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And UPGRADE'S Founder

   Dawn Wilson


Entries in Heavenly Father (2)


The Security of a Good Father

Debbie W. Wilson teaches women about practical, uplifting faith. In this Relationship with God UPGRADE, Debbie asks us to consider growing a more robust faith by trusting in our Father God.

“I woke up at 4 a.m. questioning a decision I’d made," Debbie says.

I (Dawn) have done that so often, and always wished I had more confident faith concerning my choices!

Debbie continues . . .

I’d told the designer who’d drawn out a closet plan we wanted to work with her. In my sleep I had second thoughts.

“Lord, I’m too tired to figure this out. I don’t know if we made the right decision.” 

With that prayer an Old Testament passage came to mind.

If a young woman makes a vow…and her father hears of the vow or pledge and does not object to it, then all her vows and pledges will stand. But if her father refuses to let her fulfill the vow or pledge on the day he hears of it, then all her vows and pledges will become invalid. …because her father would not let her fulfill them” (Numbers 30:3-5 NLT).

Relief filled me. I didn’t have to figure it out. Like a good father, my Abba would protect me.

“Father, you heard our words. If we jumped too soon, please rescue us. I’m giving this to You.”

I asked the designer to wait while we did more research. She understood. In the end, we chose a different option that saved us money.

Once I let go of bearing the burden of making the perfect decision and trusted my Father to lead me, I enjoyed the adventure.

I know I’m saved “by grace through faith,” but sometimes I forget I’m to live by faith (Romans 1:17). God wants me to include Him in every aspect of life.

Jesus modeled this. He relied completely on His Father (John 14:10). Jesus wants us to walk with Him the same way (John 15:4-5).

Living by faith protects us from regret, pleases God, and satisfies us (Hebrews 11:6John. 15:11).

Our heavenly Father longs to show up in the mundane tasks of life. When we lean on Him in every area, life becomes an awesome journey.

I find robust faith requires a knowledge of the Word and a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.

1. The Word

The Bible says our minds are either shaped by the world or transformed by the Word. Without renewing our minds, we can’t recognize our Father's good will for our lives.

  • “Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect” (Romans 12:2 GW).
  • "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17 NIV).

2. The Spirit

God sent the Holy Spirit to help us and guide us (John 14:17). 

  • “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves” (Galatians 5:16 NLT).
  • "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT).

Maybe your earthly father is no longer here or wasn't reliable. If you know Jesus, you have a heavenly Father who loves you deeply and covers your back. 

  • “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26 NIV).

What wakes you up in the middle of the night? Are you learning to rest in the security a good father provides?

Debbie W. Wilson helps people live in God’s grace so they can enjoy fruitful and full lives. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. Her latest book, Little Faith, Big God, is to be released February 2020. She is a life coach and an AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) certified speaking and writing coach. Share her journey to refreshing faith at

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Lorraine Cormier and Pixabay.


Still a Daddy's Girl 


In this Relationship with God UPGRADE, Dawn reminds us how much the Father loves us!

I like to think I was my dad's favorite. Sorry, Pam, you may be my sister, but Daddy loved me best. (And in saying that, I recall the humor of the Smother's Brothers: "Mom always liked you best.")

Of course, that's not true. Dad didn't love me more than my sister. It just felt like Daddy loved me to the max. (I'm sure you feel the same way, sis.)

I was a "Daddy's Girl" growing up. Not that I didn't love Mom, but there was a special link to my dad.

  • I was the apple of His eye, and he loved me even when I messed up ... a lot!
  • I trusted Daddy completely and he was my protector.
  • Dad was more action than talk, but when he did share in quiet moments, he gave me wisdom for life; he prepared me to face many difficulties.
  • We thought alike and had similar goals; he gave me a sense of purpose.
  • And Daddy corrected me in love.
  • As a result, I always wanted to please Him.

In later years, after I moved to the opposite coast, distance kept us apart, but Daddy was always in my heart. Even after my dad passed away to be with the Lord, I find I am still connected to him through memories and love.

When I celebrated what would have been Daddy's birthday recently, I took time to contemplate something else: I'm also a spiritual daughter. God is my Heavenly Father.

"... I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty" (2 Corinthians 6:18).

God's spirit wooed me to His love and when I trusted in Jesus to redeem me from my sin and give me new life, I became part of His heavenly family (John 1:12; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 1:5).

"The Spirit himself testified with our spirit that we are God's children" (Romans 8:16).

Maybe you don't have a good example of fatherhood in your history (see note*). I understand that. Some dads, especially those who don't know the Lord, can be hurtful and ungodly; and I grieve whenever I see an unworthy example of fatherhood in the church.

My earthly daddy was a failing sinner who made some bad choices. He was as dependent on God's grace as I am.

Yet in many ways, my earthly daddy did remind me of my "Abba" (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6)—my Heavenly Father. Sometimes my dad intended to give me this model; other times I simply learned about God by watching Daddy's life.

Daddy gave me a sometimes dim, sometimes clear picture of my Father God.

In time, I came to understand at least six things about my Heavenly Father:

1. God LOVED me even when I was unloveable—long before I ever loved Him. "We love Him because He first loved us." (John 3:16; 1 John 4:10, 19) God chose me to be holy and blameless before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4).

He continues to love me today with contant, unfailing love; and someday, out of His love, He will make me like His Son (1 John 3:1-2). His unfailing love is priceless to me (Psalm 36:7a)

2. Father God is my Savior and PROTECTOR, much as He protected His chosen people, Israel. He is a refuge for His people (Psalm 17:7-9a; 91:1, 4).

I can trust Him, for He is a faithful refuge (Psalm 46:1).

3. My Father TEACHES me wisdom for life (Proverbs 7:2; Psalm 25:4-5)

He helps me think His thoughts and see from His perspective as I stay teachable and connected to Him through scripture and prayer.

4. God helps me understand and desire His PURPOSES (Psalm 33:11; 135:6; Isaiah 25:1; 55:11; Ephesians 1:9; Romans 12:1-2).

5. He DISCIPLINES me to change my character (Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:6).

6. I want to PLEASE my good, wise and loving Father, following the example of Christ (John 4:34; 8:29; Romans 8:8; Psalm 147:11; Hebrews 11:6; Luke 6:46).

So as far as I can tell, I will always be a "Daddy's Girl."

By the way, don't let "distance" keep you apart from the Father. He is always present, but you may feel a tug in your heart that says something is wrong—that sin, apathy, idols, busyness, pride or something else is keeping you apart.

If you are a Prodigal child (Luke 15:11-32), come back to the Father.

He's waiting for you.

Are you part of God's heavenly family? Do you understand what that means? (If not, please read here.)

* A note to those who did (or do) not have a positive model of fatherhood in this world.

If you are wise, you will not allow this to fester in your heart with bitterness. Instead, you will carefully and prayerfully look to other strong and godly men in the Body of Christ for a worthy example of fatherhood. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide and guard your heart as you seek out worthy examples to observe and learn from. If he's still alive, pray and consider how to show love to your dad in ways that will draw him into a relationship (or closer walk) with the Lord.

And, remember: in the Bible, you can always study the character of the greatest Father in all creation, the Creator Himself!

Dawn Wilson, founder and President of Heart Choices Today, is the creator of three blogs:Heart ChoicesToday, LOL with God (with Pam Farrel), and Upgrade with Dawn. She is on the board of NEWIM, the Network of Evangelical Women in Ministry and is a contracted researcher for Revive Our Hearts. She and her husband Bob have two grown, married sons, three granddaughters and a rascally maltipoo, Roscoe.