Yesterday, we spoke of the spiritual life that our Messiah calls us to. Today Jesus teaches us how to seek and find Him and then to achieve a peace and rest in Him. I think this is what many in the world are looking for…a life with less stress, more peace and rest!
The key to faith and growth in Jesus is childlike faith. A big problem in the Church is our constant wrestling over and obsession with complex theology. This blog is no exception. We posted an interview with brothers of the Chinese Church a week ago, and what we see of them who are experiencing an incredibly rich walk with the Lord is the simple faith and trust of a child to his parents. The complex theology does not bring us close to Him, the absolute devotion and commitment of our lives does.
Let’s look at the difference between a child with loving parents and a “wise & learned” adult. The adult must bear all the burdens of this life. Everything is up to him or her. The weight of the world is on his/her shoulders. There is often a need to perform, to prove one’s self worthy. There is an unknown future and thus more need to drive hard to have enough or be prepared. The child on the other hand, knows that his/her loving parents will provide everything that he needs. There is provision and protection. He has absolute trust that everything will be taken care of and that he can spend his time playing and enjoying life. Life is easy, in a sense, “care-free”.
The result of this is a life of love, trust, joy, peace and good character. The burdened adult winds up filled with instances of hate, fear, sadness, bitterness, or unrest and the constant temptation to wickedness in order to compensate for his shortcomings.
This child like life is both the promise to us and the way to approach it. We have access to our Father in heaven through Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, who fully represents and knows the Father. As we hand over our burdens to Him, He takes them upon Himself and we are free to follow all the ways in which He is able to care for us. The more we see that He takes care of our every need, the more we grow in our childlike faith and expect Him to take care of all future needs. Thus we grow more and more into this Father/son relationship that Jesus patterned for us. We experience more and more breakthrough into the Kingdom life He calls us to. Again, this all happens through childlike faith and living relationship, not complex theology and rigid routines.
Do not confuse this life as one without suffering. A parent must spank his/her child in order to correct a behavioral or character problem. Our Father in Heaven will also let us endure what we need to endure in order to be made into the person that He needs us to be. When the child is spanked, he/she is not happy. Yet, time passes and his or her faith and trust in his parents has not wavered and goes forward unchanged. So it is the same with us, we will experience suffering. Jesus promised us this when we follow Him. Yet, we are able to have the complete faith of knowing He is right there with us and will take care of everything for us. (Heb. 12:1-13)
Without God, man is the most miserable of all creatures. Worry, anxiety, stress. Insects, animals, birds and fish all live their lives and then they die. They are without care or worry as they have an innate sense of their place in the world. A man without God is a creature of burden and unrest. Rest in the soul is a precious “commodity”. Only when we turn to Jesus Christ, will we find it. His is a kingdom of peace, even as He is the prince of peace, author of peace. Only in Him is our sin done away with and we have peace with God. (Eph. 2:14-18) Then He can prosper us in this life and in the lives of others through us…He can make us to be Peace-Makers. (Matt. 5:9)
The decision to fully give ourselves to Him is a most difficult one because we have become so used to being in control (even though those results have not fared well). But when we truly give ourselves to Him, life becomes simpler and more full of joy because our Daddy in Heaven knows how to take care of us. And we can rely on Him.
What do you see in these scirptures that we’ve missed? We’d love your help in this study. Who comes to mind that ought to share in this blog?
Photo credit: marsup