There are New Year resolutions, and there is resolve. What is the difference? A resolution is typically a specific, short-term action that can be checked off as done. A parallel can be made to a religious activity, something you do. To resolve is a commitment to a long-term effort to grow or improve. Here, the parallel is to a relationship, something you are growing in or becoming.
These last several weeks, a father’s resolve to act, to study and to invest well has been emphasized. In the process, have you heard the Heavenly Father’s call? It is the call to become the father He expects you to be, that the next generation needs to see.
Now as he (Saul) was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” and He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told to you what you must do.” … Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; … And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. … Ananias entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized. – Acts 9:3-9, 17-18. Saul, zealously going about his business of persecuting those following the Way, was knocked to the ground and evidently had an audible exchange with the Lord Jesus. He was blinded and after three days, the Lord sent Ananias in order for Saul to regain his sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. The rest of the story has Saul, renamed Paul, taking the gospel to the Gentiles, writing a large portion of the New Testament while imprisoned and being martyred as a follower of Jesus. The Saul to Paul call is one that can make a man question whether he really wants to ask God what the call is for his life. The bottom line is that the Lord has each of us exactly where He wants us. The charge is to start where you are, use what you have and do what you can. Step up as the father your kids need, and/or as the father-figure or spiritual father a younger person in your circles needs.
Hopefully it will not take getting knocked to the ground and blinded for the Lord to get your attention. It may come in the form of a comment from a friend or your bride. It may be a look a child gives you. For some, it is a gut feel that they have drifted toward wrong priorities. The call is to focus our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Hear the call and represent the Heavenly Father well where He has you.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and Your call for my life. I confess that I let my drive to be successful distract me from right priorities. I thought I could balance work, family and faith. Forgive me. Your call for me as a father is to prioritize physical presence, be engaged emotionally and lead spiritually by example. Help me hear Your call and represent You well in my home. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father hears the call and represents the Heavenly Father well.