At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:1-4
As I shared in the last devotional, the spiritual conversion begins by becoming born again and accepting Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Jesus told his disciples that they need to become as little children. This is a conversion of our souls and how we operate in life. As our spirit man grows and we subject our minds, emotions, wills, and bodies to the leading of Holy Spirit, our soul is converted and becomes less complicated.
For years, we developed habits that benefited us in getting our way and in protecting us from pain/harm. It is not easy to let go of those habits. Becoming child like is a difficult process for many. Letting go of taking care of “number one” is hard and feels like foolishness to the carnal man! Our tendency is to question things, think critically, and be goal oriented. It requires much faith and self-denial to surrender those habits at the cross!
Jesus stated that the conversion will bring out a child like spirit. A child like person operates completely opposite of the carnal man. A child is trusting and does not ask questions about the future. They are not into analyzing facts and figures. They are not agenda-driven and don’t make long-term plans. Children are present focused and ask questions out of the wonder and curiosity of learning about their environment not out of suspicious or distrust.
This is a reminder of my family and our road trips together. There was a great likelihood that my son would fall asleep on the road trips regardless of the length of the trip. This always used to be a picture of a child like faith to me. He was comfortable and confident of his father’s driving and his sense of direction. He had no need to question it or wonder when we were going to get to our destination. So he was able to rest and enjoy the ride until we got there. What a blessing it would be if we could do that with the Lord on our journey’s life!
Our carnal soul is in continual enmity with having faith in God! Those who think are smart, crave information! We cannot rest until we have all the details, so we can evaluate things for ourselves. We have this insatiable desire to lean on our own understanding. That may make us feel good, but we are blocking faith by trying to see how things will work out. Our emotions is another aspect of our soul that has to come under the control of the Holy Spirit. We get impatient and frustrated when we are not getting our way, but who says that our way is the right way!? For some, their will is compelled to action, even though they don’t know what they need to be doing. So they run restlessly trying to make something happen. The truth is that being yielded to the Holy Spirit will save us so much time and anxiety, and it will help us with our relationships with others as well.
For a period of time, Adam and Eve had childlike faith and were able to walk with God without questioning Him or doubting Him. This was a state of bliss. God had told them not to touch the tree of good and evil, and they did not question God’s motives. However, the serpent planted a new thought in their minds about God’s motives, and he questioned God’s integrity. When they came into agreement with those thoughts, they opened themselves up to the world of suspicion, distrust, and analysis.
Jesus knew that walking by faith God will not make sense to our carnal minds. If we were to analyze it, it could lead to stress, unbelief, and anxiety, and we would not be able to maintain peace and joy in our hearts. The only way we can walk successfully with the Lord is to remain childlike. We need to be converted in our spirit and soul. Jesus told His disciples that these kinds of people are the greatest in the Kingdom of God!
Do you have child like faith? Are you more child like in your faith today than you were five years ago? Ask the Lord to show you how to develop a child like faith. It’s helpful to be in relationship with those who have child like faith and to learn how they walk with God. This kind of faith will bring peace and joy in your heart, and it will take you on your journey lighter and more dependent on Him!