Guest Post by Austin Ring
Our Own Strength is Limited and Fickle
Have you ever tried to rely on your own strength to get through the day? The week? The month or beyond? Some days we can do it. Other’s we cannot. Why is it that we don’t have the strength alone? Why is it that we need to ask for help from God? I think that these questions and more can be answered when we shift the perspective of what it is we are seeking.
If we are seeking strength and productivity through our own means, it can be dredging and difficult to bull through procrastination, slothfulness, and waking up on time–things we all know well and through. But what if we asked for strength, in humility and sacrifice, as a child would ask for something from his/her parents? What if we sought and talked to the Lord the same way children do when they ask their parents for a snack or a treat? Would God tell us to grow up and abandon our childlike thinking and demeanor? Would God tell us to talk to Him using big words and sophisticated language?
Let’s take a look at this scripture for some answers:
“Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:13-14, KJV)
The disciples had sought to stop the children from coming to Jesus to be prayed over, but Jesus rebuked His disciples and told them to endure them and their childish ways, “for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” I just love that. What patience Jesus had with the children. What love.
Does the Lord Require that We Come to Him as Children?
Of course not. The God Most High will always meet us where we are. That’s what so special about Him. It’s one of my favourite qualities about His nature. That being said, I still think that it would be wise to approach Him as a child. Why not? It’s just easier, not to mention more fun! Take a look at this scripture with me as we seek clarity on this subject.
“And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased, And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?”
(Mathew 21:15-16, KJV)
First, to put this scripture into context. Jesus had just entered Jerusalem and had gone into the temple of God. Jesus responded to the scribes and priests’ question by saying that out of the mouths of the young comes praise and worship. Jesus even goes so far as to say that younglings have perfected praise!
Why is it that God uses the young to praise Him and be an example to others? Why doesn’t God use adults to bring Him honour in the same way that younglings do? There is something special that He sees that maybe we don’t. Let’s lean into more scripture for further clarity.
“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 revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.” (Luke 10:21, NIV)
Again, with the context first. Jesus was speaking about the power of the Holy Spirit that we all have access to, and then was filled with the Holy Spirit to reveal a truth about how God operates. Jesus said that the Father is pleased to reveal “hidden things” to the young, and to hide them from the wise and learned. What are these hidden things that Jesus is speaking about, you might ask?
I could take a guess and say wisdom, knowledge, or other interesting secrets. But I would think that it would be better for you to ask God yourself what these hidden things are for yourself. Besides, His Word demonstrates this process of revealing secrets all throughout the Old and New Testament. I would encourage you to get into the Word and find out some secrets for yourself! 🙂
How Should We as God’s Children Approach Him in Prayer and Character?
So back to the question about how we should approach God in prayer, “Do we need to be articulate and speak in sophisticated language when we pray?”
Think back to the words of Jesus in the previous passage. He says that the children that rushed over to Him to be prayed over were the kind of people that inherit the kingdom of Heaven. Notice how Jesus didn’t say, “Only the rich, powerful, and eloquent in speech may come to Me to be prayed over, for such is the kingdom of Heaven.” No. Jesus said that children are those who are welcome in the kingdom of Heaven.
You see, something happens when we all grow up. We tend to bend to the world’s mold of what an adult should be. We think that being mature means that we need to be strong for ourselves. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Personally speaking, when I tend to ignore asking God for things, both little and big, I try to rely on my own strength. Or when I pray, I will only ask certain things of Him and not bring up more pressing issues that I think that I have a hold on. This is when I need to ask myself, “what am I trying to accomplish alone? Where is my childlike faith? Why don’t I just be honest with myself and God and include Him in the conversation?”
This is when I need to check myself and my own heart and really seek the Lord with a heart that is more childlike–more humble, honest, and earnest in nature. By flipping this switch, I have noticed that I am more confident, more humble, and more me. I like to think that God is the perfect shepherd and perfect solicitor of Grace and Mercy, because He is. When I really think on His character and promises, I am reminded that I need to be more childlike. Not to mention that it’s just so much more fun to let Him rule my life completely and just be a giddy and giggling child along for the ride! This is an important character trait that I think Jesus wants us to make central to ourselves, both in personality and in demeanor.
What Does Being More Childlike Look Like Practically?
It looks like obedience. It looks like genuineness. It looks like humility. It looks like fun! We don’t have to rely on our own planning skills, wisdom and intellect, or strength of body and mind. The Lord above offers these things to us FREELY as long as we ask for them.
For example’s sake, let’s say that when you were younger, for Christmas you asked for a new barbie doll or a cool toy truck. And let’s say that you received it. How stoked would you be by getting exactly what it is that you asked for? Wouldn’t it make you adore and trust your parents more? I know that it certainly would for me. Now think about this example when approaching God. It may seem like something scary and intimidating, but in reality it’s actually easier.
You see, God is a good God. He loves to give us good gifts. He delights in hearing from us and providing for our needs. It says so in His Word! “ If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Mathew 7:11, KJV)
In the example that I’ve provided, it presupposed a sinful nature in our parents, those that provided us good gifts, and that fundamentally distorts the quality and idea of the gift that was given. But God, our perfect Father, doesn’t have that same nature. He knows EXACTLY what it is that we want and need, and He is willing to provide those things to us IF ONLY WE ASK. See Mark 11:24.
So all this to say, be more childlike and watch as the Lord provides for and sustains you. This isn’t something that we as believers should just shrug off and think about later, this is important to God, and therefore, it should be important to us as well. It all starts with submitting yourself to His will and trusting in His provision. Just ask Him today, “God, what is it that I need to do to be more childlike. What is it that I can do to be more like those that you use to be an example to others in childlike faith?”
I think that you might be surprised in His answers. Haha. God bless you all reading, peace and blessings be upon you, in the name of Jesus! 🙂
Austin Ring, Blogger at GodMeandFantasy.com
“Exploring imagination in the vast realm of Fantasy, sharing my experiences in Truth and Transparency, and unashamedly proclaiming the Love and Truth of Christ Jesus, our Lord”
Read more from Austin Ring on his BLOG.
This insightful guest post was written by Austin Ring. His message about coming to God like a child is so true and important in this day and age where we so often come to God like business men or critics, only trying to get something out of Him or questioning everything He does. Be His child today and simply trust in the good Father, boldly asking Him for things and confidently letting Him serve and love you. I hope you enjoyed this post and have a blessed day! ❤