God’s nature is different to our own
When Jesus was here on earth, He came and challenged the way human nature was set up. We are always striving to grow up, but He told us to be childlike.
The Kingdom of God, what our lives are supposed to look like here on earth, always challenges our nature.
In the Kingdom of God, first is last. Foolishness is wisdom. Servanthood is leadership.
The least is greatest.
It’s so easy to get into this striving of heart, where we want to be great. We want to be known and hold accolades, and I’ve sadly seen it run rampant in church circles. If we can all be honest, we would acknowledge that there is human nature and flesh in all of us that is striving for that greatness of being known.
What do I live for?
But it’s in these moments we ask ourselves:
What kingdom are we trying to gain? What is our motive?
While many want to find themselves closest with the most popular, Christ is continually drawing us to be known in the circles of the least popular.
Human nature wants to strive to be the biggest in the room; To be the most impressive; To have the most letters behind their name; To know the most people.
But the way we enter into the Kingdom of God is not according to our accolades and our pursuits.
Jesus defies our natural instinct
Do you remember when the disciples asked Jesus who was the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?
I think they were expecting some lofty answer. Some answer that probably included who they knew, what villages they preached in…
But what was Jesus’ answer?
He called a child to Him and said,
Be like him.
That’s how you are great.
And I’m certain it shocked them all, because really, what does a child have to give that makes them great?
I believe us as believers have received this simple call:
But are we ok with it being simple? Are we ok if the reason something happens, is not because “we” made it happen, but we believed that GOD was big enough to do it?
What I learned from working with children
I’m part of a work called ABBAhouse: Thessaloniki, a children’s home in Greece, and through this the Lord has taught me more about the heart of the Father than ever.
So many experiences the kids in ABBAhouse have had already as children have caused them to grow up prematurely.
Our prayer is that Jesus would restore their innocence and that they would have permission to be childlike again. And we have seen that. They are running and dancing like children again. This is the heart of the Father.
And this is His heart for you because you are His child.
It was being around these fatherless hearts that I began to notice the different parts of my life where I had an orphan spirit.
I didn’t want to live like I didn’t have a Father. We have a Father we can trust wholeheartedly.
The kids in ABBAhouse used to have to beg and work for their own food, but now what is their job? To be kids. To play. To rest.
They don’t spend their day trying to figure out and worry where they are going to get food or clothes. They have encountered the provision of the Father and now their responsibility: come to the table to feast when they are called.
It’s not the child’s responsibility to put food on the table or clothes on their back. It’s the child’s responsibility to come to the table when they’re called.
Friend, how often do we feel like the weight of our lives and the weight of the world is on our shoulders?
But all the while, Jesus is saying, “Why do you worry about what you will drink? What you will eat? What you will wear? Don’t you know the Father knows you need this?” (Matthew 6:25-33)
So what’s our responsibility as believers?
There’s a table set for you with EVERYTHING you need. Jesus is just asking, “What do you need? Is it peace? It’s here at the table. Is it Joy? Is it provision? Just come to the table and feast.”
That’s our responsibility.
And we can come to Him in that childlike faith…that faith that believes what the grown up says, even if it’s impossible.
Try waving at a plane…
One time, years ago, I was taking care of my friend’s 3-year-old little girl. We were out on a walk and saw an airplane fly above us. I said to her, “Look the people are waving at us in the plane!”
I’ll never forget this little girl’s response.
She had the biggest smile and began to wave wildly at them!
It was in that moment I learned something about childlike faith.
If you would say that to an adult they would either ignore you or give you a sympathy laugh at your bad joke. But they DEFINITELY wouldn’t believe you, because they’ve lived long enough and experienced things enough to know that just isn’t possible.
What is beautiful about children? They will believe what is said to them, even if it’s impossible.
That’s the kind of faith we are supposed to have.
Don’t laugh at the “impossible”
How many times has the Lord spoken things to us that are impossible and we just laugh it off, because we’ve seen too much, been lied to by people and disappointed by our experiences, that we don’t really believe what God has said?
For me, I’ve resolved that the older I get, the more childlike I want to be.
That may mean I get laughed at sometimes for believing impossible things, even to the point of being called naïve.
But I’m willing to take that risk if the reward is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Friend, the Lord wants to restore our innocence.
We may have been lied to, disappointed in life, felt the weight of the world and our family were on our shoulders.
But The Father God, He is giving us permission to be childlike again.
He is giving us an invitation for greatness.
It is found in being the least.