- Renée Coventry
Childlike Faith - Psalm 131
Having dealt with the issue of sin as we step into the presence of God, we must learn to trust Him, and our faith cannot be "adultlike," fixing everything for ourselves. If we're to enter the presence of God, we must have the faith of a child. One of the defining characteristics of a child is the understanding that their elders know better than they do. A child's life is directed by someone greater than them, who will protect, provide for, and love them. They know there is someone, upon whom they can call, that has the answer to their questions and don't presume to know better. That, my friend, is trust.
O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever.
Jesus reiterated this to His disciples, making it clear that having the faith of a child was a prerequisite for entering the kingdom.
"Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matt. 18:3-6).
I know. As adults, we don't like to admit we don't know or can't find the answer to the problems life throws our way. We applaud self-sufficiency instead of encouraging the questions that inevitably come the longer we live. We try to fix things that we have no business involving ourselves in. (I speak from experience.) Yet, that is not God's way. It is pride's way, and to ascend into the Lord's presence, we must eradicate it from our lives and begin to walk in childlike faith.
Scripture teaches that God resists the proud but exalts the humble (James 4:6). Even Job following great trial to his faith admitted, "Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:3b-6). It was when Job repented and prayed for others that God restored his family and fortune.
God desires His children to have hearts that are not lofty or arrogant, who believe themselves above Your ways. He wants us to have mentally and spiritually acknowledged His Lordship, refusing to magnify ourselves or engage in things too extraordinary for our understanding. God wants us to stop and listen to Him, even as we would silence a child and require them to listen to the wisdom we would impart. Our behavior needs to be as one who walks following what He has smoothed and prepared for us. Therefore, we must conclude that, in some instances, one reason why our road is sometimes harsh and brutal to walk is that we have not trusted Him to prepare the way but traversed on in our timing and stubbornness, refusing to wait upon Him for His timing.
When children are weaned, they must wait for what the mother chooses to give them. Instead of instant gratification, it requires a trust that the parent will provide what is necessary when it is necessary. Trust facilitates rest. When we worry or lack faith that God will intervene, we lack peace in our lives. The people of Israel that wandered in the desert did not enter the rest God desired to provide them because they refused to trust God. As a result, an entire generation died in the wilderness. We need to cultivate faith so that no matter what occurs in our lives, we rest in the Lord, our hope. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1).
We hope in God, and because of that, we can ascend into His presence!