Understanding Child-Like Faith
"Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive
the kingdom of God as a little child
WILL BY NO MEANS ENTER IT.”
What does it mean to receive the kingdom of God as a little child?
Does it mean you take leave of your brains and just believe?
No. There is no place in the Scriptures where we are told to do anything mindlessly. God gave us a brain, and he expects us to use it.
So then, what DOES it mean?
Consider the traits of a little child. The child holds his father in awe. He thinks his father knows everything. When told what to do or not to do, a little child will follow through without giving it much thought. He doesn't expect an explanation from his father, in fact, when he HAS asked for an explanation, he has found out that he oftentimes doesn't understand the explanation, so he just moves on.
Children have utter respect for their fathers, questioning nothing, trusting implicitly. It has nothing to do with intelligence, even the brightest small child will hold his father in awe. When they get older, of course the resistance starts, but that's probably why Jesus spoke of the need to follow him “as a little child," a child who has not yet developed self-will and rebellion.
Many are repelled by the very thought of surrendering their will and their understanding to someone else, even to God, but for those who hold back, that's not thought out well. Consider the One who breathes out galaxies, the One who makes sure the seasons come at the right times, the One who controls the tides, the One who has put instinct into animals who will behave in each their certain way without being taught. When you truly sit down and consider the creation, you'll come to realize that its complexity goes far, far above anything the most brilliant men on earth could ever fathom (though they think they can.) Does it not make total sense therefore, to entrust one's life to the Creator who brought him into the world in the first place?
The Scriptures tell us that each one is special to the Lord, and that he has a specific, individualized plan for each life:
"Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed,
and in your Book they all were written,
the days fashioned for me,
when as yet there were none of them."
Did you know there is a Book about YOU? If that's so, how important it must be to seek to know from God what he wants for every individual's life. Your life is as unique as the very DNA that he placed within you, which makes up every cell in your body and which is as unique as your fingerprints. There is not another you in all the universe. He wants you to recognize him as Father.
Not everyone fulfills the will of God for their lives, because fallen human beings are rebellious, self-willed people. We can reject God and he will let us go if we so choose (Matthew 19:22). He does not want robots, he wants the people he has created to freely choose to recognize him as the God who brought them into the world; he wants us to have enough respect for him that we will be willing to surrender our rebellion and self-will and be happy to entrust our lives into his hands. He has revealed himself as the God who loves his creation, and whose will for each one is to bring that one to the greatest expression of himself or herself as possible. Only God can do that.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,
says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil,
to give you a future and a hope."
Pray with me:
Father God, I have taken you for granted, in my mind placing you somewhere "out there." I have not considered your will for my life, I've instead insisted on doing it MY way, and I've learned that MY way will leave me unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and a failure in many of the things that make up my life. I am tired of determining my life MY way, and I'm willing to surrender it all to you, for I know that your will for me is not only good, but it is the only way I will reach the fulfillment of the plan you have for me. I've resisted everything that I don't understand, and have ignored you because in not understanding you, I haven't trusted you. Please forgive my foolish pride and self-will, and bring me into the unique plan you have pre-planned for my life. I don't have to understand everything, because your ways and your wisdom far exceed mine. I'm ready to trust you, to entrust all to you, whether I understand or not. Receive me as a little child, Father, I place all that I am into your very wise and loving hands. I will follow you alone for all the days of my life. Because I ...TRUST you. Amen.