAVERY to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “ABBA! Father!” (Romans 8:15 ESV)

Paul restates this again in Galatians.

And because YOU ARE SONS, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “ABBA! Father!” (Galatians 4:6 ESV)

He reminds us that the Holy Spirit inspires the Father/child relationship. Father God is our daddy. This is not empty religious talk. It is not sappy spiritual jargon.

Through Jesus we are sons of God. He did the work. He is the way. The Almighty God of the universe is now our Daddy.

It is the Abba effect.