Looking To The Father

Words of LIFE - Weekly Devotional
Looking To The Father
by Michael D. Warden

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
(Mark 10:14)


The art of innocence is lost to most in our generation. And it’s easy to see why. Our fathers abandoned us; our childhood years were all too frequently stolen away by very adult problems. As children, we became wizened. We made ourselves forget that we were young, because we thought that was the only way to survive. In childhood is innocence and vulnerability, and we could not, and cannot, afford to be vulnerable anymore.

Why does the kingdom of God belong to the childlike? Because children know how to trust with abandon and joy, even when they don’t understand.

Think of a child’s typical day. She rises with the sun, and thinks of all the things she can do to enjoy the day. She does not worry about what she will eat, or whether she will have clothes to wear. She has a home, and does not even wonder if it might be taken away. Everything that belongs to her parents, she assumes are hers as well. She trusts her parents implicitly, and without hesitation. Even when she does not want to obey them, she knows she is utterly dependent on them for her survival and success. She can imagine life in no other way. She actually takes comfort in her dependence.

“Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4)

Any Christ follower who is able to come to Jesus in this way will experience an abundance of love, joy, and peace every day of his or her life. But most of us can no longer come to Jesus in this way. We have been hurt by life. We have not been protected, nor provided for. To survive, we grew up and stopped trusting. We come to Jesus as adults who are fully committed to providing for ourselves and protecting ourselves.

To know the abundant life Jesus offers, you must let go of your control. You must stop protecting yourself (Christ is your defense). You must stop taking responsibility to provide for yourself (God is your provider). The path back to innocence and trust is tricky. But it begins when you take the frightening step to let down your guard, and allow God to provide for you what you need.

God the Father has made provision for you every day…provision in grace, in direction, and in all you need for life. Knowing this, it seems odd that we so often demand that God continually lay His provision out in plain sight before we will really trust in it. “Oh, I
know God will provide for my need; I’d just feel so much better if I could just see some sign of His provision.”

It’s one thing to know the truth, but it is quite another to believe in it. Once we rest in the truth that God Provides for us, we no longer need to see proof to believe it is true. It simply is. Unshakeable. Fact. There is a great deal of rest in that sort of faith.

It’s not comfortable for us to simply believe like children; we’d rather believe a little, then finish up the task with our own efforts. The flesh (a.k.a. “our old nature”) will always resist the life of faith, because believing requires us to give up control, or taking credit for our own victory.

The work of God is literally “God’s work.” It’s not your work, but God’s work in and through you. By definition, it is a supernatural work, and cannot benefit in the slightest from your efforts in the natural to make it happen. All that is required of you is your absolute, continual surrender, and a faith that compels you to keep your heart intensely focused on Jesus.

To believe in Jesus means to abide in Him, and to allow His life to manifest through you. That is the work of God. It is not about you or your ideas or your plans or your efforts. It’s about Jesus. To accomplish God’s work, you must follow Jesus—and Jesus alone.

It is the Father’s heart to structure life in such a way that we may become truly wise only by choosing to live as children do. This childlike way of life is not too difficult for any of us. God has created it for us, and us for it, but we do have need of endurance. We will gain the daily strength we need in one way only—by looking to God as a child looks to a father.

This Week
Focus on the Father as your complete source. He is your True Shepherd. Listen to His Word and watch His movements. Stay close to Him, as little children do. Look at your hand held tight in Christ’s, and rest in the Father’s heart of love for you.

“Father, thank you for meeting my every need. Help me to walk with you as a little child -- unashamed and with restored innocence and complete trust.”

Adapted from Alone with God devotional book by Michael D. Warden. Used with permission. You can learn more about Michael's books and other works at http://www.michaelwarden.com/.


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