Matthew 18:3 “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (NKJV)
Picture in your mind with me three scenarios with small children:
- An adult is holding a dog saying, “Come here. Pet the doggy. He’s nice. He doesn’t bite.”
- An adult is standing in a swimming pool a couple of feet from the edge saying, “Jump! C’mon, I’ll catch you, don’t worry.”
- An adult is kneeling on one knee, arms outstretched saying to a child, “I need a hug! Come let me love on you.”
What will be the child’s response in all three of this situations? It depends on who you were picturing as the adult. In all three scenarios, if the adult was a loving parent, a close friend or familiar family member whom the child knew well, then the response would be one of faith and trust.
Most likely the child would have ventured forward slowly and reached out to “pet the doggy” even if timidly. Or taken that leap in the pool. And what young child is not ready to dash into the safe, affectionate, and loving embrace of someone they know well and trust?
Now consider with me that the adult in all three scenes was a stranger. Maybe you’re at a friends house who the child doesn’t know and the man of the house is holding the dog in his lap doing his best to persuade your child the “doggy won’t bite”. Maybe the adult in the swimming pool is just another parent in the community, and their own kids are jumping to them. You’re child is standing close watching, and so this stranger, in an attempt to be social and polite, sees you watching and says to your child, “jump, I’ll catch you”.
Maybe you’re at church, or a family reunion, and you’re trying to be sweet to an unfamiliar child and get to know them. You reach out and say, “Can I have a hug?”, or you ask the child to come sit by you.
What is the probable response to all of these situations when the adult is a stranger to the child? The child is most likely going to hesitate, be scared, withdraw and not respond positively to a stranger. They are going to retreat to the safety of someone they do know well.
When there is no intimacy,
no previous history of trust,
no familiarity or basis for comfort and security…
we tend to be distant from God.
What’s the point? The point is: what is your relationship with God like? Is He someone who represents comfort, safety, security, proven trust and affection? He is someone you know well because of how much time you spend with Him? Would He be more to you like the strangers in our story, or like the parent?
Everyday God is asking you to reach out and obey; to jump into the unknown in faith; or to run into His arms of safety and love.
How well you know and trust Him will determine whether your response is one of fear, hesitation and doubt…. or faith, trust and obedience. You may respond to God knowing He loves you and would only ask you to do His perfect will for your life – or you may retreat to what you know better than God: the world, doubt, fear, control of your own life or maybe just plain old mediocrity.
Become like a little child towards God. Pet, jump and run in childlike faith and trust… cultivated by spending everyday in His presence getting to know Him.
Our God, may we spend so much time in Your presence that we learn to trust you like a little child trusts his parent. May we be so acquainted with You that we respond in childlike faith every day to Your will. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Contemplation: How do you respond spiritually to God? Are you timid and hesitant? How easily do you step into the scary unknown for God? What does this say about your relationship with Him?
Application: We are like children. When God asks us to step out in faith, venture into the unknown or run into His arms, our response will be dictated by the degree of our intimacy, trust, knowledge and security that has been cultivated, or neglected, because of the time we spend with God..
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?