How awesome is childhood? I mean think about yours for a moment. For most of us childhood was peaceful, easy, carefree when you compare it to being an adult. (When I say childhood I mean like 11 and under). As an adult I often find myself admiring the joy of children and find their freedom, innocence, humor, and way of thinking refreshing. But it wasn’t till recently that I realized what it takes for them to be able to live that way.
I was discussing this with a friend at Lake Eola a few weeks ago and it was in this conversation that God opened my eyes to this incredible AH! HA! moment of child like faith that I have been pondering all month. After a month of pondering this I firmly believe that the carefree life of a child is possible for me and anyone else who is an adult Christian. I love this quote from Ravi Zacharias, “The tragedy with growing up is not that we loose childishness in its simplicity but that we loose childlikeness in its sublimity.”
When you are a child life is free to be innocent, joyful, carefree because mom and dad take care of EVERYTHING! Not one need is left ignored, as the children are fully dependent on their parents. Children also feel safe because their parents protect them. Children are also free to be curious. They have a lot of questions, as they desire to grow in wisdom of how things work around them and why things happen. A good parent won’t be upset to answer those questions but will have the wisdom necessary to answer them in a way the child can understand.
These same characteristics spill over to me as an adult walking in my Christian faith. So many times I try to take care of things on my own and I get worried or stressed when money is tight one month. Or I put an alarm on my house cause I’m worried about being robbed. Or I buy extra insurance on expensive gadgets or my car cause I’m worried about them being damaged or being stolen. And worries about life and things just keep adding up and distracting me from fulfilling my purpose because I'm so obsessed by them and for what reason!!? I fear losing things that I will loose anyway when I die cause they won’t go with me into eternity.
But the reality of my faith is that God is my good Father and I must live like a child to receive the inheritance He has for me (Matt 18:3) Just as everything I owned as a child belonged to my parents, everything I own as a child of God belongs to Him. It is necessary for me to live fully dependent on Him so I can focus on JUST LIVING, (actually living). I can have confidence that He is watching over me, protecting me and will provide. When I am actually living a life that is fully dependent on God I can truly live in the peace and freedom of the call He has placed on my life and be available to help others when needed.
But check this out! Jesus also says “whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:4) Did you see that? People who humble themselves like a child, fully dependent on God, curious to ask Him questions and grow in His wisdom, are considered greater in the kingdom where we spend ETERNITY!! They trust without questioning, simply and gladly believing His word without doubt.
And then Jesus says, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me” (Matthew 18:5). I’m really not sure the theological context of this verse but as I prayed this is what I believe the Spirit was revealing to me. In all my years of sharing Jesus with people I can honestly tell you I have much more success when I’m depending on God fully instead of myself. When I’m not acting all “super religious and super righteous” but just being genuine like a child. When I’m not trying to persuade people with my fancy words of wisdom rather instead just living a simply, generous, carefree life in the call He has placed on it. I’m more successful in my call when I am living fully dependent on Him.
So I end with this, A CALL TO GENEROSITY as a child of God. Live simply so others might simply live. When God blesses you however He chooses; be it with time, knowledge, finances, or material possessions, don’t use it as an opportunity to raise your standard of living but rather an opportunity to raise your standard of giving. Good parents teach their children to share. God is a good Father, and He blesses us as His children because He desires for us to share with others in an attempt to grow the Kingdom.