The Place of Power in the Pandemic
Keep coming to the Father – the Place of Power in the Pandemic
by David Webster
31st March 2020
Some years ago I was in a meeting where Bill Johnson posed the question,
“Why did Jesus come to the earth?”
I remember my mind went to all kinds of good theological answers, mostly around the Kingdom of God and the needs of mankind. In his inimitable manner, Bill pulled the theological carpet from under my feet with the simple answer,
“To reveal the Father.”
Something inside of me breathed out a delighted, “Of course.” He had done it again, so simple, deep, profound and encouraging. Bill pointing to Jesus, Jesus pointing to the Father, the Holy Spirit crying, “Abba, Father” into our hearts again. Glorious!
John Calvin was a preacher who was used to preaching in times of famine, war and plague (the Coronavirus of the past). He encouraged people to seek an experience of the Father’s love as the best recourse in times of trouble. A deep, intimate, continuous experience of the Father’s loving heart.
That love is revealed to us by the Father’s love for Jesus. If there is one “go to place” in Scripture to explore and experience the love of the Father for the Son then it is probably John chapter 17. If there is a high point in John’s gospel this is it. This is Jesus praying to his Father and our Father. In his prayer we are taken into the heart of the Father/Son relationship in the Godhead.
There is a beautiful mutuality here with the words of Jesus flowing backwards and forwards effortlessly as Jesus shows what it is like to be in intimate relationship. Jesus and the Father bring glory to one another. There is love, and an eternal culture of honour, manifested in majesty. Jesus says eternal life is actually knowing the Father and the Son. Life flows to us because of their relationship. The Son has glorified the Father by completing what he gave him to do on earth. Jesus now longs for the presence of the Father, as it was before the world was made.
This great prayer is an invitation to us to enter into the same intimacy, glory, honour and presence that the Father and Son experience. In Colossians Paul says our lives are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We are in the Godhead! When all around us is being shaken that is the place for us to be.
“I have revealed you” (John 17:6). There it is, the phrase that Bill used in his talk.
We belong to the Father and the Son and everything we have comes from them. Get this too, the Son is glorified through us. He promises us a “full measure of joy” and prays that we will be protected from the evil one. Incredibly he also prays that we will be made holy, or sanctified by the word of truth. Here is the source of our blamelessness before God, as Paul is to say later in Romans 8:1: “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
His heart is that we will be one, as he and the Father are one. True oneness comes from being one, like the Father and Son are one. Jesus gives us his glory so that we may be one and then the world will believe in him.
Jesus also wants us to realise that we are loved with the same love that the Father has for him; that is stunning. Who does the Father love more, his only Son, or his other sons and daughters? He loves us with the same love, no difference. Incredible!
Jesus knows the Father and has made him known to us, and will go on revealing him to us more and more. Later, in Romans again, Paul makes it clear that the Holy Spirit reveals the Father to us, just as Jesus did: “For we did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of son-ship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15).
Pause a moment.
Ask God right now to cry “Abba, Father” into your spirit.
Go deeper into the Father and Son’s love, discover again the warmth and intimacy of relationship, the power of resting in God’s presence, and the joy, glory and unity of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Keep coming to the Father, there is power here for the pandemic.