Sunday, March 27, 2011

A child-like faith

Remember when we were little and we were given certain "rules" to follow by our parents? They were always cramping our style and making us come in before dark, stay on the sidewalk with our bikes, not talk to strangers, and go to bed by 8 o'clock. At the time, we said, "WHY!?!" And we didn't understand. It's obvious now that is was for our protection, to keep us safe, to preserve our very lives. They didn't put limits on us just to put limits on us; they did it because they knew better than we did what was needed to keep us safe and happy. They could see the bigger picture. We know now they put these limits on us because they loved us.

God is the same way with us. We are His children and we often ask that same question, "Why?" in regards to the "rules" God asks us to follow. Why does He ask me to wait to have sex until marriage? Why does it matter if I have an abortion? Who am I hurting if I steal, committ adultery, covet what my neighbor has or slander my co-worker behind his back?

When we see God as this ruler who cares only to "keep us in line" then it is impossible to have any desire to follow these "rules." In fact, we may go out of our way to break them (human nature). But when we come to trust Him, that He loves us and wants what is best for us, we recognize that He asks us to follow these rules/guidelines for our own good, to protect us, to keep us from harm. He's not waiting with a stick to hit us if we fail (actually it's quite the opposite), He's waiting to pick us up when we fail. If we come to a more accurate understanding of who God is and who we are to Him, only then will His ways make sense to us. He's not trying to limit our freedom. He just sees the whole picture and knows that certain things that may bring us temporary happiness will lead to emptiness and oftentimes despair. He sees the whole picture.

When we begin to see God for who He really is (not the distorted image we often think He is) we begin to trust. This makes all the difference. Then we are not following rules, we are following Him. And He wants to lead us to Heaven! He came that we "might have life and more abundantly." John 10:10 Not a life of temporary pleasures, but a life of deep joy and peace that transcends all understanding.

He knows what is best, even if we don't understand. Like the child who trusts her father to catch her when she comes down the slide. How much more can we trust our Heavenly Father?!? We must become like children, with child-like faith (this is not to be confused with being childish) and ask God to help us trust Him with our whole lives. Then we will not be following rules that are impossible to follow by our own strength, but we will be on a journey with and to the One who our hearts long for in the first place.

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