The disciples came to Jesus and asked Him, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus did not answer them by saying it is the one who reaches a high place in their church or the one who has memorized the bible. He did not say it was those who are out “winning souls for God” or doing other good things for Him. No, instead He invited a little child to stand among them. “Truly I tell you,” He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name welcomes Me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:1-6).
Regrettably, although many leaders and teachers may mention that we should be as children, this is not what is focused on in most so-called Christian churches around the world. Over that past 37 years, since becoming a born-again Christian, I have visited or been part of hundreds of local churches around the world. Most of these establishments have taught some form of what Jesus taught (usually quite watered-down), but most have their own teachings handed down through time, learned in religious seminary training, or simply based on the pastor/teachers personal interpretation. Unfortunately, in my discussions with these leaders I found that they were so set in their ways they could not see the simple truths Jesus taught us to follow. As you can imagine, I was asked to leave and not come back from many of these institutions. As a very young Christian I was misled by far too many manmade doctrines. Thus, as I became more and more confused as to what was true and what was false I turned to the Lord for answers.
How great is our Lord! Before leaving earth, Jesus personally asked the Father to send all born-again believers the Holy Spirit to teach, guide, comfort, and correct His true believers (John 14:15-18; John 14:26; & 1 John 2:20-29). The Spirit revealed to me just how far we can stray from the truth if we approach things as the world would. Naturally, throughout our lives we grow and learn based on our experiences and seek to intelligently apply this knowledge for the benefit of ourselves and those around us. This way we avoid the negatives and gravitate to the positives this life has to offer. For the most part this is how the mature human operates in this world. However, you can throw this way of thinking out the window when it comes to serving the kingdom of heaven as we are no longer “of this world,” but instead we are just in it. Therefore, unless we learn to lean on the Holy Spirit to guide us we will never learn to grow spiritually. In fact, Jesus clearly told us, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” This teaching alone answers the question of why so many who claim to know Christ remain spiritually dead. Moreover, it also answers the question as to why so many who claim to be scholarly when it comes to the bible lack the spiritual growth needed to effectively serve the kingdom.
Children are innocent and trusting souls. On the other hand, adults are hardened by life experiences and view the world based on these experiences. For example, you could have two people, the same age, living in the same town, and they may have very different perspectives based on their life experiences. One may have travelled the world extensively and the other may never have travelled out of town in their lifetime. These two people will no doubt view the world very differently. Now consider how differently children view the world based on their limited experiences as compared to adults. Children view the world with innocence and positivity and usually do not judge others around them until taught to do so by others. Next time you go to a large get-together where families are involved, watch what happens when they arrive. The children and adults will tend to go their separate ways. The adults will seek out someone they know and enjoy engaging with (and will try to seek to avoid those who they do not enjoy engaging with), and the children will seek out any and all other children to play with and very naturally tend to act like they have been best friends forever.
If you are a true believer in Christ, let go of your desire to “figure out” the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. These are the things that spark division and strife, because as adults we spend far too much time trying to look smart or trying to avoid trying to look stupid. Be like children! Who cares what others think about you as long as you are truly following Christ! Face it, in this lifetime you will never “figure out” all the things so-called Christians choose to argue about. The Lord wants us to maintain a true humility allowing Him to take full control of our lives. The kingdom of heaven is not about us seeking to be independent servants of the Father, but instead the kingdom of heaven is all about us realizing how helpless we are without our Heavenly Father. The Father sees us as His children, but when it comes down to it we need to stop and ask ourselves if we truly see it that way. “Then the little children were brought to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them and pray for them. And the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:13-14).
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