THE FATHER AS OUR CHAMPION AND DEFENDER
CONFIDENCE AS WELL AS COMFORT
I am prophetically convinced that we are moving towards new revealings of God. I believe the Father is going to bring us into a greater revelation of who He is, helping us to step up onto higher ground. There is a quickening taking place, an acceleration in our hearts to connect with what the Spirit is doing.
Up to this point, the Body of Christ has been coming into the love of the Father. But it has largely been His nurturing and comfort; His mothering care and love. This, of course, is indispensable and crucial. The ministry of the Holy Spirit has been (and ever will be) to pour out the comfort-love of God within our hearts. Comfort is the solid foundation; it is the mortar that runs throughout the building. But this foundation is being built upon. As we continue to experience the Father loving us (in a mothering way) we are to receive an ever-increasing revelation of the Father, in His fatherhood.
Comfort is a feminine expression of love. Comfort-love is a substance.
Confidence-love is also a substance. It is a masculine expression of God’s love. The masculine expression of the Father’s love will stiffen our backbones, swell our chests, and lift our chins as we face the challenges that life throws at us.
We are going to receive a revelation of the Father’s fatherhood. We are going to perceive the working of His strong arm and discern the deeper resonance of His voice. We will smell His masculine odour, the odour of sweat in His workshop, the smell of the fields He is working in. His silences will bring a vibration in our hearts that communicates love as much as hearing His voice. Up to now, the Father (in His masculinity) has been a shadowy figure in the background, while His nurturing comfort has been to the fore. However, as our awareness is increasing, and our eyes are focusing further, our world (spiritually) is getting bigger.
FATHER WILL CONFRONT THE ACCUSER
Without getting too much into stereotypes, what the father brings is not so much comfort, nurture and life (this flows from the mother) but provision and protection. Prophetically speaking, I believe the Father is going to reveal Himself in areas of supernatural provision and protection. We are going to experience, in addition to His gentle nurture, His strength and His energy. We are going to come into the increased experience of the Father standing up for us when we are having problems or being bullied by the Accuser.
The best thing I can do here is tell some stories from my own personal experience:
My daughter, Jessie, attended kindergarten (pre-school) from the ages of 3-5. She would go four days a week and she really enjoyed it. Jacob, who is older, had attended the same kindergarten. We began to notice that Jessie was not her usual self when she came home. She seemed quieter, more subdued, a bit diminished. She has a pretty ebullient personality so we knew something wasn’t right. After talking to her, it came out that a little boy had been hassling her, every day pointing and laughing at her. This little boy was a literal orphan; his main caregiver was his grandfather. Because Becky is very gifted with children, this boy would often draw mothering comfort from her. Becky would allow him to sit on her knee at the kindergarten during ‘mat time.’ The boy was basically a nice kid but obviously broken. When he would laugh at Jessie her natural confidence was shaken.
After hearing the story I said to Becky (it was Friday evening) “Right! I will take Jessie to kindergarten on Monday!” Monday morning rolled around and I took Jessie to the kindergarten. We walked in, hand in hand. As soon as we got through the door, the little boy marched up to Jessie, pointed at her and laughed. Jessie’s little hand tightened its grip on my hand. Right away I spoke out loudly, “Oy! I’m Jessie’s Dad!” That was all I said. I said it in a light but confident manner. The boy’s eyes widened, the smirk was wiped off his face, he stuck out his hand and I shook it….but he never troubled Jessie again. In fact, they became friends. The situation was fixed. For the next two or three weeks Jessie would ask me, “Daddy, what did you say to Josh?” (not his real name). She wanted me to retell the story over and over again. After that, from time to time, she would say to Becky, “I want Daddy to take me to kindy tomorrow.” After I had ‘confronted’ the kid, Jessie’s confidence immediately returned. You see, what happened was that I leant into my masculinity as her father. I became her defender and protector. I confronted her ‘accuser’ (not that he intentionally meant that but it was the effect it had on her.)
I want my kids to know that I will always be there for them as their ‘Champion.’
I did the same thing for Jacob. A boy in Jacob’s school, who was actually Jacob’s buddy, kept calling Jacob “Stupid!”, and “Foolish Idiot!” Sadly, this was probably learned behaviour from the boy’s family. As I was collecting Jacob from school, they were playing in the playground and I called the boy over. With Jacob standing beside me I said to the boy, “Are you calling my son a foolish idiot?” He nodded nervously. I continued, “Don’t do that again! He is not stupid or a foolish idiot. And you are not either. No one is a foolish idiot!” That settled it. A weight lifted off Jacob and his confidence took a quantum leap forward. The boy is still his buddy.
What I am saying is that we are going to come into the experience of the Father doing the same thing for us. We are going to experience the Father as our Champion, our Protector and Defender. He is going to confront our Accuser, the Orphan Spirit who is pointing and laughing at us, who calls us ‘Foolish idiots.’ Father is going to face down the Bully who is jostling and hassling us. The masculine love of the Father, rising in its forcefulness from our spirts is going to silence whatever undermines our true identity. Principalities and powers manifest themselves in many forms but their basic aim is to be accusers and nay-sayers, to try to intimidate and knock the confidence of the sons and daughters of God.
The good news is this! Come Monday morning, your Father is going to be taking you to school!
The Father is coming in strength and might, flexing His muscle, fixing the Accuser with an unflinching stare, tapping into the deeper resonances of His voice, saying, “Don’t bully my son or my daughter any longer!. I am (put your name in here)….’s Dad! The principalities and powers will shrink back.
THE STRENGTH OF HIS ARM
What will help us experience this is the understanding that our Father has always been like this. He has never been passive or weak. When Jesus died on the cross, the Father showed Satan who was boss. The Father dealt with the Orphan-Bully once and for all and set things right in the cosmic playground. The principalities and powers do not have any power when they are exposed to the light of strong love. What needs to happen, however, is aligning our belief with this reality. I am saying, prophetically, that our experience is going to line up with the reality that Jesus has indeed put all things under His feet.
I remember, when I was about 15 years old, living in Belfast. Every year there is what is called “the marching season”, a time of political unrest when there are frequent parades with flags and drums. I could tell stories of my experiences growing up but you are going to have to wait for my memoirs! Anyway, myself and my brother (who is exactly a year older than me, to the day) were out one summer evening waiting to see one of these parades pass by. The road was lined with spectators waiting for the bands and marchers to come. As we stood there, a drunk man began to hassle us and really get in our faces with a mouthful of abusive language. We weren’t so much scared as confused and increasingly uncomfortable.
Suddenly a car screeched to a halt in the middle of the road. It was our dad! He was on his way to a prayer meeting. He pulled the car to a standstill and jumped out, leaving the car door open, forcing the traffic behind to negotiate its way around his abandoned car. He ran over and confronted the drunkard. His hackles were up! He said, forcefully, “What do you think you are doing? These are my sons! Don’t you dare intimidate them or you will have me to deal with!” For a moment I thought my dad was going to hit the guy! The drunk man shuffled off unsteadily and my dad said to us, “Are you okay?” (we assured him were) and then went back to his car and continued to the prayer meeting. Myself and my brother looked at each other and a wide grin began to spread simultaneously across our faces. We were a bit shocked at our father’s reaction…but we felt fantastic! We felt a few inches taller. We felt valued, we felt reinforced and boosted in our sense of identity, we felt honoured by our father’s actions on our behalf.
In my stories of what happened with my and my kids, and what happened to me as a teenager with my dad, something very real transpired. It is one thing to receive comfort from Mum; it is another thing to receive confidence from Dad. As we move into an ongoing experience of nurture and comfort in the manifesting of the mothering love of God, we are also going to experience the roar of masculine love, the strength and energy of our Papa’s anger against the Intimidator. By showing the strength of His arm, our Father is instilling confidence into us.