How many of you remember your favourite childhood bible stories? My top three in no particular order of importance are as follows:
David V Goliath (The Underdog getting one on the big guy because of God)
I loved the three Hebrew Boys in the furnace of fire (Rebellion against ungodliness and arrogance of men + Underdog factor)
Last but not the least I loved the awesomeness of Elijah calling down fire from heaven (The display of God’s supremacy in a way that messes with the human mind)
As I sit here typing I can recollect how each of those stories engrave the awesomeness of God into my heart as a child and have provided me (at times) with courage as an adult. I am sure you have similar or many more stories than mine. If I may, please permit me to pry into the privacy of your thought (while you are sorting through your favourite story) with a pertinent question. What was your favourite Bible story? What did you enjoy the most about the stories and is or are they impacting your faith like they did when you first heard them? If not, you are not alone. Now I do understand and appreciate that certain things will come by spiritual maturity and often than not we tend to desire more meat than milk. However Christ made a remarkable statement in Mark 10: 14-15: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it”. As simple as this statement appears you can be sure that there is remarkable encouragement in there for you today.
First permit me to re-analyse the scripture in the context of this sharing. Jesus is saying it is possible to witness the Kingdom of God, partake of the benefits and never enter into it! (Unless you receive it like a little child). Could this be God’s pass for us to stay in touch with Him?!
As you consider this let us explore the following: The best picture to describe the profundity of these divine pass I found in my relationship with my daughter Ziva. The most recent example is reflected in our recent visit to the local park behind our house. She was barely 20 months old but I put her at the top of the slide alongside other kids her age having a go. But at my attempt to get her to sit she blatantly refused. Turning back she jumped off the side of the slide towards me ( This was 3 meters above the ground!) Now I caught her without any fuss and she was full-on giggly and cheerful but the experience, in hindsight, made me realise that she had no fear, no reservation or any doubt in her mind about my ability! She did not sit or stand on the side of the slide to analyse and comprehend exactly what her dad was going to do if she jumped. She did not even think ahead (as we sometimes do) that maybe I wanted to teach her a lesson for her own social growth. All Ziva knew was that ‘Dad is here and he would catch me no matter what’
This is a picture that best describes the fundamental lesson of Mark 10:14-15. I.e. God wants us to be so FULL of child-like FAITH that He would NEVER leave us nor forsake us. That picture may not describe your relations with God at the moment. That is not abnormal actually. Maybe it is your family, children, work/career, dreams (yet to be achieved) proving to be challenging, may be its your personal goals. Be assured of this one thing YOU are not alone. James 1: 2 says to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds” (Bearean Study Bible). Trials in that verse represents discouragement, stumbling blocks, tests of character, morality, faith etc. Whatever you are faced with, God wants you to be FULL of child-like FAITH! Because then you will gain access to Kingdom resources. Believe me I am not oblivious to the plethora of challenges we face in our society today. I understand what it means to have doubts, to fight the urge to analyse and over forecast into the future what God is really truly doing in my life. But in the verse above we hear Jesus state emphatically that we MUST practice FAITH like a child (i.e. with what appears to be a daring sense of reckless abandonment towards God). We MUST be Child-like, throwing ourselves at Him whenever life makes no sense. When you are sick and tired of riding life’s slides. When your prayers appear to bounce off the walls of your room. When the words you utter seem to fail your belief. When your doubt seems to sing a better tune than Blessed Assurance and the silence that accompanies your driving/cooking or study time causes you to drift into distractions.
Be filled with a child-like Faith. Four times the bible encourages us across the OT and the NT to live by Faith. Habbakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38. In other words there are no other qualifying ways to live than by Faith. We come to God by Faith, we get baptised in the spirit by Faith, we witness and do discipleship by faith, we pray and expect answers by… (you got it). That is a thought isn’t it?
Now you may say but I only have hopes for the future, please note that Hope is a seed of FAITH with potential for growth, and when you implement Child-Like FAITH in the seed form of Hope you give yourself the license to overcome discouragement and depression. To smash through walls of irritability, to melt the pensiveness of anxiety and uncling the grip of suicide. It gives new life to old jobs, seemingly old marriages and old friendships. It destroys small vision of God’s ability. It removes triviality and familiarity in worship. It opens the future and invites vision and dreams, planning and prayer. It conquers lust, greed and vain ambition
And much more than all of these things, Child-like faith secures your eternity and you access to Kingdom resources.
Be filled with a child-like Faith.