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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Child-like Faith

Jesus told us to come to Him as a little child. I wonder if that doesn't really mean as a "baby." A baby is totally helpless, and cannot do anything but be held, loved, nurtured, diapered, and fed by the Father or Mother. The reason I wonder this is because it "fits" in line or in unity with the concept of the "Good Shepherd." The parents do everything for the baby or the child, the child simply mimics or follows the parent. In like manner, the sheep do nothing for the Shepherd, but follow Him. The Good Shepherd is like a parent, he or she does everything for the sheep. "Sheep" can be one, ten, twenty, a hundred, a thousand or one million.
Having a childlike faith and being childish are two different things. Christ did NOT say to be childish in one's faith, but to be childlike in one's faith, and there is a big difference between the two. I wonder, what are the characteristics of being childlike? Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven." If we are to come to Him as a little child, shouldn't we know what that means? I want to explore the possibilities, for there may be one verse, yet many or numerous applications. Children are innocent, they are truly ignorant. Ignorant means that someone simply does not know. There is no shame in being ignorant "as a child." As one matures, wisdom teaches valuable lessons. Stupid means that someone knows the correct thing to do, but fails to act with the knowledge they have acquired.
What are the characteristics of a child? A child is very trusting, they will believe pretty much anything you tell them. A child learns by mimicking or copying the parent. They "imprint" on the adult: first with the mother and then the father. There is an old saying that I've heard which is "more is caught than taught." I believe this to be true. Children learn by example. If the parents get divorced, the children are more apt to follow in their behavior. Children are like baby birds, they have to be "fed" and that more than food. Children are to be fed food with nourishment. They are fed words, thoughts, information, character, attitudes, and much more. In ancient Hebrew culture, it was the Father's responsibility to oversee the education of the children. In American society, we have given that responsibility primarily to the women, and that is very unfortunate, the child needs "balance."
What do children learn from their mothers? What does a child learn from their fathers? From a mother the child learns to be loving, tenderness, quietness, compassion, softness, beauty, speech, nurturing, cleanliness, craftiness, and gathering to name a few. From the father children learn discipline, strength, power, authority, obedience, rule, attention, focus, warfare, creativity, consistency, and peace. Men teach how to love as well, but on a different level from women. Children need balance, one on the left and one on the right. God created "them" - male AND female HE created them. In the book of Genesis, God said let us make man in "Our" image. Why our? Is God male and female? One of the names of God is El Shaddai - the many breasted one. It is something to think about......(maybe another forum).
Back to the children, children need to be able to approach their parents. Mom and Dad ARE God to them. The parents represent God Himself to the child. The child will learn, they will respond, they will get their concepts of God from the parents. Children usually follow God in the same manner their parents do. Going against the family grain is a difficult thing. Sometimes God will change things from the inside out, but this requires a hungry and a willing heart.
I invite you today to come to the loving Heavenly Father, The Lord of all creation, as a little child. He will teach you, provide for you, love you as none other, and one may always find hope, encouragement, strength, and peace in His loving arms. The well is always deeper, there are many gold nuggets to those who dig deeper, His Word is the water of life - a refreshing spring. His Word is a gift that gives and keeps giving. Never look to man for the things that only God can give you. In Him we live and move and have our being. Call out to God today! The rewards only come to those who are His children. For the believers, the chosen ones, we have received the spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry "Abba Father" or Daddy God. (The feminine is always implied.)

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