Good evening, beautiful people! Today, for a very short while, we will be discussing on the topic set forth, Child-like or Childish.
First, I pray that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened, that God would grant us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, in Jesus name.
This topic is so simple and fundamental that in some people’s opinions, we might not need to discuss it because ‘we know these things nau’. Shey? I get.
But really, in relation to the life of a believer in Christ, what does it mean to be: a]childlike b]childish?
Mark 10:13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
Have you ever told a child a fantastic story [one that you knew was obviously untrue], and watched the child’s eyes light up in wonderment as she took in everything, hook, line and sinker? Or watched a baby squeal in delight as his father tossed him into the air? Well…that’s what it means to be child-like! To have absolute faith and trust in God. Knowing that his mind is full of you. Believing that ‘If God says it, it must be right’. Because it is.
Hanging on to his every word like your life depends on it. Because it does. Matt 4:4.
Childishness is simply behaving like a child when you should behave better based on what you know. The life of faith operates by knowledge. God told Job ‘Gird up your loins like a man…’. In other words ‘Ye se bi omode’ (Stop acting like a child)!
The New Testament is replete with instructions and admonitions to grow. In fact, when Jesus said ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’ he was talking not just about living, but about growing! Bread makes your body grow, right? So does the word of God to your spirit!
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Scripture has already clearly established the fact that ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.’ In Rom 8:14.
And also that ‘…the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;’. I’d like to interpret this verse in this light; ‘the heir, as long as he is childish, differeth not from a slave, though he be lord of all’
I believe the law was made for two categories of people; ‘slaves and babes’. Slaves, as in lawbreakers, like Paul said in 1 Tim 1:9. Babes, not as in fine chics o…babes as in childish believers, carnal believers who refuse to validate their sonship status by rejecting the leading of the Holy Spirit. Because, as a child of God, you are ALWAYS led by the Spirit of God.
Childish ones refuse to follow, child-like ones follow in faith, no matter how ‘foolish’ it looks.
Childish believers want everything NOW. Childlike believers know that they already have everything, so they are not slack, but through faith and patience, they inherit the promise [1 Peter 1:3, Heb 6:12]
Childish believers want God to ‘bless them’. Not so with Childlike believers. They know that they’ve been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places [Eph 1;3]. Childlike believers know that they have been given ALL things to richly enjoy [1 Tim 6:17]
Childish believers want to work. Child-like believers rest assured, knowing that God is at work. [Phil 2:12-13, Heb 4:8-11]
Childish believers have zeal without knowledge. Childlike believers demonstrate their knowledge through zeal.
Childish believers refuse to grow. Child-like believers grow in understanding and knowledge of God but remain child-like in faith and grace.
Childish believers remain conformed to the world. Childlike believers have their lives transformed by the continual renewing of their minds with God’s word.[Rom 12:2]
Childish believers try to please God by performance. This is foolishness. [Ga 3:1-6]. Childlike believers know that believing in Christ is what make them righteous [Gal 3:6], and understand in and by faith that God is pleased with them not because of what they do but because of who they are [sons of God] [Matt 3:17]. This knowledge frees them to do the will of the Father.
Childish believers do things they see others around them do, often without knowing why. Childlike believers do what they see the Father do, because he taught them how to. John 8:28,38.Childish believers are not sure of what they know or why they know what they know or if they truly believe what they know. Childlike believers know what they know, who they believe, and hold on to those things they know firmly. They are not tossed about by every wind of doctrine. (Eph 4:14)
Childishness is a state that negates the fact of a believer’s maturity. A grown man acting like a child (in understanding). Childlikeness is a state that validates the fact of a believer’s ongoing growth. So even a ‘mature’ believer, who has learnt to have child-like faith in God, might act childish at times.
Herein lies the distinction;
Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. [1 Cor 14;20]
Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
In other words, if you are a mature son of God, act like it. And don’t beat yourself up when you don’t. Just continue to renew your mind with God’s word and be led by the Spirit of God. That’s what makes you a mature son, childlike in faith towards God, but not childish in understanding of the things of God.
It all boils down to knowledge. The ever-increasing, inexhaustible knowledge of the deep things of God.