Have you ever been told that you are just like someone else that you hang out with? It could be a relative or a friend. The act of spending time with others can produce a carbon copy character. We often pick up traits, phrases and attitudes with the people we spend our time with with.
Rachel in this section of Genesis is doing this. Her father was Laban. He was the one who had tricked her husband into marrying her sister despite the agreement being for her. She had grown up observing her father, he had fathered her … she was his daughter. She had no problem with leaving her father’s household and had no problem with stealing what was important to her father. This is what she had modeled to her over the years.
She was now in a different family – yet she was still behaving like she belonged with her father.
There are two fathers that can influence me and call me to be on mission with them. Before I knew Jesus, my father was one that lied to me (he is even called the father of lies). He would condemn me and tell me I was worthless. The reflection that he led me to was distorted. He never wanted me to look away from that reflection.
The day I heard my new Father call me was the day I died to my old family and a new reflection was revealed. My true Father raised me into new life and has adopted me into my new family. Jesus made a way for me to be part of that family with his father becoming my father.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1:3-6
Adoption was a massive deal in the Roman occupied world (when this section of Ephesians was written). Adoption meant more than just being part of the family. A ruler may pick out a person who was not related to them and adopt them giving them more than a blood relative and permanent power and inheritance. It was as if your old family ties were now severed and dead.
What incredible news! GOD has adopted those who put their trust in Jesus as their saviour. We have been permanently removed from being fathered by the flesh (by sin and death and Satan) and given the inheritance of a child of the almighty Heavenly Father. It is not dependent on what we say, do or are, it is completely down to GOD. He decided it before we even had a chance to plea our case, before the creation of the world. We cannot add to or secure this adoption because it is already done.
I have been moved from one family to another. My identity has been completely transformed – not remade, but made new.
Why is it that I run back to and choose to be fathered by my old family just like Rachel? Why do I choose to believe Satan rather than my Father GOD.
In reality there are probably many triggers. Perhaps I don’t think I am worth having a Father who gives the best willingly, maybe I feel that I need to earn His gift making the gift not a gift but a wage, perhaps I don’t see that I am an image bearer and try to create an image to impress instead.
The thing is, if I choose to be fathered by my enemy I will begin to behave like him and reflect his character. I will strive for attention, work hard for recognition, treat others badly so that I can be raised higher, judge and compare …
If I choose to be fathered by my adopted Father I will begin to act like Him. I will prefer others knowing that I don’t need to be better to be noticed, I can do what He asks me without having to control the outcome, I can be generous knowing that He will not leave me in need …
Which father do I want to reflect? I want to choose to be fathered by GOD in all things. This is such a straight forward statement that appears to be so difficult to achieve … But it isn’t because the role of a father is to father you.
It is as simple as approaching Him as the child (and not the grown up slave wanting to earn His attention) and giving Him permission to guide me on His mission. He will show me where my heart isn’t turned towards Him. He will direct my path. He has displayed Himself all over the place so if I ask Him to open my eyes He will not leave me blind but show me His refection all through the day and night. The answer to it all is relationship. We need to choose who we spend our time with and who we listen to.
So the question that I leave you with is, who are you choosing to father you?