The Bible never uses the words “childlike faith,” but faith is central to the Christian life. In fact, faith is essential to life as a Christian. Faith is both necessary and a gift. We know that “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6), and we are “saved by grace, through faith” ~ and that faith doesn’t come from ourselves, it is given to us by God (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Faith is not something that we produce within ourselves. Like an essential piece of armor, we are fitted with faith so that we are protected from Satan’s warfare against us ~ “able to quench all the fiery darts” (Ephesians 6:16).
Faith is a very humble quality, which is perhaps why it is associated with childlikeness. Jesus’ disciples were concerned with which of them was the greatest, the closest to Him, or the most important. But Jesus responded to their debate by taking a small child to His side and saying that the least among them was the greatest (Luke 9:46-48). He told them that they were to “become like children” (Matthew 18:3) in order to enter the kingdom of God.
Jesus was pointing out the truth that a child is completely dependent on adults for safety, sustenance, and knowledge. Similarly, the faithful person depends on God in a way that is absolutely dependent. The faith God looks for is humble, teachable, and trusting ~ like a child. In this way, the Christian is to have childlike faith. Jesus emphasized this kind of faith when He said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” (Mark 10:14-15).
Childlike faith is saving faith, because it looks outside itself for salvation. Salvation is a free gift; man does not pay for it, nor can he earn it in any manner, or contribute to his salvation ~ it is entirely of God (Ephesians 2:8-9); (Romans 5:1); (Romans 8:1).
Just as a child has to use his father’s money to pay for a Christmas gift he plans to give to his father, we depend on God’s provision for everything, even the good works we do in His name, as we were created for; “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10).
The world sometimes misunderstands the idea of childlike faith, thinking that Christians are childlike because they believe in myths and fairytales. This was told to me just yesterday. But there is absolutely nothing mythical about God or the bible. It is all true and the inspired Word of God. And this is not the Bible’s meaning when it compares us to children. Instead, childlike faith is a metaphor for trust, dependence and love, and an encouragement to ask for what we need from our Father, as told to us in (Matthew 7:11) ~ “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?”
Therefore, let us consider the children and their innocence and curiosity to know about everything, and strive to have the same hunger for knowledge and adventure about everything the Lord has prepared for us ….
Let us pray ~
Heavenly Father, help us to develop a trust and faith in You that reflects the simplicity of childlike faith that so rejoices Your heart, and which is so evident in the lives of little children; and yet which seems to evaporate into a vapour as soon as we reach the age of maturity. May we develop a wonder and an amazement at the glorious redemption story, and a deep humility as we approach Your throne of grace to ask for help in time of need.
Forgive us for losing so much of the wonder of the beautiful cross and the sacrifice given there, and for becoming complacent about the death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Renew in us a deep reverence for Your holy name, as befits You; our great and glorious Creator, Who loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins, so that whosever believes on Him would not perish but have everlasting life.
Help us in the days that lie ahead to examine our heart, and to see if we too have become lukewarm towards the things of God. We ask that You would renew in us a childlike spirit of awe and wonder within us, so that once again we may marvel at the wonder of Who You truly are ~ and draw us ever closer into deeper intimacy with Yourself. This we ask in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.
God is with us …..