Being Childlike

By John Paul Jackson

For those of us who deal with rejection, overly high standards of performance, or low self-esteem — in other words, all of us — one of the greatest risks we could take is to become childlike. It is a daring, dangerous thing to do. It’s much like opening your hand and letting everything you hold dear slide through your fingers: It’s an act of faith . . . and trust in God.

Children aren’t in control of their lives, and making that adjustment can be a very hard thing for adults who have had decades to build up a reservoir of opinion, theology, and self-purpose. We like to be in control. We like to know what’s going to happen next, even if we can’t have the specifics.

Most of us are familiar with the idea of “connecting with your inner child,” which basically means letting the “real you” out of the grown-up box you’ve put yourself in. There are definite benefits to finding out who you are and what you think about things, but truth be told, the real “real you” is discovered only in God’s shadow, not buried somewhere deep in your soul. Becoming childlike means becoming Christlike; in part, we take on God’s penchant for the simple and the delightful, and we leave worry behind.

Being childlike isn’t something we can make up or force. So once again, we must be completely dependent on God . . . for everything. When you are completely dependent on Him in a simple, childlike way, your thinking about everything else will be rearranged. It births inside you a gratitude for small things, for great things, and for things you’ve never even thought of before — the infinity of God that is beyond human comprehension. Suddenly, you see His hand in everything. Everything becomes something of infinite fascination and value because you know that the Lover of your soul put it there–so that you would see it. He really did.

Children live in a state of perpetual discovery. What is new is full of wonder. What sparkles and dances and teases them is completely captivating. It doesn’t take a lot to fascinate a child.

We adults need to experience new wonder in order to worship at the level God is calling us to. But in our “old age,” being comfortable usually wins out over being stunned, amazed, and deliciously shocked by what we see and experience.

To deeply worship, we must discover new territories and touch that which is always new and wondrous — the living God. To touch eternity, just for a moment, is full of wonder. You could never explore and discover all of God. Even with all of eternity at our fingertips, we will never touch anything beyond the outer realms of who He is. God is that big, that lovely, and that beyond our wildest dreams.

Copyright © 2006 John Paul Jackson, Streams Ministries International. All rights reserved.

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