As we grow older and take on more and more responsibility, we tend to become increasingly self-sufficient. We make our own decisions. We plot our own course. We are less likely to seek advice. The hostile world we live in necessitates a certain measure of guarded caution. We have to take control when it’s difficult to know who can be trusted. Tragically, this loss of innocence tends to pull us away from God and forces us to become more dependent on the things of this world. This is by design; and it’s not God’s design. This is the fundamental misdirection of the enemy seeking to separate us from our Father and Creator.
When the apostles began to debate which would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, Jesus had to step in and bring them back to their beginnings as his followers.
“And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:2-3 (NASB)
Children who are blessed with a loving father often display a joyous outlook on life that is fueled by the confidence and security of knowing they are cared for and protected. As followers of Jesus, we have been granted the status of children of God. This spiritual re-birth needs to take precedence over our worldly existence.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13 (NASB)
We have to let go of our tendency to deem ourselves self-sufficient and once again admit our utter dependence on our heavenly Father. As obedient children, we should joyously accept the will of our Father. Jesus teaches that those who fully embrace their childlike spiritual position are those who will do well in the world to come.
“Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4 (NASB)
When we fully give ourselves over to God and trust him explicitly with our lives, we become like Jesus. Embracing our child of God status is the ultimate expression of our desire to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
“And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me.” Matthew 18:5 (NASB)
Sometimes when we feel overburdened by our adult responsibilities we long for those days on the playground with our childhood friends. As followers of Jesus, we have been born again as children of God, and in this new-birth our childhood friends are other believers. When we get together, confident in the security our loving Father provides, our hearts should be filled with joy and our minds completely at ease. We are children of God, safe and secure in his loving arms.
As children of God, our mission is to follow the will of our Father. We are to separate ourselves from this world and follow the teachings of Jesus. Serving God by serving others is a key step in our obedience as children of God. Precisely how we respond to the needs of others is a clear indication of our dependency on God. If we truly trust our Father like a child, we will follow the path of service he places before us without hesitation.
“Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35 (NASB)
I want to encourage you to fully embrace your role as a child of God. I want to encourage you to rest comfortably in the security your loving Father provides. Most of all, I want to encourage you to fill your heart with love as you enjoy the fellowship of other believers in service to God.
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