Knowing God-Come As Children, Grow into Maturity
When it comes to knowing God, Rebekah shares that we should come to Him as children and grow in our faith.
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A Child’s Curiosity
A lovely dove moans outside my window. I hear the whirr of happy children as they race home from the park on bicycles. A trail of voices drifts in as neighbors catch up on life. I look through the window panes speckled with dried-water spots and the brightness of the sun shines down on the white cast iron bench and reflects a blinding glare that stings my eyes. My eyes flit over to the shadow lying on the grass beside the overgrown pine bush.
The sounds I heard a moment ago have faded. The dove is silent and sparrows chirp to each other now. A gentle breeze slips through my open window and I feel it cool on my bare arms. A white puffy cloud sailed across the blue skies, swallowed the sun, chased the shadows away and dimmed the glare. The children have now clambered around the kitchen table and childish chatter fills the room as they gulp cold water and wait for grilled cheese.
It’s the dog days of summer when days are savoured, not spent. When children hunt for toads and stare at insects and when times of boredom make way for creativity and inspiration. When we can linger longer in the afternoon shade or under bright stars blinking in the inky blackness.
We watched a cicada crawl across the grass after it burst out of its old shell last week. Sadness hung in the air as we witnessed the struggle it endured to unfurl its wings and when the wings failed to stretch open we knew there was no way it could live without those wings taking flight.
“Mom?”, my girl queried, “can I take this old skin and put it on the nature table?” And she ran in and cupped it like it was costly treasure, with great care, she set it with other little marvels we have found in this great world God has made: shells, fossils, bark, big-leaf maple leaves and fungi, nests, and feathers.
The Greatest In The Kingdom Of Heaven
As children, the world is full of wonder to be discovered. When the time and opportunity is given, children will explore the wonders all around them. They will grow in knowledge and in appreciation of the living things that are in their own backyard. Children have a natural curiosity about their world. They want to dig, search, discover, climb, reach for the next level, and soar. Children want to grow and learn. They want to know they are loved and love in return. Spread before them a banqueting table and they will come and joyously feast.
Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Matthew 18:1) And Jesus called and put a child in the centre of them. He turned their focus to a child. It was humility to which he drew their attention. To be a follower of Christ is to humble self and trust Christ. A child is willing to come and trust.
However, as Don Carson explains in volume two of For the Love of God:
“childlikeness is not childishness, simplicity is not simple-mindedness, humility is not servility.”
If the child failed to grow, like the cicada that couldn’t unfurl his wings and fly away, it would be a tragedy, a travesty. When we are given faith to believe, that is simply the beginning. Our faith is to grow and be strengthened.
Yes, we are to come to Christ as children, but we are to grow up into maturity in grace, knowledge, faith, love, hope.
We Must Grow In Our Faith
“that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,” (Ephesians 4:14-15)
And the writer of Hebrews exhorted his readers:
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:12-14)
And later in his letter, the writer urged:
“Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity . . . ” (Hebrews 6:1)
These are the days we must dig deeper, look longingly, search diligently, rightly handling the Word of God.
Come child-like in humility and in wonder and grow up into maturity by growing in the knowledge of God who is Creator and Lord of all.
We have a great feast to spread before us. We know we don’t live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
You will grow in love and in faith as you grow in the knowledge of the Lord God. Let His Word be a lamp to guide your feet and light to your path in the midst of a dark world.
As it has been said, “Your heart can’t love what your mind doesn’t know.”
Know God. Come in humility, grow in grace. And your heart will want more of God and all His shining glory.
Rebekah Hughes survived a rare childhood cancer that left her with only one functioning lung, but the aggressive treatment she received to kill the cancer, severely damaged her heart. She shares her insights to encourage us as we walk the path God calls us to, whether in calm or in crisis. Rebekah produces Take Heart and Cut to the Heart for HopeStreamRadio. In her program she reflects on spiritual lessons from her observations of life, to encourage and strengthen us in our faith.
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