Attributes of a Child
In Luke 18:17 Jesus says, ”I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” From this I thought it would be worth considering what attributes of a child are ones that God wants us to have.
Children are commonly known to us as innocent. Similarly God wants us to be clean and free from sin. Adam and Eve were unaware of the concept of sin. Children too are liberated from guilt through the fact that they do not know what they do wrong. They follow their heart. Satan can tempt them too, but they would still not know where it came from or what they did wrong with the parents informing them. It is this innocence which we need. We need to believe in our righteousness, believe in the freedom we have received through the blood of Jesus who is Christ. God has forgiven us for our sins, we need to maintain confidence in the fact that we are forgiven. If we listen to Satan and believe that all is lost, that we are utter failures and unloved, we are rejecting the gift that God has given us. A spirit not of timidity but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Tim. 1:7). We must believe in our innocence without losing humility and remembering that it is only through Christ that we have this righteousness.
To believe we must have faith. Faith “is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Heb. 11:1). This has to do with the expression ‘Childlike imagination’. Children are known to have great imagination, they are also known to believe in things easily. Children believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and monsters underneath the bed. The list goes on. Children believe in the ‘impossible’. They don’t try to explain away an event of the supernatural, they accept and believe. Often it feels like my mind rapidly thinks of logical explanations to why certain things happen, rather than thanking God for what he has done. Because it is God. He is at work in our lives. Often we rationalize what children would easily accept as a gift from Him. This is what we must do. We must grow in our faith to become like children, accepting the miracles He gives us and thanking Him for what He does. This way, our faith will grow and more will be given. Children have a hope and trust in what God can do. This is what we must learn from them; have a childlike faith.
Thirdly, children rely solely on their parents for their well-being. They trust their parents to provide food, shelter and guidance. God as our father is infinitely wise and all powerful! He has everything that human parents could never gain. Earthly parents can lose their job and become unable to provide food, or they can mess up and neglect their children. God never does this. He wants us to trust him as our father. Jesus says that God provides the sparrows with food and lilies with clothes, how much more does he not want to provide for us? (Matthew 6:25-34) We need to rely on God as our provider and protector, like children rely on their parents. If a nightmare haunts them in the night they know they can crawl up into their parents’ bed and feel safe. God is almighty! He can protect and defend us like no other! We often try to make it on our own or rely on the earthly things we have, rather than trusting God to defend us. We need to learn from children. Learn to rely, believe and trust our Lord and Father. He wants a relationship and wants us to need him. We have the opportunity to sacrifice and give everything to him so that he can be our firm rock in the middle of sinking sand.
So as we run this race, let us look to the cross, confident in our righteousness, firm in our faith, and trusting God to protect us and support us.