Proverbs 7:24 Now therefore, listen to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth.
Childlike faith is not complicated, and this is why it works. You do not have to explain to a child the ten steps to receiving and six ways of affirming, plus three levels of asking God’s favour to answer prayers. Children just ask, believe, then get on with playing. Now we who are supposed to be wise and full of the Holy Spirit tend to mess this simple process up with multiple steps and hoops to jump through to get God’s attention, let alone answered prayer. Maybe this is why Christ wanted us to observe the simple faith of a child. Matt. 19:14 But Jesus said, “Permit the little children, and do not forbid them to come to Me, for of such is the kingdom of the heavens.”
Matt. 18:3 “Truly I tell you,” He said, “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Childlike faith is not to be mixed up with childish faith which is a presumptuous and foolish fatalism. 1Cor. 13:11b I put aside childish things. We are not to be childish and immature in our faith but rather we are to respond by believing what God says about our lives and situations in the same way a child believes when a parent lovingly explains certain facts about life that are going on around them.
The heart of God is moved by childlike faith because children have a simple confidence in the love that God has for them. 1John 5:14 This is the confidence we have before Him: If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked of Him. God’s will toward us is that we would be willing to believe the love God has for us and that we have a repentant heart toward Him. 2Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Childlike faith understands friendship with God because the child’s heart is open to believing anything is possible.
At the wedding of Cana, the servants obeyed Mary with childlike faith by doing what Jesus told them to do. John 2:5 Do whatever He tells you,” his mother told the servants. The servants may have been asked what they were doing filling six thirty-gallon clay pots with water. Their response would have been a simple, “Jesus said to do it.” Blind Bartimaeus said without doubt when asked by Jesus what he wanted. “I want to see,” was his response, and his eyes were opened. There does not seem to be much indecision when childlike faith is being used. Heb. 11:6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.
In the Gospel of Mark, we read the story of the four men who carried a paralyzed man to Jesus on a stretcher. When they could not reach the Lord because the crowd was too large and was blocking the entrance, they went to the top of the dwelling place where Jesus was ministering. They broke through the roof and lowered the man toward Jesus. The word records the Lord’s reaction to their faith. Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” When Jesus saw their faith, – is a powerful statement. What did Jesus see that so moved the Lord to have it recorded this way? The four men may have said, “If we can get him in front of Jesus, then he will be healed. A child would reason in the same fashion. Just like the woman who was afflicted with the issue of blood said, “If I can touch the edge of his garment, I will be healed!” These are statements that need no signs or course studies in faith.
We can all remember at some time, the Lord answering a prayer we simply asked to be met. We left the request at the altar of God’s divine goodness. Like a child, we smiled and said, “Praise the Lord,” when the answer came through on our behalf. In most cases, the answered prayer was beyond what we had asked or even thought possible. The joie de vivre we experienced was so exuberant that we knew the Lord had blessed us with His favour and love. Faith in God is just that, it is faith in the love God demonstrates toward us through our relationship with Him.
Sometimes, our forced assumptions as to what we think faith is can cause all kinds of problems within our walk with the Lord, plus create division between our brothers and sisters in Christ. We can become childish in our reactions to what God is doing because we assume a misguided understanding of faith. God’s word is the foundation of faith and from His word we approach God as His children. Prov. 7:24 Now therefore, listen to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth. Childlike faith says, “Yes God, Your will be done according to Your word.” May God’s face shine on us and give us the desires of our hearts, so that we may be the blessing of the Lord He intended us to be. Have faith in God. Amen!