For many people today, the word "father" does not stir up happy thoughts of love and security, but painful memories of rejection, abuse, anger, fear or loss. As a child in rural Missouri, I grew up knowing that Jesus loved me, but knowing "God as Father" was another matter. I just could not connect with this seemingly aloof and stern being called "God."
But through a lengthy process and a powerful healing encounter, my perception has been altered. I want to share three simple steps that can help you approach Papa God as your loving heavenly Father. But first, allow me to give you a little background.
My earthly father, Wayne, was the oldest of seven children, and he grew up in rural Missouri during the Depression. As a part of our German ancestry, the Golls tend to be hard workers but also a bit hardheaded and stubborn. My dad was kicked out of the house at age 12 and was left to raise himself with only a sixth-grade education. Though he came to genuine faith in Christ later in life, some of those early wounds from childhood still needed the Holy Spirit's healing oil poured into them.
While growing up, I had both feared and loved my dad. I knew he cared for me, but I felt tolerated rather than celebrated and ignored rather than embraced. Indeed, I was so very different from him. How could he relate to his only son who was sensitive, scrawny and a singer to boot? The gap between us seemed huge indeed!
A Personal Father Encounter
Some time after my dad had graduated to heaven, I was ministering with prophet Marc DuPont in the Atlanta, Georgia, area. One evening, as I was closing a night session, the Holy Spirit swept into the auditorium and left several people prostrate on the floor in worship of the Lord. On the platform, I ended up on my knees, and from my eyes flowed tears, which wet my clothes and the carpet below. Then I saw a vision of my dad's beaming face in front of me. He appeared vibrant, glowing and so loving. I then heard words spoken in my heart from the Holy Spirit, "I have a message to give to you from your father."
That very moment, Marc DuPont, who had no idea what was personally transpiring with me, laid his hands on my shoulders and spoke tenderly. He stated, "There have been those in your life who have not understood you. But the Lord is using all of that crushing and bruising to release a fragrance of Christ from your life that will impact many." I continued to weep with gratitude, only to have my father's face come before me in a vision a second time. His eyes sparkled with the beauty of God.
Once again, I heard the words in my heart, "I have a message to give to you from your father." The voice of the Holy Spirit captured my attention as I gazed into the vision before me. Then a message from heaven shot straight into my heart, and that forever changed my life. As I peered into the heavenly vision of my restored father's face, I slowly heard, in a loving tone, the words, "I understand you now!" I sobbed. I laughed! I rejoiced. Yes, another level of healing was granted to me, which, in turn has altered my perception of who Papa God really is. He is my approachable loving Father! He wants to be yours as well.
3 Simple Steps
Many of us face different obstacles in our pathway that need to be identified and removed so our pipeline to heaven can be clear and clean. The Lord wants us whole and free, able to receive and respond to His love and revelatory ways. How does this occur?
This healing process takes time as we allow the love of the Father to transform our hearts. But these powerful steps will start you on the journey toward receiving the Father's love and His healing grace:
- Turn on the searchlight of the Spirit of God. Let the Lord specifically point out the bitterness, hurts, wounds and rejections that may be hidden in your life. Don't try to conjure it up; let Him bring it to your remembrance.
- Forgive! Specifically forgive the person or persons who caused that hurt. Remember, forgiveness is an act of your will. It releases people from the debt they "owe" you for the offense, accepts them as they are and relieves them of the responsibility for meeting your needs.
- Repent from your own anger or bitterness. Take personal responsibility for your reactions and repent. Then forgive yourself and release God to work in your life.
As you complete this process over time, you will be able to walk in the supernatural power to set others free. Let the healing come, and may close encounters with the Father's love begin.
Father encounters are just the beginning. You can experience a lifestyle of divine supernatural experiences. My new book, God Encounters Today, will help you on that journey, because it will ground you in personal relationship with our loving, miracle-working Father. I pray that you will encounter Him today!
Dr. James W. Goll is the founder of God Encounters Ministries, an award-winning author and communications trainer and has ministered in over 50 nations. For information on his webinars and online classes, visit godencounters.com. James continues to live in Tennessee and is a joyful father and grandfather today.
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