Receiving the Kingdom like a child

aroni-738305_640Luke 18:17: Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Little children are flexible. They are not set in their ways, hence Jesus says to receive the kingdom we have to be like children, never losing our sense of wonder and curiosity and not thinking we have it all together.

Jesus rebuked a church in the book of Revelation that they have lost their flexibility. They have settled down, they had developed a false sense of satisfaction (Revelation 3:14-22).

They said that we were rich, but not so from when Jesus’ point of view. From there, they are paupers. They said they were well clothed, but Jesus said they are stark naked, from the spiritual reality which is the ultimate reality.

While they said they see well, Jesus said they are blind. This was a church which gave itself pass mark on all fronts, was proud of her accomplishment and prestige, but missed the mark by a wide margin. The kingdom is about what God says, not what you say.

In contemporary times, such a church probably has great building, or great history or both, it has become like a spiritual dam not flowing out, not reaching out, too sophisticated, self-contained, self-content, not one to get down and get its feet dirty in pursuit of the lost.

They have become comfortable, Jesus warned then to shape up, to repent and to be zealous, get some passion flowing in their blood.

The problem with this people is that they have lost passion for God or the things of God, giving excuses for themselves why their coldness is legitimate, settled to a rut as the average adult, settled into routine.

But a child is characterised by un-curtailed passion. That is why it is easy for the child to cry without thinking of who may be displeased or discomfited. A child is less affected by self-consciousness, and the overarching need to please others, and maintain decorum.

All these are the reason that to receive the kingdom we need to be a child. A child is less affected by the fear of men.

There is a new approach to things, there is the need to ask question, have a sense of renewed curiosity, have the desire to want to explore, experiment, to find out how things work, try things out and not rely on what others say.to want to know more, and not be embarrassed if we mess things up at times.

It is because of that sense of strong desire in a child that Peter said that we should relate to the word of God as a new-born babe relates to the mother’s milk. He said that we should strongly desire the word of God like a new-born baby desires milk (1Peter 2:2).

Desire is a strong aspect of experiencing the kingdom of God. It does not just jump on you. Jesus said that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness shall be filled. Paul said: this one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind I go for the prize of the high call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).

He also said that when it comes to spiritual gifts we should desire earnestly the best gifts (1Corinthians 12:31). The gifts of the Holy Spirit operate by desire and they are the marks of the kingdom of God. Before Jesus healed some people he asked, what do you want me to do for you? He wants to know where their desires lies, to determine how his power will work in their lives. Our desire is the pull on the presence of God as we fast.

Being a child involves being dependent, there is a strong sense of expectation from your caregivers, on whom you depend on for practically everything.

God wants us to have a similar sense of dependence on him, the devil was shut out of heaven because he thought he can go it alone, he thought that he could rival God, his heart was lifted up and he got knocked out from his height (Isaiah 14:12-19). To the level that you sense your need, you will not be able to receive the kingdom.

When you receive God’s kingdom, you are put on a pedestal, you are no longer beneath, but you are above. You are no longer lost but found, reconnected to God, with the king of the kingdom, with the attendant benefits.

The Pharisees had no sense of needing what Jesus had to offer. They criticised him, complained against him to no end and they eventually killed him having been involved in speaking evil of him.

Jesus called them blind (Matthew 15:14). He said he came so that those who are blind will see and when they said they are not blind, there nothing he could for them, as they expressed no sense of need for him, and so they remained in their spiritual blindness (John 9). They were a self-contained group with entrenched interests being their priority, not the truth.

Another thing that a child is marked with is the need to connect with others, it flows from the previous issue of dependence. That is why the writer of the book of Hebrews says we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is (Hebrews 10:24-25).

There is a natural flow of love from one child to the other and the bible says that we should express loving affection one to another. Part of receiving the kingdom is receiving benefits from what the other part of the body of Christ have to offer.

The bible says the whole body grows when every part supplies what it is meant to be supplied. If you are not willing to receive, it means you are full of yourself. Paul said we should think soberly about ourselves, as God has given everyone a measure of faith. You do not have everything, there is something someone else has that can benefit you and you should willing to receive it (Romans 12:3-10).

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