Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Being as Little Children

Written by Rev. G.R. Procee
In spiritual life GodÕs people are as little children. Peter writes in 1 Peter 2:2, ÒAs newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word.Ó GodÕs people desire to be nourished by the Word of God.

GodÕs child sets a high value on the Word of God. For there you find all that is necessary to make you wise unto salvation. In GodÕs Word you find direction for every doubt, a solution for every difficulty, and a promise suited to every circumstance. In GodÕs Word you are informed of your disease due to sin and you are instructed concerning the remedy provided by grace. There you are instructed how to know yourself and how to know God. There the glories of the Redeemer are portrayed and you are shown your inability and unworthiness. There you read about the power of faith, the happiness of the redeemed and the beauty of holiness.

GodÕs Word is daily food for those who have become as little children before God. Such have learned to lay aside their own prejudices and views. They desire to be fed by the sincere milk of GodÕs Word.

Besides the reading of GodÕs Word, these spiritually minded ones also need to express their thoughts to God in prayer. As a child will cry for its mother, GodÕs people will cry for the Lord. They delight in His presence and long for His dealings. Their hearts are united to the Lord. They need the Lord to apply His Word to their hearts. Therefore they lay this continual need before the Lord.

We can read the whole Bible until we know it by heart and still be ignorant of its meaning. We need to be enlightened by GodÕs Holy Spirit. This is the focus of the prayer of GodÕs children. The dispensing of truth is in the hands of the Holy Spirit. Without His enlightening work all the fancied advantages of superior learning and knowledge of books will prove as useless as glasses to the blind. GodÕs children have become as little children and they will pray for GodÕs Holy Spirit to descend upon them. ÒSend forth Thy Light and Thy Truth, o Lord.Ó

The apostle Peter calls GodÕs people Ònewborn babes.Ó In Matthew 18:3 the Lord Jesus emphasizes, ÒVerily, I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.Ó Scripture refers to GodÕs people as children. They are called Òbabes.Ó That is exactly how they view themselves too. They are babies in their own esteem. In His gracious dealings with the sinner, the Holy Spirit strips such persons of their self righteousness. The Holy Spirit empties them and removes all ground of boasting and leads them to depend on God.

Have we become as little children? Have we become as babies before God? Have we been stripped of our self righteousness? Have we learned to lean and depend on the Lord alone? Unless we become as little children we shall in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven. To answer these questions it is instructive to trace the resemblance between little children and the people of God.

A child or baby has little knowledge. All those who have been spiritually enlightened by GodÕs Spirit will acknowledge that they still understand so little. The little they know convinces them of their ignorance. They are convinced that their own judgments are feeble and confused. They have become aware that they can easily be led astray by the devil. A little child has very weak and feeble capacities. It can do nothing on its own to secure its health, strength and well-being. It is dependent upon its parents for health and strength.

That is a remarkable illustration of a child of God. He knows that he cannot stand against the deceits of the adversary. He cannot deliver himself. He cannot be faithful in GodÕs service in His own strength. He is weak and utterly dependent upon God for strength and help in the midst of spiritual battles. He realizes that he is poor and needy.

A little child is also teachable. As they are conscious of their own ignorance they are eager to receive good and proper instruction. Among men, none are truly teachable but those who know they need to be taught. Such people have become swift to hear and slow to speak. They are fearful of being mistaken and of giving in to prejudices, and therefore they gladly improve every means of information (Newton).

A child will not follow a stranger, but needs its mother. By intuition a child knows that it is safe with mother. A child is simple and dependent upon its parents. He does not reason, but implicitly receives what he is told by its parents.

This is also the case with a child of God. He has learned not to trust anyone, no matter how greatly he esteems that person, unless what is said agrees with the Word of His heavenly Father. A child of God will not accept everything at face value, but will listen and evaluate what he hears. He will compare this with Scripture and will eagerly accept all that conforms to the Word of God. GodÕs Spirit has taught him not to put his trust in man, but to rely on every word spoken by the Lord. He feeds and rests on GodÕs Word alone and will not believe everything people tell him. It is the desire of the renewed heart to hear and to follow the voice of the Good Shepherd. Such a person will not follow a stranger, but with the teaching of GodÕs Word and Spirit he has no hesitation at all. He will not ask with Nicodemus: ÒHow can these things be?Ó It is enough for him that God has said it.

How blessed to be in this frame of mind! It greatly simplifies life if we learn to lay aside our own views and opinions and rest on GodÕs Word alone without any hesitation. This frame of mind is essential to a truly Christian character. For these matters characterize a little child and are reflected spiritually in the life of GodÕs children.

We ought to ask ourselves: do I have this simple, child-like disposition? If that is your case, you depend on GodÕs Spirit to teach you all things. GodÕs Word has become your rule of life. You desire GodÕs Spirit to lead you, for otherwise you would certainly go astray. Be thankful for this frame of mind and cultivate it, for you will also know of a time when you did not have this attitude. There was a time when you were wise in your own eyes. You were self-conceited. But God changed this attitude and broke your pride and made you humble. Now you are afraid of your own heart because foolish pride can rise up so easily again and then you will stray from your Lord. Therefore, you daily flee to the throne of grace. You cannot live without the Lord. You long to hear His voice. You are drawn to the Lord by the gracious cords of His lovingkindness. His love for you is very strong.

But it can also be different in our lives. That is when we have not yet become as little children. In that case you lean on your own understanding. You can even be conceited and have high thoughts about yourself. But the fact is that as long as you lean on your own understanding, you will be in darkness and uncertainty. If your searching of the Scriptures is not combined with a humble pleading for GodÕs Spirit to guide you, your understanding will be obscured and you will fall into error. There will be no sense of peace with God nor any real satisfaction in studying GodÕs Word. Then seeking the Lord in personal, fervent prayer is not the practice of your life. You easily believe and follow a stranger, but not the Lord. You are still an easy prey for the devil. Humble yourself before the Lord and seek His salvation. The Lord Jesus shed His blood to deliver miserable sinners and to give them His salvation.

Blessed we are if we may be as little children searching the Scriptures. If you are little in your own eyes and you view yourself as helpless and foolish, rejoice that the dispensing of grace rests in GodÕs hands and not in human hands. People easily pass over and reject little ones as not being important. We would have rejected the thief on the cross and would have left him to die in misery. We would have been very impressed by the rich young ruler, who had so much good to say about himself. But the LordÕs ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:7-9). He gives grace to the humble and the meek. He looks upon those who have become lowly in heart. Blessed when you humble yourself and become as little children before the Lord. For Òexcept ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.Ó

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