By way of a miracle Patty and I were able to get back to the US for a few weeks. It has been a whirlwind of a time trying to pack in a wedding, family visits, some ministry appointments and a little biking.
One of the gifts was to spend time with our fathers. As we repack our suitcases to head back to Africa I reflected on the importance of father’s in our lives. We go back to a South Africa where roughly 15 % of all children are orphans and 62% of children under 18 live without their father. The effects of fatherlessness has been devastating on every aspect of the society.
On Father’s Day I spent some time thanking and praising God for my grandfathers, fathers, and spiritual fathers who have deeply influenced my life. Without the presence of fathers and spiritual fathers in our lives we are rudderless ships tossed every which way by life’s storms.
Ever since the beginning of creation there has been an all out assault against the Father child relationship. Adam and Eve’s Father was God. Daily they communed with Him walking in His pure love and security. But as we recall they chose to listen to the father of lies, Satan, who deceived them into believing they did not need God as a Father and that they could manage just fine on their own. Look at the devastating results of trying to live with out The Father.
The Father overcame the fall and its damning effects by giving us His only Son to restore us back to the Father child relationship. He has also filled His followers with the Holy Spirit so that we rest in the great assurance that we have been adopted back into His family and can know our Father intimately (Romans 8:14-15).
Certainly our world is in desperate need for men who are filled with the Spirit of the Father to be spiritual fathers to orphan sons and daughters. That orphan spirit that started at the fall in the garden with our first parents has crushed countless souls with the spirit of abandonment and rejection. Just visit a prison, a gang infested city, a drug rehab center and listen to the stories.
I praise God for grandfathers, my dads, coaches, teachers, and pastors who were agents of the Heavenly Father speaking truth into my soul that shouted louder than the lies of the enemy. I wonder if the majority of the chaos our world is experiencing is due to the absence of spiritual fathers who can point us to Jesus the very image of God the Father (Hebrews 1:3).
7 years ago on a Father’s Day in Lesotho Africa as Oceans Ministries was just starting I was asked to preach in a local church. I shared with them the vision of Oceans: to make the love of the Father known to spiritual and physical orphans around the world. After living the past year in Africa, as well as seeing how Covid exposed deeper heart issues all over our world, I’m even more convinced of the vision.
Our world needs the Father and our world needs fathers and spiritual fathers who will reflect His love to lonely and abandoned children, teens and adults. Each of us needs that voice in our life. If you don’t have one ask God to bring you into relationship with someone who can be the Father’s love and voice to you. Or maybe He is calling you to be a spiritual father to a son or daughter He is bringing to you. Join us as we pray into the prophecy of Malachi 4:5:
“Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the LORD arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”