Read Psalm 23:1-3
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake."
In what ways is the Lord your shepherd?
How do you perceive God? Is He a stern, unbending judge or policeman? Is He someone who, like your father, is looking to criticize your faults, or who might abandon you unless you straighten up and fly right? Does the word father bring up negative or positive feelings in you? We will never escape a sense of futility and frustration until we begin to see what God is really like and what His purposes are. Here are some ways to begin:
To get more clarity on your relationship, reflect on how you perceive God. Create a mental picture that reflects how you feel about God and relate to Him and how He feels about you. Be honest as you visually portray your relationship with God. Then describe your picture with a friend or spiritual mentor. Ask that person to share her or his own "God and me" picture and share it with you. You can learn a tremendous amount about how to pray for a friend when you understand where she or he is coming from.
Next, bring your faulty view of God to the cross. What kind of filter colored your vision of God? Now study how the Bible depicts Him. (Good places to start are Psalms 23, 103, 139, 145, and 146). If your perspective of God doesn't line up with the truth of Scripture, bring it to the cross. Ask for His Spirit to clean off your filter so you can see the steadfast love of the infinite God who wants to be intimate with you.
No matter how adequate or inadequate your earthly fathers were, you don't have to stay stuck in the perception of God you've carried around since childhood. You can be set free by the power of the cross. You can get to know your heavenly Father through His Son Jesus, who gave His life for you and who is the exact representation of the Father (Hebrews 1:3). And you can enjoy Him forever!
Lord, I want to know You as You really are. I want to come home to Your heart and to an intimate, trusting, loving relationship with You. Cleanse my filter. Heal the wounds in my heart from the father flaws. Amen.