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Childlike Faith

If you’ve ever had young children, you know that the younger they are, the more innocent they are. They never compare themselves to other children. They don’t worry about food and clothing. They get along well with other kids from the moment they meet. They’re moldable and are always learning. They don’t question their parent’s motives. They trust their parents enough to jump from just about anywhere. As they get older and around other kids, they begin to lose a lot of these qualities. Different things happen, fear creeps in and they begin to lose the trust in people. It’s a sad transformation in a way. My wife and I have tried hard to protect our son’s innocence as long as we can because we know how important these qualities are for even adults to have.

Think of how many times Jesus told us to have childlike faith. These are the qualities He wants us to have. We need to trust our Heavenly Father without doubt or worry. We need to be open to being shaped by Him so that we can become the people He intended for us to become. It’s hard to have faith when you’re fearful and jaded. All these qualities that we gain through the years are often the things that hold us back from having the relationship with Him that He seeks to have with us. Even though life has happened to us and we aren’t the same as we were when we were children, we can still have childlike faith and trust in Him. It requires us to let go of past pain, disappointment and failures of authority figures in our life. We can’t compare or project other people’s qualities onto God. Childlike faith trusts Him no matter what.

Here are some Bible verses on childlike faith.

1. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

MATTHEW 18:4 AMP

2. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God [with faith and humility] like a child will not enter it at all.

LUKE 18:17 AMP

3. This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.

Romans 8:15-16 MSG

4. So I’ve learned from my experience that God protects the childlike and humble ones. For I was broken and brought low, but he answered me and came to my rescue!

Psalms 116:6 TPT

5. At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike.

Matthew 11:25 NLT

Photo by Liane Metzler on Unsplash

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Being Little Children

It becomes increasingly difficult to remember what it was like to just be a kid. Running around in the woods behind our house, picking blackberry’s along trails, or making mud-pies in our dirt driveway. I fear that we are not growing-up as much as we are dumbing-down. Why do we let the creativity, passions, and the joy of life taper off as we get older? Who said that we were supposed to stop playing in puddles or gazing at the stars for hours? I’m reminded of what Matthew 18:3 tells us Jesus said, “‘I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven’.” I’ve heard many commentaries on this passage of scripture over the years, and I think many of them miss the mark. Yes, it is true that we need to have a child-like faith and we need to be open, receptive, and trusting toward God. But, there is a freedom that children have, a resilience they possess that has all but vanish from us by the time we enter adulthood.

True, it is utterly impossible for us to “become like little children” in the natural. For that matter, we can’t do it mentally or figuratively without divine intervention. The biggest problem with this idea, the Jesus-curve-ball if you will, is that he was asking everyone to be something that they had spent the better part of their lives trying not to be! Think about it. We can probably all recount the days of wishing, in hopeful naivety, about how great it was going to be when we were teenagers, or 20-something, married, etc. We literally wished our lives away. Now, here sits Jesus telling everyone they can’t even get into his Kingdom unless they start acting like little children – little, clueless, simple-minded, needy, helpless children. But what if he knows something we don’t? I know, it’s a stretch of the imagination to say the God of the universe, creator of both seen and unseen, could know things in greater depth than you and me. Notwithstanding, what if he is trying to bring us back to a place of wonderment and innocence. What if he is trying to free us from our need to be in-control, and independent?

I would wager that Jesus is saying that he desires for each of us to simply give-up. Imagine how different would the world look to you if you became a child again? We couldn’t reach the tall shelf in the closet. We couldn’t lift the heavy branch that fell in the back yard. We wouldn’t be able to touch the pedals in the car or reach the steering wheel. But we would know who to ask for help. I’ve watched my own kids risk life and limb to climb cabinets and strain while attempting to lift an impossibly heavy object. My kids always knew that they were just one prayer (or request) away from getting exactly what they need. Maybe Jesus is asking us to stop all the trying and striving to be “grown-ups” and humble ourselves to simply ask – simply trust. This I know for sure, he is eager and willing. The question is, are we?

This post was written by Chris Brown. He serves as the Director of the School of Missions for coreluv.org and is a worship leader. You can find more of his life perceptions at beingaltered.com.

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The Land Of Promise

My three year old son surprised me the other day. We were sitting down talking and he wanted to get my attention so used both hands to grab my face to look at him. He said, “Joshua 1:9, Dada.” It took me a minute to figure out what he was talking about, but then I remembered it was his memory verse a few weeks back. I thought for a second how they had taught him, then I recited it to him, “Do not be afraid. God is with you.” He smiled and said, “Yeah. God is with you. Joshua 1:9.”

What a great promise to us to hold on to. The full verse says, “This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” This was God speaking to Joshua before he entered a land of giants and walled cities that he was to conquer. It was 40 years earlier that he had been there as a spy and was outvoted 10-2 because the people were afraid of what they saw. I’m sure the ones who were scared told their kids what the Promised Land had in it. They might have been afraid of what their future held.

Like them, you may be looking at your future and are starting to feel scared. There are uncertainties, giants even huge walls up around the things you feel like God has called you to. When you look at those things, you may be wondering, “How can I accomplish that?” The path to it may be unclear. There may be huge obstacles in your way. But if God has called you to do it, there are no walls high enough that He can’t push down. There are no walls thick enough that He can’t break. There is no enemy strong enough to keep you away from all He has promised. He just needs you to step out in faith.

That’s the hard part. The scary part. When that fear arises that wants to keep you from doing what God called you to, go back to Joshua 1:9. God commanded us to be strong and courageous. He didn’t merely suggest it. He told us not to be afraid or discouraged by the obstacles in our way because He is with us. He doesn’t expect us to do these things in our own strength or abilities. He will do the work as long as we are willing to cross the Jordan and enter the Land of Promise. Our step of faith pushes back fear and activates God’s strength. Don’t hold back because of fear. Go and conquer all that God has for you.

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