A man was driving down a treacherous mountain road. Suddenly a deer bolted out in front of him, causing him to instinctively jerk the steering wheel to his left. The next thing he knew he was headed off a steep cliff. At the last possible second he bailed out of his truck and barrel rolled off the cliff. As he headed over the edge, he managed to grab hold of a root that was half sticking out of the side of the mountain. So there he was, hanging for dear life by that root, watching his truck plunge to a fiery crash deep down below in the gorge.
As he hung there, he cried out for help, hoping against hope that someone would hear him and come to his rescue. Suddenly he heard a voice say, “I’m here. I’ll help you. This is God. What I want you to do is turn loose of that root. My hands are underneath you, and I’ll catch you. You just have to trust Me.” After thinking about that for a few seconds, the man finally replied, “Thanks Lord, but I was wondering, is anybody else up there?”
We do have trouble trusting God completely, don’t we? This is one of the reasons why Jesus says in Mark 10:15, “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will be no means enter it.” Obviously, in the light of scores of other passages, Jesus didn’t mean that if you don’t get saved when you are a child you will miss your chance. (For the record, the New Testament is filled with examples of adults getting saved.) But what He did mean is that in order for you to experience the salvation offered in Him, you must become childlike.
Now, please note that I didn’t say you must become childish. There’s a big difference between being childlike and being childish. So what does it mean to become childlike? Here’s the answer:
- A little child is trusting. Small children implicitly trust others to take care of them.
- A little child is dependent. Small children have no qualms depending on others for help.
- A little child is simplistic. Small children haven’t lived long enough to learn all the devious, conniving ways of the world.
- A little child is quick to accept a gift. Adults sometimes have problems accepting gifts because of pride, ego, or whatever, but small children never do. This is important because Ephesians 2:8 describes salvation as a gift. All you can do with a gift is receive it or reject it. The second you try to do something to earn it, it becomes pay.
You see, all these characteristics come into play when it comes to being childlike. That’s why Jesus taught that it was a requirement for salvation. For that matter, even after you place saving belief in Him and become a Christian, you still need to remain childlike in regards to trusting Him and depending upon Him in simplicity to meet your needs. The problem we adults have is that, like that fellow hanging from the side of that mountain, we oftentimes have real trouble with the concept of “letting go and letting God.” And so I’ll just close this short post by asking you, “How are you doing right now when it comes to being childlike in regards to your relationship to Christ?”