Life hit us all square in the face this last season. We could never have predicted where we are now. The pat answers didn’t work as they had before. The messages that could bring us back to center lost their familiar stability. Chaos happened, and we had no choice but to adjust and find new perspective.
We were left with the only thing we should have held onto from the beginning: our true identity in God as sons and daughters. While walking the earth, Jesus did only what He saw the Father do. We must adjust our vision to see what the Father is seeing and doing right now.
The idea of predicting what happens next makes me giggle, as my growing childlikeness seems to bring me to a state of knowing less. I find that I am perfectly happy with this state of being until I realize that being a pastor grows more and more difficult with a lack of concrete, mature answers. That is probably a good thing.
Though the division and contention within many church conversations perplexes me, I realize the growing pains may help us grow. Maybe the stretching isn’t a bad thing. Are we finally asking questions we haven’t believed we were allowed to ask? Could God be setting us up for the greatest moment of our lives?
Where are we headed? I see no other option but to become more and more like Paul, who said in 1 Corinthians 2:2 (NKJV), “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” In the “Aaron” version, He says, “Hey y’all, I’m freaking out too. Forget the eloquent and persuasive words. I am done trying to impress you. It is who Jesus was and what He did on the cross. Knowing Him is where you will experience true power and trust me, that will change everything!”
As I read Matthew 18:3 (NLT) in light of where we are, the questions, the pushback and the searching I see around me encourage me: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” This familiar passage requires us to look deeper than the surface. It requires us to create space for thought processes that may make the mature uncomfortable.
How do we do this in our world today? How do we do this when we have created so many religious boxes around our identity that we have little room for change? How do we let go of our need to control the narrative and manifest a new level of trust in the Father as His children?
As I took a small dive into multiple translations and the Interlinear break-down of this verse, I became excited and hopeful about the future. Jesus said, “Unless you turn, do an about face, even change your mind, and emerge to become like a child, you won’t enter in.” The Passion Translation says, “Unless you dramatically change your way of thinking and become teachable like a little child, you will never be able to enter in.”
The word “child” refers to a young child, a child in training or even an immature Christian. I think of coming back to our first love, the innocence of when we were first aware of His love for us with no strings attached. I remember praying, believing in faith and seeing miracles at a young age.
This Scripture says if we don’t reduce ourselves to childlikeness, we won’t enter the kingship, authority and royal power for which God designed us. This seems counterintuitive to spiritual maturity until we remember what it was like to create castles in our backyard as kids. Faith means seeing those things which are not as though they were. We didn’t hesitate to be kings, queens, princesses or princes back then. We killed dragons and conquered the enemy for our kingdoms. Could it be that easy today?
It is time to live aware of our sonship. We were made for this moment. We were designed for solutions that come from childlike hearts willing to think outside of the box and create with God. It is no accident that you are on the planet at this time. You must become like a child and believe beyond what you can see. Where we are headed is waiting for you to create it!