Characteristics of childlike faith
Matthew 18:3-4 King James Version (KJV)
3 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.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
What are the characteristics of childlike faith? We will examine the qualities of faith exhibited by children and consider which of these should be maintained as we grow older. The Bible states that without the faith of a child, we will not enter the kingdom of heaven. We will explore the examples set by children themselves to understand childlike faith.
When my sister was six years old, she often repeated, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” This serves as an important lesson that we should all remember throughout our lives.
I recall the first time my sister asked me a question I could not answer. She was visibly disappointed when I responded that I didn’t know. From her perspective, it was not that I lacked knowledge but that I was unwilling to share it. She repeatedly said, “You know everything!” This experience represents childlike faith; it recognizes no limitations or boundaries and sees no hindrances to possibility.
We have taught our kids what they teach us today, #ChildLikeFaith. However, do we not always act the way we teach them to?
As we age, we acquire new knowledge and experiences, which can often shape our beliefs on what is possible. Unfortunately, this can also apply to our faith in God. As we become more settled in our beliefs, we may begin to set limitations on what we believe God is capable of. This can limit the potential of our faith and prevent us from being stretched in our relationship with God.
The limitations we set on our faith in God often stem from past disappointments and unfulfilled expectations. Even if we were to live for a hundred years, we would not be able to comprehend the extent of God’s capabilities fully. This is because He is Omnipotent, meaning He is all-powerful and full of boundless potential and possibilities. Our understanding of God is limited and does not encompass the full extent of who He is and what He is capable of.
Having created all the planets in the galaxy, vast animal species and plants, he remains OMNIPOTENT!
Childlike faith is stubborn & Unshakable
You cannot convince a child that their parent is not the best. I know children who would throw toys out of the pram if you were to say that their father or mother is not as good as another parent. These are the things that little boys in playgrounds would fight over when I was growing up.
The sentiment stretches on to superheroes. Children will argue for hours on end over which superhero is better than another is all sorts of different scenarios. You will hear them say that Aquaman is better than Superman if they were to fight in the water. You cannot possibly convince them otherwise.
Our faith in Christ should be along with the same patterns. Nothing! Nothing should be able to convince of anything contrary to who he is. There will be winds, storms and torrents in life. Unless your faiths become like a child’s, you will be shaken and lose your way. Childlike faith will hold on to its truth no matter what stands contrary.
Childlike faith is Dependent
One of how life models faith is in the area of dependency. When we are babies, we depend on our parents, nannies, guardians and anyone else willing to help us. They are responsible for our survival. If not for them, we would starve. If not for them, we would fall to the weather elements and die of the disease.
Everything we do in that period is down to their contribution. As we grow a little older, perhaps when we start to move on our own we start to desire independence. We want to be able to do things on our own. The world expects this of us. It is great to be independent and able to support those that have supported us.
The only problem is that this also becomes the way that our faith in Christ is. God forbid that we would not mature as Christians. Maturity in Christ must present itself in increased dependency. The more you can see and do in Christ, the more you need his guidance.
Christian leadership hinges on this principle. Where you will find leaders falling off in ministry, they have begun to take the place of God. Once that desire for dependency is lost, we also slowly get lost.
John 15:4-6 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
Childlike faith is Open & Vulnerable
I have been trying to remember who said, “The best way to pray is to tell God everything as if he knows nothing!” Childlike faith requires openness and vulnerability, which most of us have lost due to our experiences in life. Children are vulnerable because they have yet to be betrayed and let down. As these experiences come along, as they do, we build barriers around ourselves. We guard what we say. We hide the most intimate bits of ourselves, lest someone would use them against us.
The scripture teaches us to guard our hearts.
Proverbs 4:23 New International Version (NIV)
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
This is not to say that we are to attempt to hide these things from our creator. The Lord sees these things anyway. King David asked, where he could go to hide from the Lord? There is not a place on this planet or elsewhere to hide from God. Yet prayer presents us an opportunity, to be honest and transparent with him.
The vulnerability allows us to create an opportunity for God to intervene on our behalf. It also gives us an ear that cares and can make changes in our favour. Just to have God as an audience is transformational.
Children are not afraid to open up and show their weaknesses and struggles. No, not until we teach them to do so. I challenge you to unlearn this, at least when it comes to the Lord.
Childlike faith Yields
To yield is to concede, to give in. Childlike faith yields to the almighty God. It acknowledges his power and says “have your way.” This is something that we are encouraged to do at all times. We have an open invitation to bring our cares before the Lord.
1 Peter 5:7 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Matthew 11:28-30 New King James Version (NKJV)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am [a]gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
We are all weary at one point or another. Instead of trying to hide it or fight it, childlike faith yields and taps into the vastness of God’s power. You will have cares throughout life, but do not have to carry these alone. This is a truth that children know and hold dear. When there is anything that they cannot handle, they do not hesitate to call on their parent or guardian to step in and assist them.
Childlike Faith Seeks no Logic
One of the greatest barriers to faith in this century is logic. Faith is illogical. This is in its definition.
Hebrews 11 New King James Version (NKJV)
By Faith We Understand
3 By faith we understand that the [c]worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
We do not require faith for what is seen. Outside of faith, there is no relationship with God. Granted beyond this barrier is an incredible experience that starts to bring what is unseen into what is seen.
Above all things God doesn’t owe you an explanation. He does what he does. It is by faith that and his word that we know he is working things to our advantage.
There are some things that you and I ought not to take into the new year. Some things need to be shaken off before you, and I enter a new season. You ought to prepare for the new year to do better. Today’s post will remind us of a lesson we often teach our children yet have forgotten.
Childlike Faith is Relentless
Life often teaches us not to depend on others. We are let down so we begin to turn inward. Childlike faith is undeterred by past or present. No matter how many times you tell a child no, they will ask again. One of the mosts irritating periods is when a child begins to speak and won’t stop! Yet, our heavenly father delights in his children coming to him in times of need.
The number of letdowns we experience also means we hold on to things. Things that we will carry into future relationships. Being let down by trusted loved ones also impedes on our ability to trust in the Lord. When fatherhood is not done right, children will often be unable to understand the role and love of a father.
Childlike faith is quick to forgive and to forget. It doesn’t hold a record of wrongs. What has been has been. We are not to let it erect barrier on what is to come.
I am writing to you who has given up on that dream, vision, business, and calling that God has given you. Just because doors have not opened, just because you have faced resistance does not mean you will not make it. Many give up and begin to think something is not meant for them because they have encountered resistance. They need only refer back to the bible.
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: “Let my people go, so that they may worship me.”
This is long after the Lord had granted them their promised land. There were not there yet, but the land was promised to Abraham. God is loyal to his word to the death was going to see this through, just as he is going to see your dream through!
The Israelites were refused exit by Pharaoh multiple times at Moses’s request, but that did not mean that God had changed his plan for them. That did not mean that the promised land was no longer there. That dream God has instilled in you, no matter what comes against you, no matter what stands in your ways, no matter the size of a multitude of your adversaries, God says you will make it, and he will personally see it through!!!
Moses did not stop approaching Pharaoh no matter how often he was rejected. Do not stop chasing your dreams no matter how many times you fail, no matter the struggle!! Just try, try and try again. It is time to reach deep inside for that childlike faith. It is time to win again! Be relentless!
Let’s do this together, write down some challenges that have stood or are standing in your way. I want you to do this prophetically, tear that list once you have written it. That’s what the Lord will do to your adversaries in this year. They will not stand. You will be victorious. In fact, you are victorious.
Father, we thank you for being relentless and never giving up on each of us. We thank you for your relentless love. May your grace continue to shepherd us, just as you are the good shepherd. We adore you. In this coming year, I will pursue my dreams like never before, and I will not give up, for I know you are with me and will always be. Thank you for that knowledge and victory. In Jesus’ name.
What is the opposite of childlike faith?
The opposite of childlike faith is often referred to as “worldly” or “adult faith.” This type of faith is characterized by doubt, cynicism, and a lack of trust in God. In contrast to childlike faith, which is characterized by trust, innocence, and humility.
In the Bible, there are examples of people who possessed worldly or adult faith. For example, in Matthew 13:58, Jesus said, “Though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him.” Despite seeing the miracles he performed, they rejected Jesus as the Messiah, which shows their lack of faith and trust.
Another example is in Mark 9:24, when a father whose child was possessed by a demon begged Jesus to heal his son. Jesus asked the father, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” The father responded, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” This shows that even though the father wanted to believe, he still had doubts, which hindered his faith.