May 21, 2013
Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.—Jesus, Matthew 18:3–51
Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.—Jesus, Mark 10:14–152
A baby is such an illustration of faith and hearing from God. When he’s crying for his mother, you wouldn’t think of refusing him. That little baby has more faith than you do sometimes, because when the baby cries, he expects someone to hear him. He knows—God put it in him to know—that if he calls, you’ll answer. He expects the answer and he gets it.
After the nipple is in the baby’s mouth, he automatically starts nursing. When you cry out to God for something, He pushes it in your mouth; but if you don’t start sucking, you’ll never get it. You have to have the faith to begin to pull. A lot of times the baby has to suck for a couple of minutes before he gets something. His sucking is like the action of faith.
What is it that brings the milk out of the breast? It’s a vacuum. The baby deliberately, when he sucks, creates a vacuum inside his mouth, which pulls the milk out. You have to create a vacuum inside your heart: “Lord, here is this empty space—You fill it!”
Do you know what really fills that vacuum? It’s not actually the child. All the child does is create the vacuum by reducing the pressure inside his mouth, and so the milk flows out from the mother’s breast into his mouth. In prayer, you create a vacuum. There’s a space that needs filling; you seek the Lord’s help. You create the vacuum, and it is the Lord’s pressure that fills it. The power really comes from outside, not from inside. All you did was create the vacuum, but that vacuum drew the power.—David Brandt Berg3
A friend tells of overhearing two little girls, playmates, who were counting their pennies. One said, “I have five pennies.” The other said, “I have ten.” “No,” said the first little girl, “You have just five cents, the same as I.” “But,” the second child quickly replied, “My father said that when he comes home tonight, he would give me five cents, and so I have ten cents.” The child’s faith gave her proof of that which she did not as yet see, and she counted it as being already hers, because it had been already promised by her father.—Author unknown4
We must come to God as little children … we must lean on Him and continually ask for His help. Everything that God has called us to do, He must help us do. He is ready, waiting, and more than willing. But we must come humbly as little children—sincere, unpretentious, honest, open—knowing that without Him and His continual help, we will never walk in new levels of obedience.
In 1 John 4:4 the apostle wrote, “Little children, you are of God and have defeated and overcome them, because He who lives in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
The Greek word translated children in this verse as well as many others is partially defined as “darlings.” God wants you and me to know that we are His little darlings.
In 1 John 4:4 the apostle speaks of defeating and overcoming the enemy. Once again, I believe we need to see that this is only accomplished as we come to God as little children—leaning, depending, relying, and trusting.
A good parent would rather suffer himself than see his children suffer. We see this “parenting principle” in operation when the Father sent Jesus to die for us, His children.
“But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in His name.”5
Children are heirs; they are inheritors.—Joyce Meyer6
We are a generation today of exhausted, overly particular people. We are experts but not examples. … We want to be thought of as philosophers, not little children—scholars, not babes. … We miss the secrets God has hidden from the wise and prudent and revealed unto babes. We go on trying to be wise, noble, mighty; but not many wise, noble, and mighty have been chosen by God. It is possible for a man to become as a little child, but not many of them do it. How often theologians even miss some deep truths, but the simple soul among the saints of God has received the hidden lesson and applied it and pressed through to heaven's best.—Mrs. Charles E. Cowman7
The more we know of God, the more unreservedly we will trust him; the greater our progress in theology, the simpler and more childlike will be our faith.—J. G. Machen
Prayer is … the cry of the child unto its Father with the expectation that the great Father heart loves to give to them more than they do to receive. “For if an earthly father knows how to give good gifts to his children, how much more will the heavenly Father give good things to those that ask Him.”—Virginia Brandt Berg8
We must distinguish between a childlike faith and a childish faith. A childlike faith is a whole-souled trust in God as one’s loving Heavenly Father, and Jesus commends such a faith to us. But a childish faith is an immature, unreflective faith, and such a faith is not commended to us. On the contrary, Paul says, “Do not be children in your thinking … in thinking be mature.”9 If a “simple” faith means an unreflective, ignorant faith, then we should want none of it. … Christian faith is not an apathetic faith, a brain-dead faith, but a living, inquiring faith. As Anselm put it, ours is a faith that seeks understanding.—William Lane Craig10
Child of My love, fear not the unknown morrow,
Dread not the new demand life makes of thee;
Thy ignorance doth hold no cause for sorrow
Since what thou knowest not is known to Me.
Thou canst not see today the hidden meaning
Of My command, but thou the light shalt gain;
Walk on in faith, upon My promise leaning,
And as thou goest all shall be made plain.
One step thou sayest—then go forward boldly,
One step is far enough for faith to see;
Take that, and thy next duty shall be told thee,
For step by step thy Lord is leading thee.
Stand not in fear, thy adversaries counting,
Dare every peril, save to disobey;
Thou shalt march on, all obstacles surmounting,
For I, the Strong, will open up the way.
Wherefore go gladly to the task assigned thee;
Having My promise, needing nothing more
Than just to know, where’er the future find thee,
In all thy journeying I go before.
—Frank J. Exley
Published on Anchor April 2013. Read by Tina Miles.
Music by Michael Dooley.
3 Hearing from Heaven (Aurora Production, 2010).
4 Otterbein Teacher—Encyclopedia of Illustrations, #3352.
5 John 1:12.
6 Enjoying Where You Are on the Way to Where You Are Going (FaithWords, 2002).
7 Streams in the Desert, Volume 2 (Zondervan, 1977).
9 1 Corinthians 14:20 RSV.
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