Childlike Simplicity

“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3, KJV)

God sees us as His children and therefore wants Believers to have childlike trust, faith, and dependence on Him.  By coming to Him with the simplicity of a child we allow ourselves to throw off the complication of adulthood in a world ruled by Satan.  By developing the faith of a child and total trust, we look at the world without the depravity and mistrust that develops as we get hurt and disillusioned.  As adults we become callous and put up walls to protect ourselves from all those who would hurt us.  It is even harder when those we love and trust hurt us.  For those of us who long ago or who never experienced the joy of an innocent childhood, but were pushed into maturing early and missed the fun and wide-eyed innocence of childhood, the walls are thicker and harder to remove.

But how to throw off the cloak of adulthood and return to the simplicity of childhood in our relationship with the Father? To me childlike simplicity means to come to Jesus not with mistrust, worldly-hunt for a way to get a step-up on the competition, but to come to Him with the wide-eyed amazement, trust and expectation of a child at Christmas time.  The expectation that something good is going to happen.  I remember going into the living room and being amazed at the beautiful tree and gifts under it.  Trusting totally that there was something for me in at least one of those boxes or bags.  As I got older the amazement of Christmas fell away and was replaced with insuring that my children had a good Christmas.  I was taught as a child that it was not all about the gifts, but that it was about the birth of Jesus and tried to instill that remembrance into my own children.  But I cannot deny I always loved seeing the amazement in their eyes when they looked at the gifts under the tree.

Children do not look for underlying motives, they tell the truth without hesitation, take life at face value, are open and free-spirited, trusting, and ready to believe.  They are teachable–like sponges ready to absorb everything put before them.

Recovering the childlike amazement is harder than it sounds.  Especially as overtime we continuously try to force ourselves into the square hole of conformity to the world.  It just amounts to making ourselves fit-in. As we mature and find out more about who we are in Christ, we can no longer feel comfortable continuously trying to fit-in.

Developing the simple life of a child does not mean that you become passive or gullible.  I personally believe that the still quiet voice will guide us on the right path if we listen intently, but I do believe we must be willing to heed the guidance not letting our own feelings, ambition, and ego get into the way.

I know that I will never accomplish change without the Holy Spirit.  I pray everyday that the Holy Spirit will guide me in pulling down the walls that have taken me many years to build and help me to learn and enjoy a childlike trust in Jesus and embrace the gift of Grace.

Treasure to the Believer’s Soul

Deciding to get baptized as an adult is a big decision, and as I stood waiting to be led up the steps to the baptismal pool, so many thoughts ran through my mind.  Did I really want to do this? I knew I wanted to get closer to God and build a better relationship with him. Since I was in my forties, just getting baptized, I wondered if it would make a big difference in my life, would I feel differently? I knew that there was more to God’s Word than I was aware of and although I had been reading the Bible and going to church off and on for many years, I did not have an understanding of exactly who I was and my inheritance as a child of God.  I wanted to feel more and understand what I was missing of God’s promise to his people.  In other words, I was still looking for my God-given purpose.

Stress and Worry

I knew that I suffered from too much stress. I was always nervous and tense. Worry was my constant companion. As a single mother of two kids trying to support and raise my kids properly, at least better than I felt that I was raised, hard work and a strong work ethic sums up what I felt I inherited from my parents. I had controlling issues.  As the oldest of four kids and the only girl, I was used to being in control and acted with authority in most situations.  Tired and stressed most of the time was a normal part of my life, but I knew that there was more to life than this.  I understood enough about the Bible to realize that I needed to remedy my situation before I worried myself into an illness.  I watched several members of my family, suffer through illnesses that could not only be linked to food, but also to stress and worry. I decided at an early age, that I was not going out like that. Deep within I knew that the answer to many of my problems was centered around lack of faith in God and a total ignorance of His Promise.  I think that is what started me going to church to try to find the treasure I knew God had made available to me since I was not having much luck finding it myself.  So I felt it was time to get serious about building my relationship with God and my first step would be to get baptized.

Sharing Abraham’s Promise

As I mentioned before I read the Bible, but did not have an in-depth understanding of how to relate God’s words to what I was encountering in my daily life.  I was having difficulty just understanding where I as a Gentile (anyone who is not a Jew) even fit into God’s plan.  I Corinthians 8:6 says, “There is one God, the Father, by whom all things were created, and for whom we live. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created, and through whom we live.” (NLT)  cleared my understanding of my entitlement in God’s promise. I was overjoyed to be a joint inheritor of the kingdom Jesus Christ died to make available for us.  And then I read Romans 4:16 which confirms my inheriting the treasure chest filled with the bounty of God’s grace and mercy. Because I share the faith of Abraham, I can become a daughter of Abraham and, therefore, share in God’s promise to him.

So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. (NLT)

When my turn arrived, I pictured the treasure chest waiting for me filled with the treasures that Jesus mentioned during His time on earth–Grace, Salvation, Love–precious gifts that are treasures that cannot be brought with gold or silver.  Although this was many years ago, I remember the event like it was yesterday.  I really expected things to change in a big way in my life.  But they did not.  And interestingly enough I did not feel much different than I did before I went into the pool.  No strange light, no revelation, no feeling of newness.  As a new creature in Christ, I did not feel any different.  I turned this over and over in my brain as I changed and got dressed.

My Change

As I look back my changes came gradually over a long period of time.  My changes have so gradual that I did not realize they were happening. Over the years that I have changed in many areas of my life, and I am more conscience of the urging of the Holy Spirit telling me what to do and what not to do.  The wonderful thing about the Holy Spirit is that He is always working with me and shaping me.  I still have a long way to go, but progress has been made, and I will continue to work on it with the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Don’t let your treasure chest lay unopened.

What are you thinking about? Lies of Satan or the Truth of God’s Word?

1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

When rising from what I though was a relaxing night, the first thing I think of is a problem that I must address today and a cloud instantly comes over my head.  As I proceed to get dressed for the day, the cloud continued to linger over me.  As I was preparing to leave the house to run my morning errands, I realized that I had left myself open to Satan’s lies and was paying for it with the cloud of depression and bad attitude about my day although it really had not started yet.  As a result of the mood I had fallen into, I was more of an introvert that I usually am and there was no smiling at any one.
Starting the Day Right

Part of my morning ritual involves watching my morning inspirational program as I am getting dressed and this morning, I listened to the news and music from the radio. The cable was out again.  I never realized before how my routine usually insulates me from the usual bad news and noise that bombards us each day.  Please do not get me wrong, I enjoy music all kinds for most of the day.  But, I must say that some of what is being played today is garbage and that is the best way to describe it.

After taking my grandson to school, I sat down to read the Scriptures, pray, and peacefully drink my first cup of coffee.  It is truly the best time of the day for me.  As I read Hebrews, my spirits gradually began to rise as I received the Word of God into my spirit.  It wrapped around me like a warm blanket protecting me from continued attacks at least for that morning.  My depressed mood dissipated, and I proceeded to continue my day in a much better mood.

Be Ready

This transformation from a bad to a positive attitude about my day was directly related to how I allowed myself to let Satan bring lies to my attention before my feet hit the floor in the morning.  We are most vulnerable and open to attack when we are still drowsy with sleep.

You Can

I know it is impossible stop Satan’s attacks especially if you are trying to stay on the right path, but I do know that you can start your day with God Word, prayer, inspirational music, and positive thoughts so that the devil will not have an opportunity to defeat you before the day starts.  I am careful to start my day on a positive note regardless of what the devil puts in my head.  I have control of my thoughts, and I refuse to let Satan win.

Do not be a victim, Be a Warrior!

Standing in the Gap

When you have done all you can do?

What do you do now?

(This is one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it. It is available on YouTube).

As Believers in Jesus and acknowledging Him as our Lord and Savior, we are in a unique position. There are specific instructions for how to handle all situations that we face. Do all you can do, pray for guidance, and then follow the small, quiet voice of the Holy Spirit. Until you receive directions, you just stand and wait on the Lord to direct your steps. Give it to God. That which seems insurmountable to us is inconsequential to God. God will respond to your prayer for help if is in line with His plan for you. Complaining and fuming will not help the situation, and there is always a chance that it could make it worst.

Matthews 6:34 “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (KJV)

One of the worst things you can do is worry over a problem. It is so detrimental to your health, both mentally and physically. I know from personal experience the utter uselessness of worrying. In my younger years, as a single parent, I worried a lot. Raising two kids and working sometimes six days a week to be sure that everything was paid and there was food on the table really had me worrying a lot. Although I prayed I did not understand how I was defeating my own purpose by praying and worrying. This habit of trying to do everything myself was destroying my peace, preventing my growing in my faith walk with God, and exhibiting a disregard for the Holy Spirit. The physical results amounted to migraine headaches that left me in a dark room unable to function with what seemed like little men playing the drums in my head and eventually sending me to the doctor.

This was before I understood that worrying is a spirit of Satan. I was totally unaware of the destructive power that I had given Satan by allowing myself to fall into the worry habit. When I finally read Mark 11:22-24,

“22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (KJV)

The light bulb finally came on for me. I immediately wrote it down and began reciting it daily. Every time I felt the onslaught of the spirit of worry. This Scripture would get me back on track. Then I found Ephesians 6:12-13 (KJV)

“12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Of course, there are times when the spirit of worry tries to creep in on me, but I become aware of the attack sooner, strengthen my spiritual armor, and put up my scriptural defenses before it can get a hold on my spirit.

Do not let worry keep you from enjoying your life and beating you down. Do what you can do, You Stand, and Let God take over the rest. He is more than capable.

One final Scripture for the worriers out there Philippians 4:6:

 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. (Amplified Classic Edition)

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