Hebrews 4:16

Let us then come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Realizing the meaning of Abba

It is with bit of trepidation that I even attempt to address this subject, but it is one which has been laying heavily upon my heart as of late.  Let me set the stage..

I enjoy the chance to run whenever I can. Even though, I know I am not a marathon contestant as of yet, I'd like to try to work towards smaller 5K runs, etc. Those are just extras, though, the real truth is I love to run. It makes me feel good.  It gives me the chance to be out and alone and actually "not thinking". :)

Yet, it is also my time with the Lord. It is my prayer closet. Isn't that a funny thought..I go out into creation to have my prayer closet?!  A better closet I could never find, truly.

Because I tend to be a little controlling on my time, (this is something that I am taking to prayer, I promise...) I like to plan out my run. :) I will run a mile, walk a 1/3 of a mile, then run and walk, etc., until my legs are tired.  Doing it this way allows me to run farther but also allows me the time to be quiet and introspective while I am running and the freedom to pray while walking. ( note.. it could have a lot to do with the fact that my breathing is not as rapid while walking..but we won't go there.)

I have been told I think too much,( smile), however, it was one of those days when I was presenting a series of contemplative questions before the Lord. I always have the tendency of imagining the most tender and sympathetic smile forming on the face of the Father as I come with my questions.  I wonder, does he ever get tired of hearing them or my asking?  I think of my own children and know there are many times I find myself out of patience, sometimes for lack of time, or other times for lack of energy left in my day to receive the list of requests, etc... it is sadly in these times I respond with less than a joy-filled attitude and inspiration for their academic intuitiveness or simple curiosity.

I think of how He is not like me, thankfully. :) He is ever patient, wise, and full of Love for us. He rejoices over us with joyful singing and receives us as only  a  Father can.

I finished with the barrage of questions and I began to run.  I was quiet, contemplating each footstep that I would make. Enjoying the peace of the moment, the quietness that pervades my own intentional pause in my thoughts and words.

When I am quiet I hear better. Isn't that easy to say but so hard to do? When I am quiet I hear things I don't hear otherwise.  I had told my son earlier in the week to look up James 1:19, which says, " Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to become angry."  Often those lessons we are teaching our children are meant for our own hearts.

I was quiet, contemplative, and waiting...yet not knowing the paradox with which my heart was balancing precariously upon each measured stride.

I finished the 1st mile and as I was catching my breath I heard distinctly, clearly, surely... in my heart.. "I am Abba.". I stopped  as quickly as if an imaginary brick wall was placed in front of my path. I voiced my question, "What?"

 Do you do that? Do you ever hear the Lord speak into your heart and then talk to the wind? :) My husband and children tell me I do that a lot.

That was it. I didn't hear anything else.

"Abba" What does that mean? 

It is written in the New Testament only 3 times. Jesus spoke the Aramaic word, Abba, in the Garden of Gethsemane in Mark 14:36. He was praying, seeking His Father... He was preparing to die for me.   It is found at the hand of Paul in Romans 8:15, "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." and Galatians 4:6,"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."

There are  are other terms of reference to God the Father through out scripture.Here are only a few:

Everlasting Father: Avi'od and Avi-khol - Ephesians 4:6
Father of Mercies: Avi HaRachamim - 2 Corinthians 1:3
Father of Lights: Avi HaMe'orot - James 1:17

I wanted to know what ABBA meant. What was it? Jesus spoke this term in Aramaic, that much I know. He used the term and it stood out, stands alone in scripture being used sparingly in the New Testament.    

From what I have read, and there are many opinions, Abba is an intimate portrait of the Father to His child. Some say it is likened to the endearment of "Daddy" from his child.  It made me think, have I ever called my own father, "Daddy?"  Do my children use that term with their father? 

I can't remember using the term " Daddy" with my own father, I call him Dad. However, I remember listening to a conversation he had with my son about something he did for me, a gift, and my dad loves to give gifts. When my child asked, "Why did you do that?" My dad responded, " Because I am her daddy." Just hearing his answer made my heart flip and my eyes water. 

My children shout Daddy, when they are happy to see him as he comes home from work. Or sometimes when they are hurting or looking for comfort. It is a term reserved, it seems, for the emotional connection we have with our fathers. 

As I began thinking about what Abba means, I am remembering the intimacy of  the term "Daddy". It is an endearment of a child for their beloved and cherished father, mostly. :) I know there may be many contradictions to this analysis, but bear with me.  

Upon the treasure hunt to find information on the Hebrew Word for Abba, I found this article that was a very interesting read.  What I summarized is that this term is one only Christ has the power or right to call the Heavenly Father, but because we are IN Christ .... we have been grafted in... we have the privilege to proceed to the Throne of Grace  and obtain MERCY ( Hebrews 4:16) and say, Daddy... Abba... Father.

Whatever the intonation with which Jesus ascribed this name, it was indelibly imprinted on the memory of those who heard it. 

Back to my run... I began to consider the blessed-ness of hearing that word and it will forever change the way I approach the Father.  We are told in scripture to come as children.( Matthew 18:4, Mark 10:15, Luke 18:17) We can know that He receives our hearts when we come in faith. ( Hebrews 11:6)

We are told to be reverent before God, but he says do not be afraid. I am not fearful of approaching the Throne, the Blood has covered me and He sees me in  Christ. I can never be perfect in my own intentions, but he is perfecting me ( Phil 1:6) daily into the image of the One who bore my sins and sits at the right hand of the Father.  Jesus said if we look at him we are looking at the Father.  Genesis reminds us we were made in His image. As I sought revelation wisdom in understanding just what this meant to me... I came away from my run, my prayer time, to my journal....

 On a side noe, I have read and continue to read Ann Voskamp's Book, "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are." and I have pulled a habit out of her own gift of words. Each time I approach my journal I want to practice the "Art of Gratefulness."  With each entry I place a number and something I am thankful for. This was my daily entry that day. I wish I could show you my journal here, I love to draw and decorate my journal entries, but I haven't figure out how to do that on here. So, please bear with me.. I am learning the art of gratefulness..

#34.. My daily Thanks.. The trial which draws me to the everlasting Arms of my Abba~

Abba~ this is the Hebrew word for Father~ Intimately 

A father, true in spirit, has the tenderness for His children few can understand.
His heart's love is raw and unparallel to the love of temporal knowledge.
There is a continued presence filtering beyond the barriers we have placed.
~for protection~
Only the love of Abba can reach and break through.
There is a battle no man can fight alone,
for the heart belonging to the purchaser of our eternity~
the blood bought sacrifice places me
securely in the covering of the protector.
WHO battles principalities
WHO engages Angelic warriors
WHO multiplies peace 
extended to HIS Own.

~Abba Father~

dear one, awesome protector, faithful adversary~

I am praying that today and every day you will know the depth of His love towards you, revere and be inspired, stand in awe at the magnificence of God and the mountains He alone has moved to reach your ever beating heart... to know Him  because of Christ's sacrifice, as Abba.

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