There are days I desperately miss being a child. Running barefoot, playing tag with friends, jumping on my bed (don’t tell my mom), and the carefree days—with no pressing obligations. Those years usher in so many memories. Somewhere along the way, working took the place of free time, and becoming a princess in a make believe world was traded for real-life responsibilities. I wanted my adulthood to hurry up and get here. But now—I am left longing for that 100-acre woods with seemingly endless adventures waiting to be discovered.
What is so excellent about the innocence of childhood? I find it intriguing, yet not surprising, that Jesus had a genuine fondness of children in His ministry. In fact, He tells us in Luke 18:15-17 just how important children are to the Kingdom of God.
Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
Jesus taught with complete intention, wisdom, and truth. In believing this, let’s dwell a moment on what He could have meant by this. Maybe you’ve heard someone say, “You should have child-like faith.” But what does that mean? Does it mean our faith shouldn’t grow, bloom, or expand beyond what we can comprehend as a child? We know this isn’t true because our faith is meant to grow and mature and change as we know and love God more intimately. He changes us. He molds us as a potter molds the clay. He transforms us so we may bring glory to Him forever. So, why a child?
In the passage, the disciples scolded the adults for bringing little children to Jesus. But He says, “do not hinder them” – let them come. Do children know something we don’t? Do they cling to Jesus differently? Did you cling to Jesus differently when you first met Him – than you do today? Is there any place in your faith you are apathetic, uninterested or unteachable? We can invite Him to examine our hearts in order to find those answers. Be brave and take a moment right now. Ask Him to show you any place in your faith needing a revival. He is faithful to reveal those areas to us if we ask.
I have a few observations about how we can be more like children in the Kingdom of God. Children are curious. They desire to learn new things. Asking questions is key because everything is new and exciting! They ask with vulnerability and expectation. There’s no embarrassment or shame in “not knowing” everything. Are you curious about God’s word? His ways? His thinking? Are you afraid to ask at the risk of looking silly or less holy? Do you look at God in awe and wonder, filled with expectation and excitement about all the new things He is doing around you?
When we are satisfied with what we know, and we stop seeking Him, our faith stops growing. We remain stagnant and immature. Jesus wants us engaged, seeking Him always, in everything we do.
You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” (Psalm 27:8)
Little children are risk takers. Every new ability requires courage. Learning to ride a bike can be scary, but kids want to learn in spire of falling. Do you step out of your comfort zone and take risks in your faith? Do you love Jesus enough to share Him with neighbors who do not know Him? Do you shine your light or hide it under a bush? There is no risk in loving Jesus out loud when you are with those who already love Him. The risk comes when you love Him around those who do not. Children have this one mastered. If you ever ask a child a question in Sunday school – the answer is always “Jesus.”
Children believe us. They come without preconceived notions. They trust us at our word. It doesn’t take much to convince a little child we are correct. Do you know the song “Jesus Loves Me?” Sing it to yourself now… Do you believe Jesus? Do you believe what the bible tells you about His character? But even more so, do you believe what He says about you? You are fearfully and wonderfully made; chosen; redeemed; forgiven and free! If you have faith like a child you will believe Him at His word.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. (John 14:1)
Do you hunger for faith like a child? Being teachable is a beautiful beginning. Jesus’ disciples didn’t have all the answers; they asked questions. If we are teachable we will look to Him for answers, not ourselves. If we remain teachable, we will No longer depend upon our own thoughts, but rather upon God’s Holy Spirit to lead us in the way of truth. Like a child, we will run toward God with excitement and joy as we enter His kingdom and shout His praises!
Holding fast to Hope,