“Out of the mouths of children…”
All my life I have been told, and have told others, “not to act childish.” There are several different adjectives that may be used to describe someone acting childish. Obnoxious, babyish, annoying, immature, selfish; all of these are undesirable attributes. This however, is a collection of the worst characteristics that a child obtains and only highlights their sinful nature. By making a slight adjustment and changing this word to “childlike,” we are able to focus on the beautiful gift of children, and see them the way Jesus does.
Beauty, trust, joy, forgiveness… these are wonderful gifts from God that a child obtains. The most predominant one of them all is their faith. Oh, if it were only easy to trust in our heavenly Father all the time, with our whole heart, as a young child trust in their earthly Father! In Matthew 6 we are reminded that our heavenly Father knoweth all the needs that we have, but without this faith we are unable to find comfort in these verses.
“…What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: ) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things” (Matt. 6: 31, 32).
Did you as a small child worry about whether or not your parents would cloth and feed you? Why then do we worry and lack faith in our heavenly Father?
Childlike faith is NOT a childish faith. A child will love and serve their parents because of the love and care they receive from them. A child is humble, and at a young age does not live their life focused around their appearance and/or reputation. A child will openly and honestly ask questions. They do not challenge or ask confrontational questions, but they eagerly seek the truth. A child desires to be taught! They constantly strive to learn and (generally speaking) will faithfully accept and follow answers and instructions given to them. Over and over again in the New Testament, Jesus exhorts his disciples to humble themselves as children.
“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18: 3-4).
Imagine if we lived like that? Whole-heartedly trusting in our Lord for our every need. Imagine if we prayed like that? Without our “mature thoughts” sneaking in and clouding our fellowship with the Lord.
But where does this “childlike faith” go? Is it something that God graciously gives to children, and then takes it away? Quite obviously, the answer is no. On the contrary, it is something that we choose (whether knowingly, or unknowingly) to dispose of ourselves! It is a blessing to be able to mature in the knowledge and love of God. However, as we become more independent in an earthly way, it is important not to think of ourselves as less dependent on God.
Grow in your knowledge of God. Thank him for able minds and faithful pastors to lead us in the truth. Search the Scriptures to hear of His law and read of His promises. Sing praises from the bottom of your heart, and teach the children in your life about the vast and mighty powers of our God. And the next time you pray for God to give your child (or niece, nephew, sibling, cousin, friend, etc) faith, pray for yourself too. Pray for perfect praise, and a childlike faith.
“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? (Matt. 21: 16)