And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:2-3)
God recently reminded me of such a glorious yet humbling truth – he delights in those that come to Him like a child.
Now, I remember how I behaved when I was a young child. I completely trusted my parents. I believed everything they told me and knew that they wanted the best for me. I wasn’t constantly looking for ways to pay them back for all they were doing for me, but instead I received their gifts and service as a sign of their love for me.
This is exactly what the Lord wants from me. This is exactly what the Lord wants from us.
There is an innocence and trust that the Lord wants to keep in us that growing older sadly takes away. The culture and society we live in pushes us towards obtaining independence and self-sufficiency. As we grow up we gain independence financially, physically, emotionally and spiritually which causes us to rely less and less on our parents, till eventually we move out and start our own lives and families.
These things are not bad – there is great joy and fulfilment to be experienced in these things. It’s great to be able to stand on your own two feet, and independence in the natural sense is a big sign of maturity and growth into adulthood. However the error can trickle in when we directly translate these attitudes and behaviours to how we relate to our heavenly Father.
God never wants us to become independent of Him. As we grow in the knowledge of who he is, He wants us to become more and more dependent on him.
Though we grow older, we are always God’s child.
Though we grow in wisdom, He is infinitely wiser than us.
Though we grow in knowledge. He alone knows all; past present and future.
We can never be independent of Him. We will always need him.
This is where we need to search and try our hearts. Do you believe these truths? If so, do you walk in these truths daily? If not, what needs to change? For a start, seek to humbly realise your need for the Lord as your God and Father.
Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:4)
He alone is your Heavenly Father, provider and source of every good thing. You can’t do this thing alone.
The more you realise you need him, and respond by cleaving to him, the more he will show himself to be strong for you. The sooner you understand your absolute spiritual bankruptcy without him, the closer you’ll begin to move towards him.
God desires to restore a child-like faith in you so that you’ll stop being so self-sufficient and start depending totally on him to see you through this life and into the next.
This is the start of the kingdom lifestyle.