Children of God

Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 18:3-4

Every day we “adults” get up and go be grown-ups.   In the process we forget.  As followers of Jesus Christ, we forget the Father.  We fool ourselves into believing that worrying about things is being a responsible adult.   We fool ourselves into trusting and believing in our own strength.   As “adults” we think that it’s because of our determination and ambition that we have succeeded.   As “adults” we worship a new trinity; a house, a spouse, and a nice car.  Our new fruit of the spirit are our kids, jobs, social status, our travels, money, 401k, charity work and church positions.  We mask our love for the world with being grown-ups.  We have all stumbled before the promise.  We have failed to understand the level of commitment, submission, and faith that Jesus demands.  Yet it is so simple and we train ourselves right out of it.  Look at the carefree life of a child in a good home.  Watch how quickly they bounce back from disappointment.  Watch how simple meals please them.  See how the simplest and silliest games entertainment them.  Watch how just being in the presence of their parents make them content.  Just being in their father’s arms gives a peace beyond understanding.   Haven’t you seen a child run to the very parent that disciplined them for comfort?  This is the abundant, unsinkable, and loving life of a gospel saturated believer. But we have a very hard time being a child as the one Jesus Christ spoke of. Christ is talking about being as a humble child before him and we pretend to not know what that means.

Benson Commentary
and become like little children — “Free from pride, covetousness, and ambition, and resemble them in humility, sincerity, docility, and disengagement of affection from the things of the present life, which excite the ambition of grown men,”

Our attitudes are reflected in our prayers to God as we pray in fear, lord protect this thing, lord don’t let that thing happen, lord don’t let this slip away, lord give me this to make me happy. Children pray in hopes of God’s touch, lord bless me with a good day, lord bless me to make friends, lord bless me with good dreams, bless me to be good.  Adults pray for God’s benefits and children pray for God.  We assume more responsibility than we should or rather take credit for what isn’t ours.  It is the position of our souls that bends the heart away.   The notion of “taking care” of things or being “independent”, are actually going against what Jesus is referring to.  What keeps us on this path is the lie that fear, pride, and the world tells us; is that if you don’t put worldly things first then everything will come crashing down.   Even sayings like “if you want it done right, do it yourself”; points to a problem that is validated by the world.  This thing is our self-reliance which is faith in ourselves.  Even as we consider it, we question God about what He is promising as well as what He is commanding.  We have even taken good things and contaminated them with this position of the heart.  When we start to question God’s calls to humility or simple faith in His ability to take care of our needs and interest; we essentially pick the fruit from the tree all over again.  The more successful we become at being grown, our accusations get added to the stockpile of strikes against God for not doing His part.  As we repeat things like “God helps those who help themselves “.  This a pretty lie we say in order to not trust God but to have faith in us.   So we try to keep the commandments the best we can as we fool ourselves into believing that we are killing it.  There shouldn’t be any commandment in the Holy Bible that we read and go, “oh I can do that”. If so we are reading it wrong, the commandments of God are to show our weakness and our need for God to take the lead.  God meant for everything to be done under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit; the author of scripture.  Our problem is that we are unwilling to be led by God in all things.  We don’t want to be the stewards that we are called to be but the Ruler that God is.  Our sometimes noble but badly directed desire to earn our keep; essentially keeps us competing with God and we can’t win.  A heart that is too proud to be helped, supported and or vulnerable will crush itself as well as everything around it.  So this is why Jesus say that to get into the Kingdom of God we have to be as children; “Free from pride, covetousness, and ambition, and resemble them in humility, sincerity, docility, and disengagement of affection from the things of the present life, which excite the ambition of grown men,” This is the person who welcomes The Christ by grace through faith.  Those that ran to Jesus were the ones that were spiritually bankrupt.  To be spiritually bankrupted means to be void of any false idea that you have earned anything, made it halfway, just needed a hand, or anything that would suggest that they had achieved anything.  It means that you wouldn’t even dare say that you are really not that bad; you would not give yourself even a fraction of credit towards heaven.  It’s the opposite of the rich young ruler who said to Jesus, “I have done all this now what’s left”.  It’s the opposite of the woman at the well who bring up where her people worshiped. We must come to Christ completely empty of our sensibilities, of our sense of power and any notion that we chose Christ solely on our own.  We should take comfort in knowing that God never tells us to do something the He himself has not already done and conquered.  This is why we can never say God doesn’t understand.  Nor can we come before God and tell Him to adjust His commandments to fit our situation.  We can never say that the rules don’t apply to us.  Jesus Christ the Son of God, became a child and humbled himself when He is God. Jesus set aside He Godness to be counted among men for our salvation. Jesus put aside the worldly things that to this day distract us from obeying God.  We rather be tired and frustrated then to be what we find detestable; a child.  But we so easily forget that we are not just any child; we are children of the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the great I Am.

 

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