"Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as LITTLE CHILDREN, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."
I've had a tough time with this text. I'm not a little child! I'm an adult and adults take care of themselves! That's how I've been raised. Good German stock. But this text states that the way to the kingdom of heaven is by the simple trust and dependence of a child. Are you telling me, that in my spiritual walk with God, I need to become like a 3-year-old child? I now have 6 grandchildren, 4 boys and 2 girls. For the four of them that are old enough, one of their favorite videos is, "Living on the Edge." It's a video with me climbing a mountain, where I stop on the mountainside and push over a huge tree. The oldest grandchild began going around town trying to push over trees☺. After viewing this video they began to think that I could do anything.
As I have the privilege to work with these children, play with them, babysit them, they never once think or doubt that I can take care of their needs when they arise. They never asked me if I had a driver's license or if I knew how to get to the store. They never inquire of me whether I can pay for a meal, gas or get them home on time. If they fall down and get hurt, they instinctively know that I can take care of them. They never question whether there will be food on the table, electricity paid for or a warm bed for them at night. They just KNOW. No doubt, no anxiety and no unbelief. That's the faith of a 3-year-old child.
I have absolutely no problem believing in God's Word or the fact that God can. However, a 3-year-old faith does not believe merely that God can, it knows that God will. There is the big difference. As adults we allow doubt, worry, anxiety and unbelief to come into the affairs of our life. Satan is always there to push our buttons. He says, you are too big of a sinner for God to help you. You deserve to be punished. You are not worthy of God's help. God can, but will He for you? God is too busy with important things to bother with you. Sure the Bible says that He loves and died for you, but you feel you're the exception. Bad things have happened to you in the past, so you conclude you can't trust Him. Sooo it goes. You tack on your favorite one. All this causes unbelief in God, but His Word states, "according to your faith, be it unto you." Matthew 9:29
Unbelief, kept Israel wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, when they could have been in the Promised Land in just 11 days. Deuteronomy 1:2. Is unbelief behind our wanderings too? Sure we say that we have come out of the world, praise God! However, have we entered into the Promised Life? God's denominated church came out of Egypt, but did not enter into the Promised Land because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:19. Are many of us stalled because of unbelief?
In my 63 years of living, I've had my fair share of troubles and trials, hurt and suffering, pain and stress. One morning before sun up, I was on one of my morning runs. The moon was shining bright and the stars were out in all their glory. I stopped and looked up to the heavens, when God impressed my thoughts with the following. "Jim, do you worry about all the planets in the universe, all the stars and galaxies coming out of their orbits. Do you pray for Me to keep them all in place, for fear they might hit the earth?"
I said," why no Lord, that would be foolish. I trust you entirely to run the universe and all the galaxies and keep them in perfect order."
Then God impressed my mind with, "can you trust me Jim, and rest in me, to control your hemisphere, your universe and to keep all the galaxies, stars and planets from crashing into you?" Ouch, that was really a challenge to my unbelief and my ultimate trust in God, especially in my present trying circumstances! God was asking me to rest in Him, as a 3-year-old child rests in his parents, in everything. You see, the God of our universe always has the final say and is in total control of all the goings on in our universe.
Lord, help our unbelief!
Lord, may we trust more!
Lord, may we always rest in you, in the midst of all our trials!
Then the Lord reminded me of that simple little text, "According to your faith, be it unto you." Matthew 9:29.
I'm finding, that my wandering in the wilderness can be shortened or lengthened according to my belief or unbelief. It doesn't need to take 40 years; it can be as short as 11 days. By exercising our faith, as Joshua and Caleb did, even though we are as grasshoppers compared to the enemy we are facing, our God is NOT a grasshopper. He's the God of our universe! Do we trust and follow God's leading and Spirit for us right now?
A good test to apply to our present Christian experience is; if we are anxious, that is unbelief! If we are resting, that's faith and trust. Think with me if you will, about Daniel the night before he was to be thrown into the lion's den. Was he chewing his fingernails or trusting the God in his universe? How about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? When they were about to be thrown into the fiery furnace, were they resting or anxious?
It is not the will of God that any of us should wander for 40 years in our wilderness. He desires to lead each and every one of us directly to our Promised Land and establish us there. Unfortunately our doubt and unbelief, along with our self-sufficiency, our self-importance and our spiritual pride can separate us from our God and we go out to battle like Israel-without God and fail miserably, then blame God!
Let us put away our doubting, our wavering and our unbelief. Let us with boldness, as a 3-year-old child, rest unwaveringly in His loving care. When Satan insinuates doubt, let us unflinchingly look to Calvary and put away any distrust of His omnipotent love and rest in our father's oversight of us. Let God be our Sovereign?
Let us not rest in a mere theoretical knowledge of the truth, but let us gain victory, in the midst of our trials, that all may witness the power of our God in our present circumstances. In choosing to believe God, may we all become blind to a life of fear, anxiety and unbelief.
Jim & Sally