In my walk with God I have been trying to have a balanced perspective and the whole picture. I don’t want to be on the extreme of either side, but yet show a characteristic of radical life changing walk with Christ in my life. While I was praying last night, God showed me something in the form of an illustration, taken from real life, and it actually comes in the form of a movie. That movie is “The Sound of Music”. The movie is about a woman named Maria who is a nun and she is not fitting in with all the other nuns and just hasn’t learned to be obedient. Well the Mother of the Abbey (the place where the nuns live together), tells her after praying about it, that it is the will of God for her to leave them and to live in a house and raise seven children for Captain Von Trapp, a man who used to work for the navy. He had several what you call “governesses” that tried to raise the children, and all of them had run away from the children. His wife had died several years earlier.
So Maria went on this adventure trying to face whatever was to come to her, but she didn’t know what to expect. When she got there she met the Captain, he had these whistles, and he did not call his children by name, but by whistle sound, and they were very scared of their father. At one point Brigitta, one of the girls who I believe if I remember correctly was a pre-teen or an early teenager, was reading a book, and the father took the book and spanked her with it.
They spent some time in the movie showing how strict the father was, but whenever the father wasn’t looking they were rebellious to the governess, Maria, and liked to play tricks on her, to “test” her. When the father was gone she built up a relationship with the kids, and she had a confrontation with the Captain, and said to him, “they just want to be loved, love them all” about the children. She also brought music into the home. In those days music was a lot more pure than it is these days, but point being she restored an actual relationship with the father, instead of all these rules and regulations they were following, but only when the father was around, but they were still pretty rebellious to the governess. She knew the best way to win them over was with love. She ended up marrying the Captain and being the kids’ mother.
There are something that I want to point out from this illustration. Maria used love to repair the relationship of the father with the children where Jesus used love to repair the relationship of God’s people, Jews and Gentiles, to their Father. Before that He was called LORD, or YHWH, and in some cases even ADONAI, which means Master. But Jesus wanted to reveal Him as “Abba, Father” or Daddy. That’s the same thing kids in the movie wanted. They really wanted to be loved by their father, and they didn’t want to be called by a whistle. They wanted him to call them by name. They didn’t want this strict, harsh, stern, authority figure. They wanted a father who would love them. Jesus came to restore the Jews relationship, and also bring a new relationship for the Gentiles to the Father, or Daddy who is their God. He wanted to bring that closeness, and intimacy, that a father has with a child. I posted in a previous blog entry about “Girls and their fathers” about how the father loves to give good gifts to his children.
There is even a prophetic and an angle of spiritual warfare that can be seen from this illustration. According to this movie there was the Naval forces of the Third Reich, under Nazi Germany under this time, and they were after Captain Von Trapp. But fortunately at this point, he was married to Maria and had a love relationship with his children, so they were all able to work as a team because the enemy did come and try to destroy their family. What ended up is that they were able to escape into the hills after a clever escape plan. But because the love relationship was restored, they were a lot more effective in escaping the enemy.
So that made me think about, if our walk is rooted and grounded in love for God, neighbors, and ourselves, instead of all these rules and regulations that don’t bring us closer to God, but pull us away from God, won’t that be so much more effective spiritual warriors, and be able to walk with wisdom in the last days? Someone once said that the Bible is progressive, and that you learn more and more about God through revelation as you go from Old Testament, to New Testament. We have to change our mindset about God, and even the Heavenly Father. He is not a cold, distant, stern, authority figure who is waiting and just waiting to judge the people and make them pay for everything they have done (at least for believers). He is a loving, merciful, gracious, Abba, Father and loving Daddy that wants you to love Him. Even in the Old Testament it talks about how God wants the people to turn from their wicked ways and just turn to Him. He just wants them to love Him.
I am going to clarify again the word, “love”, in case you missed it last time. There are four types of love in the Greek: Agape, Eros, Phileo, and Storge. Agape, is the unconditional love that God has for us through Christ, someone put it best – “Agape is the love of an object/person despite the condition of the object of the affection”. EROS, is the romantic kind of love between the husband and a wife. Phileo is the love between the brothers and sisters of the church, and the type of love that Jesus said we are to have for our neighbors. Storge is the love we have for our family members.
After Jesus had resurrected and He had come to meet Peter by the sea, He asked him, to redeem Peter for denying Him, “Do you love/Agape Me?” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Peter said, “Lord, you know I love/Phileo You.” Then He asked again, “Do you love/Agape Me?” Peter said yet again, “Lord, you know I love/Phileo You.” Jesus said “Shepherd, (tend) my sheep.” Then Jesus came down to his level and said, “Do you love/Phileo Me?” This time Peter was sad, and then Peter said, “You know I do love/Phileo you.” Then Jesus said “Feed my sheep.”
I think Amplified plays out this passage very well in John 21 –
15When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these [others do–with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion, as one loves the Father]? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You [that I have deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend]. He said to him, Feed My lambs.
16Again He said to him the second time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion, as one loves the Father]? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You [that I have a deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend]. He said to him, Shepherd (tend) My sheep.
17He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with a deep, instinctive, personal affection for Me, as for a close friend]? Peter was grieved (was saddened and hurt) that He should ask him the third time, Do you love Me? And he said to Him, Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You [that I have a deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend]. Jesus said to him, Feed My sheep.
Jesus was trying to get this Agape, love, a love that is a choice, with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion out of Peter, and I think He is trying to get that out of all of us. For us to look at the Heavenly Father, who we can talk to as a Daddy. There is a seeking in this type of relationship. It is an act of devotion. It is going after God till you find Him. It is to yearn and hunt after God. It is to pour all you have on finding this loving Father in your life. In the same way that Maria restored the relationship that Captain Von Trapp had with his children. The same way Jesus was and is trying to change our view and relationship of the Heavenly Father. Sometimes as Christians we take the Heavenly Father for granted, or because so many of us have an orphaned spirit, we don’t know how to have a relationship with God as our Father. We thank the Holy Spirit for giving us insight into who the Father is and to Jesus for revealing to us who He is, and lovingly we call him Abba, or Daddy.
If you want to know the descendents of the Von Trapp children are still alive. They sang beautifully on a television interview I watched. I didn’t want to disgrace that family name and in putting this posting up I hope it brings honour to the family and to God.