In today's world, which is full of complicated issues and ideas, the idea of faith (or believing in something beyond what we can see or prove) often gets mixed up with a lot of deep thinking and analyzing. Instead of faith being something simple and straightforward, it becomes something that people think about and interpret in many complicated ways.
However, the scriptures invite us to consider a more profound yet simpler perspective: the faith of a child. In this post, we'll explore what it means to have a child-like faith and the wisdom the Bible offers on this topic.
The Simple Meaning of Having Faith Like a Child
The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke present a striking teaching from Jesus, emphasizing the importance of child-like faith. What does this mean? To have the faith of a child is to embody trust, simplicity, and humility. In other words, having faith like a child means to trust easily, keep things simple, and be humble.
Unlike adults, who are often burdened by skepticism and complexity, children approach life with openness and wonder. This is the heart of spiritual receptivity that Jesus highlights.
Spiritual receptivity refers to a person's openness and willingness to accept and understand spiritual ideas, teachings, or experiences. It's about having an open mind and heart towards spiritual matters. In 1 Corinthians 2:14, It states, "The natural man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” This verse emphasizes that spiritual truths and concepts are often beyond the grasp of ordinary, worldly understanding and require a spiritual mindset to be fully comprehended. A spiritual mindset is a mind that has a child-like faith. One that can believe and embrace the truths of God. But especially one that can believe who God is and what He says in His Word.
In Matthew 18:2-4 …Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me. “But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. You’d be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck. Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but you don’t have to make it worse—and it’s doomsday to you if you do.” (Matthew 18:2–7, MSG)
Jesus was revealing a secret of the Kingdom that would result in transformation of their spiritual journey with God. His invitation to become like little children was all about moving beyond surface-level beliefs or actions to embrace the deeper unknown truths of God, those remarkable secrets we do not know about.
Jesus' message about being like little children means he wants us to change the way we think. It's about shedding layers of pride and self-importance, adopting instead a stance of humility and openness to receive and learn. Having a hunger to continually grow in the knowledge of who He is and what is important to Him in light of eternity, is a treasure before His eyes.
In Mark 10:15 Jesus equates receiving the kingdom of God with child-like receptivity. This scripture challenges us to reflect on our approach to faith. Are we open and receptive, or are we guarded and skeptical?
It takes less faith to be skeptical than it takes to be open and receptive.
Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is in full operation in our spiritual journey, then we know that we have the ability through the Spirit of God to discern or distinguish between different spirits. So, it is not us controlling everything, but God’s Spirit. Why then be skeptical of everything we don’t understand? Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (see Hebrews 11:1) Why not then just believe like a child with simple uncomplicated faith?
In Luke's account (Luke 18:16-17) underscores the necessity of openness in our spiritual walk. Children are naturally curious and open to learning, an attitude that can enrich our understanding and experience with God.
How can we cultivate such faith in our daily lives? It begins with mindfulness – being aware of our thoughts and attitudes towards faith. We can strive to approach the word of God with a sense of wonder and openness, just as a child marvel at the world. It also involves humility, acknowledging that there's always more to learn and understand about God’s nature and what He considers important.
If is important for Him, it should be important for us as well.
The faith of a child, as described in the scriptures by Jesus, offers us clear guidance on how to live our daily lives on our journeys with God.
I am the kind of person that is constantly hungry for more. Especially, hungry to learn and listen so I can grow in my knowledge of who God is and His will for my life. Why is this important to me? Because I want to make sure my thoughts and actions align with God’s will and purposes. We only have one life on this earth with one destination. We were created to worship God and be His counterpart eternally.
Often religiosity can get people entangled and stuck in such ways that they can lose their first simple love, and faith with which they started with. This leads them to complicate the word of God, like the Pharisees did in Jesus’ time. So much that they are confusing people’s simple faith in God by demonizing anyone who sounds different. Do you want to stay close to God and His Word, keep your simple child-like faith. As you continue with a hungry heart keep learning and receiving, the Holy Spirit will teach you all things that you need to know. There is no human on this earth who knows more than the Spirit of God.
If something is off, God’s Spirit will make sure you know (see Romans 8:16). He gives witness of the things that belong to the Father and those that do not align with Him, He will convict you of and re-align your back. As long as you maintain a child-like faith God will reveal more of his mysteries to you and will make sure you are aligned with His word and will. You will know the truth that will set you free from different things that blockade you from living the dream life with God!
By embracing trust, simple faith, and humility, we can deepen our connection with God in a more meaningful way. Strive to keep the wonder and openness of a child-like faith alive in your spiritual journey and your relationship with God will flourish! Unleash your child-like faith today!
Embracing a Deeper Journey … with the Almighty I AM