How and Why Should We Become Like Little Children
Matt 18:1-4 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus puts the onus squarely on his disciples to change and become like little children. It is imperative that we transform something in our person that would allow us to act in the same manner as a little child, which is humble, and trusting. A little child will follow you without questioning your direction because he is unpretentious, trusting not ostentatious.
As our knowledge increases, it should only serve to reveal the little we know and understand. It has been said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing because it can deceive you into unconsciously transferring your dependence from something outside of yourself, to self. We tend to specialize in an area of interest and use the worlds’ measure to determine when we have arrived.
1 Cor 8:1 Knowledge puffs up but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God.
We need to be careful, for we can be sure, using that which is the world standard, will only serve to inflate our egos, as it stops us just before we can arrive at its' center of love. Love increases with purity, and purity can always go higher to reveal more.
If the time comes when we think we know something, we had better understand that we do not know as we ought to know. In other words, when God starts to reveal His knowledge to you, remember, it is going to take your mind the full three years to know, you know, what you ought to know.
Tell a little child that there is a fictitious person, who comes down the chimney, even though you don’t have a chimney, and they will not question it. They will believe you, because they trust you. If you have always told them the truth and they stop believing you, something has robbed them of the ability to trust you.
Once children become older, they act on the patterns that they see, and if they are bent away from God, someone has started them down the subtle path which polluted their bodies and minds. That is why God said in Pro 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
We as his parents think we have been trained in the way we should go, and therefore, the standard that we have instilled in our children will serve to guard them when they are old. God’s word is not partially true, which is to say, if any of our children are going astray it is telling us that we either are not projecting the way, or we don’t know the way.
If our “way” is true, there will be no movement away from humility as we or our children mature. The only thing that should happen, through knowledge and time, is that our children will transfer their complete trust from us to Christ. The regrettable reality is we see no danger as our children move away from a humble, trusting child, to self centered, independent person. To humbly trust God, is to worship God.
Pro 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
To conduct yourself in this manner is to reflect humbleness of heart, for to lean on your own understanding is to have returned to you only what the world reaps.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
We are educated by the world’s wisdom through teachers who steer us on how to arrive at what to think, be it in the universities or Christian Colleges; we become products of what the Bible calls the conspiracy. Jesus leaves no doubt on what part of your person needs to be transformed, so you can avoid being caught up in the world’s understanding of the truth.
Something has changed in our minds; something has tipped the balance, which has taken us away from the ability to humbly trust God. Whatever it is, it has the potential to block us from entering heaven straight up, which means we are robbing God of worship and are completely out of fellowship.
A little child’s body is pure, that is why manufactures produce mild soaps and pure foods because their bodies will show a rejecting, by becoming sick. We would never think of feeding our baby a combination of different foods when we are introducing them to food. Yet somehow we think that it is the baby’s lack of development which makes them throw up or become colicky. We slowly, over time, bring their tolerance levels up to the point that they manage to cope with being poisoned. Our little baby’s bodies wrench as their temples struggle to adapt to the rituals of our idolatry. Hence, through ignorance, we sacrifice our babies to our idol; which in the end returns to us the consequences of stumbling on one of these little ones.
Who thinks that these poisons are going to stop at the borders of your mind, or theirs? These poisons not only rewire the mind away from God but rob the minerals from our organs and bones in an attempt to neutralize the poisons. They open up Christ’s body to lawlessness. Psalms 38:3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of Thine indignation; There is no health in my bones because of my sin.
We cannot understand, nor will we except, that the body needs a special environment to replenish its' organisms so that it can maintain its' integrity. Without adhering to high moral principles our immune system breaks down over time, adding to an ever increasing poisonous load to the blood stream and also gives an ever decreasing metabolism. The child is placed on our disastrous ever tightening spiral downward.
There are going to be many wonderful transformations taking place in our bodies that gives us the ability to change and become like a little child, but one of the sweetest is a mind which starts to see God, not to mention a body functioning without lawlessness.
We have a need to be born again into a little child, but if this does not come from confessing and accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, then where and how are we?
(NIV) 1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourself by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brother, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
It is by you obeying the truth which automatically results in you becoming pure. It is in you doing the purifying of your body, that gives you the ability to love deeply, that accomplishes this procedure which allows you to be “born again”.
(NASB) 1 Peter 1:22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified (48) your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again (313) not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God.
Purified (48) from 53; to make clean, figuratively sanctify, morally: - purify (self). 53; from the same as 40; properly clean, figuratively innocent, modest, perfect: - chaste, clean, pure. 40; sacred (physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated): - (most) holy (one thing), saint.
Have been born again (313) from 303 and 1080; to begat or by extension bear (again) 303; a primary root, apiece, by, each, every (man), in, through. In compounds (as a prefix) it often means (by implication) repetition, intensity, reversal, etc. 1080. to procreate (probably of the father, but by extension by the mother); figuratively to regenerate: - bear, beget, be born, bring forth, conceive, be delivered of, gender, make spring.
When you were conceived from perishable seed, you did not come forth the next day, but developed over a period of time and then you were born. Just as when the imperishable seed in you conceived by the Father, you being the mother must do the work and carry it to term, for it cannot be born instantly or the next day, for it takes time to develop in the reverse, which is to say, to go from impurity to purity. It takes time to become physically pure, morally blameless, or ceremonially consecrated whereby one is figuratively innocent before a holy God. There is only one act of spiritual worship needed and that is to offer your body as a living, holy sacrifice through the actions of being “born again” as a child of God.
John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
John 3:7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
We must trust, as we follow the truth that our bodies are becoming pure because we will not be able to understand how this has come about. King Nebuchadnezzar in one of his dreams, that Daniel interprets, in Daniel Chapter 4, gives us insight not only to the environment needed, but how the body will look as it is stripped of the old and it puts on the new. King Nebuchadnezzar has a vision of a great tree that was stripped of its physical beauty, down to the stump. We too must be stripped physical down to our stump in order for God’s Laws of nature to rebuild us back into His glory with His nature. Do you think that Christ was not taken down to His stump after 40 days of testing in the wilderness? You can see this also in King David’s life where he describes his body, in this process of transformation, as a wine skin in the smoke. Psalms 119:83 or in Psalms 102:4-6 My bones cling to my flesh, He resembles a pelican of the wilderness.
(New Living Translation)
Psalms 119:93 I will never forget your commands for you have used them to restore my joy and health. I am yours save me! For I have applied myself to obey your commandments.
1 John 2:3 And how can we be sure that we belong to him? By obeying His commandments. If some says, “I belong to God, but doesn’t obey God’s commandments that person is a liar and does not live in the truth.
1 John 2:6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did.
Psalms 119:73 You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands.
We operate as though we engineered our bodies, and therefore, we think we can follow what seems logical, but following God’s instructions will take us beyond the barriers of our logic into His holiness. His commandments ask us to go counter to our logic because our logic is based in the physical flesh and our flesh is in control.
Jesus commands us to follow Him, but He also tells us to count the cost, because it will cost you everything. You cannot have one without giving up the other.
We can be born of God on our own initiative or by default fall into God’s environment which will produce your purity. Either way, Christ will deliver you to the Father for the purpose of worship, however, one comes with a long dreadful penalty.
1 John 3:9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
It is telling us we cannot practice sin and claim to be born of God.
John 1:12-13 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 flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
You receive Christ by purifying yourself or obeying the truth and upon completion then you are given the right to become children of God. This “receiving” is not opening your mouth and confessing Christ as your savior, even though it starts there. This “receiving” can only come by way of a new birth which will be not of blood or flesh or someones will.
Here, John is telling us the different ways we can be born, and it is very important we understand the distinctive ways each manifest themselves, so as not to allow Satan to deceive us. If we receive Christ by believing in His name, He gives us the right to become children of God, but should you not choose to exercise the right, you by default, have accepted your birth from a will other than God’s.
Your human birth was by blood and out of your control. And being born of the will of man is not taking control of how you think or what you think, but passively allowing others to drag you into either their reality, or convince you of the reality they want for you. However, being born of the will of the flesh is the most dangerous because the flesh has the ability by giving you everything, except the abundant life, as an attempt to convince you are an angle of light.
Genesis 3:5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
Genesis 3:6 … and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, …
The ones that understand how God’s Laws work, but refuse to be born of the Spirit of God, are the ones who have jumped the fence into the sheep fold and appear to be feeding on the same food as the sheep. They are receiving on earth, some of the same benefits as the sheep, but they are blind to see that all their good works are not remaining in their account. There is only one gate through which access gives you the right to abundant life and that gate requires a death. The flesh must be crucified to be born of the will of God. Satan can give you the knowledge to circumvent your covenant and still provide you what appears to be the abundance of life because he is the father of lies and the master of deception.
After Elisha’s messenger instructed Naaman on his simple and practical procedure to cure his leprosy, Naaman did not want to believe it. He wanted some great and miraculous healing that would come instantaneously, and that is exactly what we expect today. We sacrifice obedience for the world’s promise of instantaneous, no matter the consequences to the body.
2 Kings 5:13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
In this account of Naaman, God is clearly telling us how to become like a little child. It’s not some great feat like going back in time, it is just humbling yourself to obey and be washed by the living water. It was only the love of Naamans’ servants that kept him from making a grave mistake and passing up the blessings of obedience. It was only because there was no way out, that Naaman, in desperation, traveled to the Jordan River in Israel, which show the level of despair we all too often must fall to, before we can exhibit even the smallest amount of belief, but after obeying, his flesh became clean and there was no trouble believing. I believe it was the transformation of his flesh which gave him the ability to implement other actions of belief. This is why Naaman said to Elisha “...your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord.” Naaman was transformed when he was given the ability to believe by acting on the knowledge passed by Elisha.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest.
This is an important statement. We are not destroyed in the sense that we exist no more, but refer to a shorter life span with nothing to show, even for the time we had on earth. We are going to be destroyed not because of sin, but for lack of knowledge, as it relates to the covering of sin by Christ’s blood covenant.
In other words, we don’t know and therefore, are not working against that which brings on sin. In other words, we are practicing lawlessness, and are not even aware of it. You cannot practice lawlessness and have Christ’s blood covenant reconcile you to His priesthood.
Luke 10:21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and have revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
Wait a minute: It is at the Father’s good pleasure that certain things were hidden which would clarify the steps necessary to see how to be that which we need to become, “little children”. We are the wise and the learned, and the sooner we accept who we are the sooner we are going realize the “things” we must see cannot be seen. The facts are you will never see the hidden things of God until you humble yourself with actions that show you understand, but I need the actions before the understanding comes. Maybe this is where faith comes into play.
Psalms 25:14 The Lord confides in those who fear him; He makes his covenant known to them.
No obedience, no fear. No fear, no knowledge of His covenant!
Mark 4:22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out in the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.
No obedience, no fear. No fear, no understanding of God’s word. You may think you can study hard and intense to find the truth of what is meant to be disclosed, and even believe you see that which you don’t, all to fulfill the Father’s good pleasure. There is no finding what God’s word says cannot be found by going through the gates of disobedience, be it in ignorance, or otherwise.
Obadiah 1:8 “Will I not on that day,” declares the Lord, “Destroy wise men from Edom and understanding from the mountain of Esau?”