God A Good Father

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Deep within every human heart lies a created hunger for the heavenly mountains of God's presence. The lungs of our soul ache to breathe the air of eternity. We thirst for waters that stream forth from divine springs. A divine restlessness exists within the innermost chambers of our soul, stirring us to seek an intimate knowing of God as our Father.

Jesus said that His deepest desire was that "we might know His Father as He did!" He was born to show us the Father...and died that ...

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2001 Hard cover First edition. No additional printings noted. New in new dust jacket. Blue hbk. With dust jacket. 152 p. Audience: General/trade. New Hbk with DJ. Assumed 1st ... edition. No additional printings noted. Deep within every human heart lies a hunger for theheavenly mountains of God's presence. Join Michael Phillips on a breathtaking journey to discover the One whom it delighted Jesus' heart to seek. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Deep within every human heart lies a created hunger for the heavenly mountains of God's presence. The lungs of our soul ache to breathe the air of eternity. We thirst for waters that stream forth from divine springs. A divine restlessness exists within the innermost chambers of our soul, stirring us to seek an intimate knowing of God as our Father.

Jesus said that His deepest desire was that "we might know His Father as He did!" He was born to show us the Father...and died that we might come to know Him personally. Jesus seeks to introduce us to a life lived with the Father-a life of ongoing, moment-by moment intimacy on all levels of humanness- mind, heart, soul, and will.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780768421231
  • Publisher: Destiny Image Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/20/2001
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 0.39 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


The Instinct to Look Up


    Deep within every mortal heart lies a created hunger for the heavenly mountains of God's presence.

    All of us, from our infancy, have silently wondered what lies on the slopes above the mists, hidden from view ... up where God dwells.

    The animal kingdom comes into existence looking abroad upon the land. Those of the species known as mankind, however, enter life with their gaze directed upward.

    Lower forms of life are born with physical instincts. Their impulses operate horizontally, telling them intuitively how to relate to the world around them, to others of their genus, and to different species. Theirs is an instinct toward procreation and survival, toward horizontal relationship and existence.

    Man, however, created in the image of God, possesses instincts of an altogether different nature. Within us the Creator has implanted spiritual instincts, tending far beyond mere physical survival. Impulses akin to animal instincts constantly surface within us and are certainly intrinsic to our makeup, but they remain secondary to the deepest nature of human personhood.

    Man's instinct is vertical—a yearning after the high, the lasting, the eternal. It is an instinct after growth, after betterment, after significance, after something and Someone above us. When in touch with the truest regions of our humanness, we seek the sky, not the earth.

    The lungs of oursoul ache to breathe the air of eternity. And though mists obscure our sight, our deepest perceptions tell us there is more to existence than that which our physical eyes see around us. Something affirms to our innermost being that there are higher regions where we might live, where the air is cleaner, where vision is keener, where the senses come more fully alive.

    A divine restlessness exists within the innermost chambers of our soul, stirring us with longings we cannot identify, which we futilely attempt to satisfy with bread that is not food, made from husks that are not grain.

    The mountains beckon us who live in the valley. Our deepest selves are out of step with the modern life pushing and shoving us on every side. You have caught yourself, as have I, glancing upward, though you may not even know what it is your heart seeks.

    Before the valley philosophers and theologians created the mists with their self-contradictory babblings, there were voices among us, calling us to heed that instinctive longing.

    Augustine, that ancient and venerable saint, maintained that "the heart of man is restless until it finds its rest" in Him.

    Thomas Kelly, that recent and venerable saint, called it "the Light within."

    Blaise Pascal, that seventeenth-century defender of the faith, defined it as a God-shaped vacuum, an "infinite abyss," which "can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object ... God himself."

    Hannah Hurnard, that pioneer of mountain byways, wrote of life on the "high places."

    And George MacDonald, that nineteenth-century spiritual sage who saw high beyond the mists, said, "This is and has been the Father's work from the beginning—to bring us into the home of his heart. This is our destiny."

    Why, then, do so few discover the shape of that vacuum in their souls, the illumination of that Light residing within?

    Why do so many of us resist the challenge to climb to the mountaintops?

    Why is the home of God's heart so remote from where we live out our days? Why do we go to our graves with that destiny, that high calling, unfulfilled? Why is the human species so at odds with this inborn instinct of his nature?

    Allow me to offer three reasons.

    One, unlike the animals, man has been given choice.

    We share instinct with the animal kingdom, but ours has this difference—we may ignore it. Animals can be no other than they are. Their instinct defines their essence. Not so man. Man may, or may not, follow his instincts, for he has been provided an internal on-off switch that regulates the very centers of his being: the mind, where intellect develops; the heart, where emotions blossom; and the soul, where spiritual sensitivities ripen.

    This switch, which controls each of the above, is located in that most decisive of regions: the will.

    The switch is called choice.

    The degree to which man chooses to follow his inborn, God-hungry instinct will determine the extent to which mind, heart, and soul reach their fullness of maturity and potential, and whether they operate with unity and harmony inside him.

    Two, many factors of modern society work strenuously to dull the inner Voice that speaks of the Light, calling us toward that true and only destination where our mind, heart, soul, and will can find rest, peace, and totality of being.

    Contemporary society and our practical peers of modernism tell us, "There is nothing out there." We may gaze upward all we want, they say, but we will find nothing but blue emptiness. There are no heavenly peaks surrounding this valley where man must dwell.

    Indeed, they say, we must look within if we would discover the significance we seek. Man himself is the emphatic and only center of the universe.

    Three, sin, as intrinsic to the human disposition as the intuitive upward bent of our inner sight, declares, as it has since the days of the Garden, that there is no one to whom we must look up, no one to whom we owe allegiance. This lie from sin's smooth lips grates contrary to our deepest intuition. Deep down, we know differently, yet it is a lie our lower nature eagerly receives.

    You, and no one else, says the enemy, are the sole master of your fate. No one has the right to exact obedience from you. You have no need of any Other. There exists no injunction to bow before a God, a Creator, a Lord.

    The lie is independence. It comes from the lowest bowels of the earth, not the high realms of the heavenly mountains.

    Instinct calls upward. The lie forces our gaze downward. In believing it, we fight against our very self.

    Choice, modernism, and sin prevent us from apprehending our destiny and keep us from the destination and mountaintop sanctuary wherein we were made to dwell.


Excerpted from God: A Good Father by Michael Phillips. Copyright © 2001 by Michael Phillips. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
1 The Instinct to Look Up 1
2 Modernism Resents Fatherhood 5
3 The Father Can Be Known 9
4 What Does Father Mean? 11
5 Who Is the Father? 15
6 The Difficulty of Intimacy 19
7 Looking Upward 23
8 Getting to Know 27
9 Secrets About Our Maker 31
10 A Few Minutes With the Father 35
11 The Greatest Hidden Mystery of All 39
12 God's Fatherhood 43
13 Abba, Father 47
14 Imagining the World's Most Loving Daddy 51
15 A Thick Husk 55
16 Imperfect Vessels 59
17 Looking Beyond...to Perfect Fatherhood 61
18 Fatherhood Requires Childness 63
19 Creation of the Universal Family 67
20 The First Lie of Genesis 3 73
21 The Second Lie of Genesis 3 77
22 All the Way Back to the Garden 81
23 Looking Beyond Fear 85
24 God's Purpose--Intimacy, Not Punishment 89
25 A God to Call Father 93
26 Jesus Did Not Come to Save Us From the Father 97
27 How Big Is Our God? 101
28 Follow Fatherhood to Finality 103
29 Do We Really Believe in God's Fatherhood? 107
30 Discovering Whether God Is Really Good 111
31 The Four Mountain Peaks of Fatherhood 117
32 The Heart Chamber of Life 119
33 Living in the Fourfold Heart of God's Presence 123
34 A Conversation With the Son 127
35 Borderlands Short of Ultimate Fatherhood 131
36 Low-lying Communities 135
37 But What About...? 141
38 The Answer Is Trust 145
39 A High View...and More Lofty Vistas Ahead 149
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