By Chaplain (Col) Stephen W. Leonard, USA, Ret.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you!” James 4:8

The archetypical Father, the One to whom all fathers draw their name, the model father of perfection for all fathers to copy, the supreme teacher of what it means to be a father, is none other than the Father of our LORD Jesus Christ. Everything good about being a father, comes from Him, because there is none good but God. (Mark 10:18)

You might say all well and good, but how do we know anything about his being a father if we cannot see him in action as a father and know anything about the fatherly things he does? 

Say what? If you are not aware of God’s activities as your father, it is your fault. James 4 says, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you!” And, “Draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.”(Hebrews 10:22)

You can know who God is as a Father by drawing near to Him in faith with sincerity of purpose. Hebrews 11:6 clearly says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God, for he who draws near to Him must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” 

You could see Him in all His behavior as a Father to you and to others by getting up close and personal. “DRAW NEAR TO HIM!” How can you ever learn what He is as a father by remaining distant?

You cannot know your own earthly father by being distant from him, nor can you know God by keeping Him at arm’s length or, worse, out of your sight. You will never know God by ignoring Him. Nor by prognosticating who He is out of personal ignorance. Too many give their opinions of God from total lack of knowledge! 

Such opinions are worthless and destined for the scrapheaps. Such scrapheaps are full to overflowing, but nevertheless, those opinions are preserved for public review at the final judgment. 

Boy, will some be embarrassed then if they have in the past offered up errant views of God. Especially since the Bible is available to all and is never wrong about God when it is rightly used and if they have studied the Word of God. 

God is your Father, and knowing what a true father is can be known by being near to Him. Earthly fathers are, therefore, without excuse. Only Jesus can bear our sins away when all those who have been fathers are judged. 

This ought to be on our minds as we celebrate Fathers’ Day. We ought to honor our own fathers, but only rightly, as we glorify God and enjoy Him forever. God is our eternal Father, and we have been blessed by Him in being given an earthly father. 

For good or for ill, God is responsible for them all. He alone knows who we are and who we will be on the final day. Thank you, Father God, for the one you chose to give me for my father on earth.


“Father, I know that all my life is portioned out for me; the changes that are sure to come, I do not fear to see: I ask Thee for a present mind, intent on pleasing Thee.”
(1st verse of Anna Waring’s hymn, “Father, I Know That All My Life,” 1850)

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