by Pastor Tim Burt
When one of my sons graduated from college a few years ago, he landed a great job with a good income. He is now reaping the benefits of years of hard work. He is a young man learning to walk out his manhood. He is smart, has a good job that takes smarts, and is capable of making good decisions.
In the first couple years after college, he was figuring out where he wanted to live, what he wanted to buy, how he wanted to spend his time outside of work, etc. His early decisions helped him begin to discover what was important to him and what wasn’t. He made his decisions on his own, not looking for or needing my input. That was fine with me. He’s fully capable of making his own decisions.
Now a couple of years down the road, he asks for my advice on big and little things. I love that he does. He does because we have both grown and matured in our walking out our adult son-father relationship. I have learned to avoid giving input or comments on his decisions unless asked – and even then, being encouraging and helpful. Much of life and decisions are personal preference and he has no obligation to follow in my path or the life I have lived. I have confidence that he will do great things, and have an exciting life learning how to live out his life for God and before God.
He has learned that he doesn’t need to learn everything the hard way. He's learned that there are many roads that he will journey down that simple wisdom from others can make smoother. I can offer gentle suggestions at times like that sharing my knowledge and experience and he can decide where to go from there. I don’t have to have an answer for everything. I just have to honest. Do you know how sweet it is to hear the words, “Dad, I have got this situation and here is how I am thinking about handling it – what do you think?”
That kind of exchange between us blesses me more than I can tell you. I’m not wanting to tell him what to do with his life. I’d just love to help him avoid pitfalls or give him a simple suggestion if it will help him. He realizes that and is not intimidated by it any more. I have learned and am still learning to say just enough and respect his ability to make decisions – not usurp them with mine.
I sincerely believe that God wants this kind of an intimate and communicative relationship with us where we look to Him for His wisdom and help. God does not want to intimidate us. Nor does he want us to lower Him to a “buddy friendship.” He wants that intimate and delicate Father/son Father/daughter relationship where we respect Him as Almighty God while understanding that He is our God but also our loving Father. When I read about Daniel, it’s how I view his relationship with God. Daniel was a brilliant man who was well educated in secular things, but also in the things of God.
As a young man he was taken captive as slave by the pagan King Nebuchadnezzar. Over time, he was promoted all the way to second in command. He got there because of his trust in God, coupled with his ability and a series of divine interventions of God’s help
Daniel had become a man of great knowledge, great wisdom, and great inner strength. He was surrounded by jealous subordinates continually plotting to take him out. Because of Daniels great ability and inward strength – he could have easily become prideful and leaned on himself and his power to have them executed. It didn’t happen. Daniel was not prideful or manipulative despite the evil of those around him. He trusted God and did only what was right. He was always one to converse with the Lord about everything.
The devil was working through men trying to take out Daniel. They flattered the King treating him like a god and getting the King to sign off on a decree that no one could bow down to anyone except the king. That didn’t change Daniel. Daniel respected the King but knew that God alone was God. He would not follow this decree. He bowed only to God. So when this decree happened, Daniel simply did what he always had done – gone to the his Heavenly Father on his knees for wisdom and help to walk it out.
Daniel 6:10 says, “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” That didn’t magically make everything in life alright just because Daniel prayed and did what was right. To the contrary, it made the devil mad and those being used of the devil mad. They tried to stir up trouble for Daniel. But ultimately, because of this close relationship with God, Daniel trusted and knew God would watch over him. And God did just that – time and time again.
I think if you look back in your life, you will hopefully see that God has watched over you and helped you time and time again. That’s because He loves you as a Father! As Romans 8:15 (NLT) says, “So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family—calling him "Father, dear Father." You’ve probably also learned that God doesn’t work like a mythical genie. God does things His way and in His time but most importantly – He is a Father who really does love His children. I love when my children pull on me and I believe God loves it when we have faith in, trust in, and pull on Him.
Proverbs 23:22 “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and don't despise your mother's experience when she is old.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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