When I was about four, I was given a balloon at the fair. I carried it all the way home, until, at the last moment, I let it go. “Catch it Daddy!” I cried, as it flew higher and higher. I had no doubt he could perform this impossible feat for me. I had child-like faith in him. But how, as adults, can we retain that child-like faith in our heavenly Father? Why is it so important as adults to have child-like faith? Well, because it says, in Matthew 19:13, ‘The Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’. It’s those who truly trust God as their Father.
So how do we develop child-like faith? Peter says in 1 Peter 2:1, ‘Therefore, rid yourself of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy envy and slander of every kind’. Could he be saying that is what prevents us from developing a child-like faith? Could we be asking the Holy Spirit, for the strength and wisdom to shun those things, to enable us to develop a more child-like faith?
But why is it important to have a child-like faith? When very young, a child is malleable and teachable and entirely dependent on an adult for all boundaries and guidance. I’m not denying that, as they grow, this can change. But this ability to be taught, the willingness to follow, and this dependency is what leads children to be good examples of what we should all be striving for.
Mathew 19:13 demonstrates powerfully, not only the Father heart of God for His children, but, as Mark points out, ‘If any one wishes to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all’. This would have been very clear in Jesus’ day, when children were not considered to be of any special importance.
So why should we strive for a child-like faith? Because God has no grown-up children. He wants to be our everything – our boundaries, our teacher and our safety, just as the parents of very young children are supposed to be. He wants us to depend on Him.
Prayer: Abba Father, please help us, Your children, to grow in having a child-like faith. Help us to be teachable and dependent on You. Help us to rely on You with all that we are. Amen .
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