Faith Like a Child

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I’m sure many of us have heard of the phrase “have faith like a child” or “have childlike faith.” I think the phrase is helpful and true, although it is not said directly in the Scriptures like some think it is.

In Matthew 18 Jesus said we need to be as humble as a child, and in Luke 18 he says we must receive the Kingdom like a child. He never uses the phrase ‘faith like a child’, but talks about receiving the Kingdom like a child.

However, we can make a link between receiving and having faith, as there is certainly a link there. Also, perhaps humility can teach us something about faith. Furthermore, God is our Father, as the Scriptures say, so there is always an element of us being his children that is true.

When I was a child I used to wake up in the morning, go downstairs and have my breakfast without really worrying if tomorrow there would be breakfast on the table. Sure, my experience may be unique when we look at the thousands of street children today, but there’s still a powerful picture here in my opinion.

We ought to just know that our Father is taking care of us, like a child in a safe home knows their parents are taking care of them. If that promotion hasn’t come by yet, no worries, it will when we’re old enough and ready for it. If that increase hasn’t come yet, it will when we’re old enough and ready for it. We need to be humble and obedient to God’s instructions, so that when he says this or that we do it rather than rebel. It’s for our own good anyway. That’s being a child.

And can I tell you there’s something about getting to be a child again that is exceedingly comforting. I have a Father who will take care of me. He can bear the burdens of life while I can just enjoy my life, like I did when I was a kid, without having to worry about the nitty gritty details. God will take care of that. I don’t need to perform, I don’t need to be constantly driving for this or that; the burden is on God’s shoulders.

I think that this blogger really gets it. Have a read. It’s so encouraging.

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7 thoughts on “Faith Like a Child”

  1. Hi Ryan, I love your writing (always have) and I so agree your sentiments. Let me ask a question though – would God’s concept of biblical adulthood bring us to a place of knowing (a child is blissfully accepting) that God is all He said He is? Could we go beyond being simple-faith children to be as sons who are able to say, “I have learnt (acquired knowledge, experience), to be content in all things?” To me that reflects a heart that has faced all kinds of contradictions and life’s harsh realities only to come to a place where our chips finally fall off, we stand naked before Him and He is revealed to us as the God of faithfulness, whose ways never change. If we can get there, could we become as dangerous as Jesus was, as single minded, as able to rise above the melee, walk on water, reject every attempt to crown us and walk away from every attempt to cast us off the rocks? Its an intriguing thought …. would love to debate further.

  2. Thanks for the link Ryan. I couldn’t understand what was happening to my controls at first, and then I realized you found the old blog. I’m not sure how you did that either since it’s supposed to redirect to the new site. The new site it (with this post)…

    Thanks again!

  3. Thanks Peter 🙂

    I would say that the more mature one becomes the more they become like a child in terms of their trust / faith towards God (a quiet, peaceful firm resolution in heart and mind that God is taking care of them) and the less they become like a child in terms of rebellion / stubbornness.

    (This is perhaps why Paul said we put childish things behind us.)

    So perhaps I could say that the more one acquires experience / the right kind of knowledge (relational knowledge, perhaps, with God) the more they will become content in all things. We could also bring in the idea of discipline here, that God will discipline us, which gives us knowledge / experience.

    If you’ve ever read CS Lewis’s Perelandra you will notice he does a brilliant job of showing this in his book.

    Satan comes to tempt a new Eve on a new planet that God has created. The whole temptation is meant to mirror what we read in Genesis. One of the ways in which Satan attempts to get Eve to do what God has forbidden is by telling her that by doing so she will ‘grow up.’ He even goes so far as to say that God gave the command so that she would have an opportunity to make up her own mind and hence ‘grow up’ and become mature. To rebel is to be independent, and to be independent is to be mature.

    That’s very much like Satan saying we would be ‘like God’ and ‘able to know good from evil’ in Genesis. But this is not maturity, it’s its opposite. Maturity is trusting God in all things. Maturity is childlike faith.

    Like Alan says, “so we have to get older to be more like a child.”

    What do you think?

    1. There is undoubtedly a need to move from milk to meat (Hebrews 6), so growing up is God’s desire for His children. We must move beyond dependence, to where Paul spoke of codependence, saying, “I am a coworker with God”. In the desert Israel was “mothered”by God (no disrepect meant), but after the Jordan he stopped their daily provisions and told them to occupy their inheritance, which is sonship. I absolutely agree that Satan distorts that, so he can restore us to a sense of self and thereby rob us of the sweetness of walking with God. So growing up must involve a death of self, an abandoning of our own identities and a growing awareness of our identity in Christ. I also advocate the idea that we must grow up to become as little children, but it is not blissful innocence, any more than the peace of Canaan was a tangible peace – rather its a peace and joy that comes from settling our struggle for identity.

      Hey, I so love this kind of engagement – its so good for site stickiness, but its also real fellowship. Great to connect again RP. Blessings … pete

  4. Hey Wes,

    I’ve updated the original post with the new link 😉

    I actually found your old site through Google images. It seems that Google has cached some of your older site.

    Thanks for visiting!

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