Over the last year or so, I’ve realized I have a big deficit in my soul in regards to a certain area: Papa God.
Now I don’t mean “deficit” in the understanding of not having one. I have a Dad and I have a Papa God. I know I am loved by my earthly Father and by my heavenly Father.
But although I have these roles in my life, I have had little understanding in my soul of their power and love.
I think I first started to realize how much I lacked when I got married to Luke. You see, Luke has a beautiful vocabulary and good understanding of the word family. He loves talking about the Kingdom Family of God… the church is a family… God is a dad… and all those types of familial references.
As Luke expressed it, basically all of Biblical teaching and deep theology could boil down to one idea – God is Father and He wants a family.
And we have been adopted into that Family through Jesus.
Even though I understood these words mentally and could speak them liberally, I had little comprehension internally. Sometimes it takes the Holy Spirit to get our thoughts to travel down the twisted road from our head to our heart. And sometimes that process takes awhile.
But by moving to Kansas City and joining the Boiler Room community (a church with a deep and rich understanding of the Kingdom Family), I knew this topic was moving to the forefront of my life. I knew the thoughts traveling down the road to my heart were about to jump on the interstate and get a “super-boost” from the Lord. And I was ready for it!
SO, we have been living in Kansas City and attending the KC BoilerRoom Vision Course for about one month now, and already I can see deep seeds of truth regarding Papa God start to sprout in my heart. I am beginning to pray to the Father with the same confidence as I do with Jesus. I’m beginning to like calling God “Dad” or “Papa”. And I am beginning to LOVE the Kingdom Family of God reality. Things like community, hospitality and family are leaving a good taste in my mouth.
Although I am by no means “done” with learning this truth (in fact, I have so much left!), I can attribute these little sprouts to a couple of areas:
You see, part of our Vision Course program was going through an inner healing ministry. We basically prayed through certain lies and brokenness from our past, then asked the Lord to show us the truth. I had some incredibly powerful pictures the Lord showed me regarding lies about my worth, acceptance and identity. If I had the time, I would share all of them with you because they are incredibly precious and powerful.
So I am learning to believe the truth about who I am and how God feels about me, and I have more grace to do so because of the prayers I prayed, doors I closed, and truths I accepted during this healing ministry time.
2. Kingdom Family Community
Over the past year, God has been bringing me into church families that really embody this Kingdom Family dynamic. It all started with attending Oasis about a year ago and getting to be around a small, tight-knit community. It was incredibly refreshing after coming from a large, bustling, “revolving door” ministry. Secondly, now being around the BoilerRoom family has been another dose of healthy family expression where I am getting to see true community lived out with love, mission and prayer as the core of its expression.
Basically, the phrase “you are what you eat” is starting to ring true (So I eat a lot of donuts… does that mean I’m a cream-filled pastry?).
Well at least it’s true in the metaphoric way…
When we start consuming truth via those that feed us (i.e. pastors, mentors, friends, family…) we start believing and retaining it! I can already hear myself saying phrases like “the Kingdom Family” and actually knowing what it means and BELIEVING IT! It’s phenomenal.
3. The Shack
Lastly, I’ve been reading The Shack by William Paul Young. It’s part of our reading list for the Vision Course (don’t worry, we don’t ONLY read fiction books. We also are reading Tozer and other classics….). BUT, we’re looking at who God is and reflecting on the beauty of the Trinity, so what better book to rock our paradigms than The Shack?
I know I totally missed the popularity bandwagon on this book (about 5 years too late, ha!) but I am not kidding you when I say that this book is changing my life!
I am well aware that this book is fiction and not necessarily “theologically sound”, but the beautiful analogies and metaphors for Abba are moving my heart. There are some phrases that have helped me understand Papa God better and I basically breakdown and cry every time I pick up the book!
This isn’t the first fiction book to move my heart – other ones like The Chronicles of Narnia by Lewis and Hinds Feet on High Places by Hubbard have had equal affect on my heart. So I’m just cherishing this current season of reading this book and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak truth to my heart about who He is (not who I thought he was…).
“The problem is that many folks try to grasp some sense of who I am by taking the best version of themselves, projecting that to the nth degree, factoring in all the goodness they can perceive, which often isn’t much, and then call that God. And while it may seem like a noble effort, the truth is that it falls pitifully short of who I really am. I’m not merely the best version of you that you can think of. I am far more than that, above and beyond all that you can ask or think.”
~Papa from The Shack
Anyway, I simply thought I would update you all with a little peek into my soul. Although I have listed these three areas as ways God is moving in my life, I know it’s been more than just these three things (and still more to come!). I wish I could say it was as easy as a 3 step process! But shifting our understanding of Papa God to the proper reality takes time, love and the Holy Spirit.
But I am incredibly grateful to be on this journey and realizing I am making progress. 🙂
So I pray that you too would encounter Papa God in a new way today, and perhaps catch a taste of Family goodness.
Here’s to Kingdom family, where there’s always room for you at the table!