Archive for December, 2010

v4.20 The Big Picture – Part 3

The Big Picture – Part 3

The Man Who Fell to Earth

It would be impossible to measure the magnitude of damage and consequence of Adam’s choice to his son’s and daughters. Not one of us can experience the fullness of the walk that Adam had with God before the Fall for we now live in a fallen world. Sin entered the world through one man. (Rom 5:12)

All were in Adam when he sinned. There is not one of us that did not descend from Adam. If Adam had died before having a son, we too would have died in him. Adam was our representative. He is the Patriarchal Father of our household. (Yet, he was born a son of God Lk. 3:38, in Christ, who is his and therefore our Patriarchal Father, of the household into which we enter by faith).

Now Adam was an orphan, Fatherless. Not by birth, but by choice. The Father did not leave him, he chose to separate from his Father. Amazingly, this same choice is being made regularly all over the world, and the separation still comes at the point of whose will shall be done in the life of the individual — the child’s or the father’s.

You see we are each born, even conceived, in sin in Adam and did not have a choice in that. Yet, we each choose sin too. “… we have turned every one to his own way…” Isa. 53:6. When we do this, we separate from our father.

Let’s retrace some steps from childhood. Everything was going along just fine, things were always happening to me, for me and about me. I was fed, sheltered, kept warm even indulged with gifts, love and kindness. I never needed to be concerned about my provision or protection — it was provided for my by my father. In fact, it seemed like so often I was the center of the attention and the focus of everyone’s delight. From my perspective, I was the central being in the universe — or so it seemed — for a time.

Then something happened, something very tragic. In my childlike innocence I did something that met with disapproval. Something I did was brought into question. Well this was just too much for me. Someone suggested that I had done something wrong, that I needed correction (i.e. I cried at the wrong time, I threw something, I made a mess of things. etc.).

Then, a voice inside me suggested to me that they were suggesting that I was wrong. Can you imagine that? I couldn’t. Me, the center of the universe, ME …ME!!! How could I ever be wrong. Well it was more than I could take. I did not like this rejection thing one bit.

(NOTE: there is no real connection between correction and rejection. Only that, we get help from the little voice inside that turns the correction, the opportunity to lean and grow, into a sense of being personally rejected. And as the saying goes, “It’s all downhill from here.”)

Well, there are one of two paths the person who “feels” rejection takes. First, they might withdraw their own warm feelings and affections from the source of their “rejection”. It is the common tactic, “I’ll show them. I just won’t be nice to them or I’ll avoid them — I’ll reject them back! I’ll separate from them. I will treat them like my enemy.”

Second, there is the attack tactic. “I’ll show them. They can’t get away with hurting me that way, in fact nobody will ever do that to me again. I will make them pay for that! I will separate from them and make them the enemy.” And we stew in our anger toward the source of our pain and perceived rejection and make a foothold for the devil to enter.

It doesn’t matter which way we go. Somewhere, someday, by someone we are met with disapproval and even discipline and we don’t like that someone suggests that we are not the center of the universe and that they can bring to bear a consequence for our behavior or actions upon us. We were little gods and now this person comes and makes an authority figure of themselves. In our mind, they are trying to establish a right to rule over us.

We decide (again with a little help from our internal voices) that we hate this authority and authority in general. We decide that nobody has the right to treat me like that. Like what? Like they have authority over me. And we woefully continue in one of the two tracks we established. Fight of flight. We either attack, (sometimes passively, sometimes aggressively and outwardly, even physically), or retreat (sometimes by withholding affection, sometimes by leaving, and sometimes by pulling away from their attempts to be affectionate toward us).

We find a way to make them pay for trying to teach us and make us take responsibility for our behaviors and actions. We do not grow up and mature in a healthy way. We get older but we don’t become mature. We systematically refuse to grow up and take responsibility for ourselves. We play the blame game for years upon years. Some go all the way to their grave having never taken any significant responsibility for themselves and having never grown up.

As I have shared in past messages we take one of four stances when faced with the reality of correction to our behavior. We fight back or retreat with the deceptive thoughts of: Rationalization, justification, denial and blame. We just don’t take responsibility for ourselves. We don’t recognize the discipline as love and instead we reject the one who takes the risk of our rejection (most often the father or father figure) thus separating ourselves from the opportunities to grow and mature.

All these behaviors are classic patterns of the “orphan mindset” or or our self-imposed “separation anxiety”. We separated from our source of provision and protection because they suggested that we were less than perfect and hold us to a higher standard than we are willing to take. They attempt to exercise authority and correction to make us grow up. We in turn, reject them! They have not rejected us. It just “felt like it”.

The orphan mindset is so complicated, being the work of those inner voices over many years. It is the “I’ll show them attitude” that the world applauds and promotes. The “I can do this without anybodies help” attitude. And so many other “I can” and “I will” attitudes. These are phrases that establish my separation from others, especially those in authority.

Listen and understand the dynamics of separation at work in our father Adam:

Genesis 3:7: And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

“they knew” somehow there was a sense of distance between themselves and God. He had told them “do not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”. The feelings of legitimate disobedience is legitimate guilt — they knew. The intended result is to be a gentle nudge to confess. They took a typical orphan tack to the destination:

Genesis 3:8: And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Whereas the cool of the day was historically “Daddy time”, now they took the orphan position of retreat. They “hid themselves”. From Who? Their Loving Daddy. Where did they ever get the idea that they needed to hide from Him? Answer: The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It’s the “and Evil” part that opened their experience to the Evil One. Now they have a new “friend” to talk to them.

Genesis 3:9: And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

God knew exactly “where” Adam was. But Adam had to make the assessment for himself. He was hiding from Good and slumming with Evil. We all need to make this assessment before we can find our way home again. (Think Prodigal Son). But our new “friend” has devious methods:

Genesis 3:10: And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Now we fear our Father as a result of the voices of our new “friend”, and ironically we readily trust the new “friend’s” voice. It sounds so “friendly”, so trustworthy, so “Me”. More classic orphan thinking. Yet, God again questions Adam to get him to discern the source of his new “afraid” feelings. Where did these feelings come from? What choice have you made that you need to take responsibility for?

Genesis 3:11: And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

Now the icing on the cake: Will you take responsibility for you actions (confess), learn from them (repent) and repair the relationship (be redeemed by your Loving Father)? Here is the classic orphan reply:

Genesis 3:12: And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Genesis 3:13: And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

Rationalization, Justification, Denial and Blame. The language of the orphan. Listen. You can hear it all day, everywhere. Children who refuse to grow up. Even Christians! These methods have been echoing throughout all history. When will we understand that God loves us? All He ever does is for our good. That we might grow up and be His sons. Accept correction, repair the damage you are doing and have done. Go back to your Father.

Don’t be an orphan one more day!

“And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,  And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.  And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” Luke 15:17-20.

Though you have fallen, you will be lifted up again (i.e. restored) to your rightful place as a son.

Quote Title Quotation Source
The Word is Made Flesh But God has put this Word into the mouth of others in order that it may be communicated to us. When one person is struck by the Word, he speaks it to others. God has willed that we should seek and find his living Word in the witness of a brother, in the mouth of a man. Therefore, the Christian need is another Christian who speaks God s Word to him. He needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged. Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Life Together, circa 1940; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Reason vs. Revelation The seer in the cabin may decipher the language of the clouds more accurately than the bronzed and weather-beaten mariner on the quarter-deck. That was the mistake the centurion made. The centurion believed the master of the ship more than those things which were spoken by Paul. It is a purely nautical matter. The captain of the ship predicts fair weather and urges an early clearance. Paul, the prisoner and passenger, foretold angry seas, and advised remaining in shelter. The centurion believed the captain of the ship. But Paul was right; the captain was wrong; and the ship was lost. Sooner or later life resolves itself into a desperate struggle for human credence between Paul and the captain of the ship.
The point is that the captain of the ship is the man who might be supposed to know. He is a specialist. And Paul sets over against his nautical erudition the unsatisfying words, I perceive . It is a case of Reason on the one hand and Revelation on the other; and the centurion pins his faith to the vigilant captain rather that to the visionary Paul. That is the exact point at which the world has always missed its way.
F. W. Boreham – The Luggage of Life, 1912, published by Kregel Publications
You Really Should Ignore Your Self Listen to what I have to say. It is not easy to hear, but it will feed your spirit. Do not listen to the voice that suggests that you live for yourself. The voice of self-love is even more powerful than the voice of the serpent. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
Spirit to Spirit Rarely and only with great effort does a mind, which has contemplated both the material and spiritual creation of the universe and discovered the mutability of all things, soar to the unchangeable substance of God and there learn that He is the sole Creator of every nature that is not divine. For, God does not speak with man through the medium of matter, with vibrations of air causing His voice to be heard by the ears of the body, nor does he use apparitions resembling bodies such as we see in dreams or in some such way for in this latter case the speaking is to seeming ears, through a seeming medium with a seeming material space of intervening, since such apparitions are very similar to material objects. But He speaks to that part of man which is most excellent and which has nothing superior to it except God Himself. St. Augustine – The City of God, circa 400, copyright 1950 by Fathers of the Church
Are You Above the Law? Jesus Wasn’t If you have the idea that your duty is to catch other people, it puts you on a superior platform at once and your whole attitude takes on the guise of a prig. This too often is the pose of the earnest religious person of to-day. Of all the different kind of men one meets the preacher takes the longest to get at, for this very reason; you can get at a doctor or any professional man much more quickly than you can a professionally religious man. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
A True Friend What can be said about friendship that is higher, or truer, or more useful, than that it ought and is proven to begin in Christ, advance according to Christ, and be brought to perfection by Christ? Alfred of Rievaulx, From Spiritual Friendship circa 1150; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Rescue The Perishing Consider again what this means. All these dying millions have a right to come to the knowledge of Christ. Their salvation depends on their knowing Him. He could change their lives from sin and unhappiness to holy obedience and heavenly joy. Christ has a right to them. It would make His heart glad to have them come and be blessed in Him. Service to God is the connecting link. And yet, what His people do is nothing compared to what needs to be done, to what could be done, to what ought to be done. Andrew Murray – God’s Plans for You, circa 1890, © 1983 by Whitaker House
Teetering On The Brink of Collapse Christianity was like a huge and ragged and romantic rock, which, though it sways on its pedestal at a touch, yet, because it’s exaggerated excrescences exactly balance each other, is enthroned there for a thousand years. In a Gothic cathedral columns were all different, but they were all necessary. Every support seemed an accidental and fantastic support; every buttress was a flying buttress. So in Christiandom apparent accidents balance. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
Whatever is Not of Love is Sin It is not a matter of right and wrong. These only have to do with earthly things (i.e. morality). Morality is a corruption of Love. The only concern is whether or not someone is acting in Love or not. If they are, praise God. If they are not, pray God for they are acting in sin. Tom Van Hoogen
Re-Turning is Repentance You are to be completely occupied, inwardly, with God. Of course, this is impossible if, at the same time, you are outwardly busied with a thousand trifles. The Lord is at the center of your being; therefore, He must become the center of your being. What are you to do when you become drawn away from this God who is your center? No matter what it is that draws you away, whether weakness or lack of faith, you must immediately turn within once more. Be ready to turn within, again and again, no matter how often you are drawn away. Be ready to repeat this turning just as often as distractions occur. Jeanne Guyon – Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ, circa 1680

v4.19 The Big Picture – Part 2

The Big Picture – Part 2

Back to the Future

We are not going ahead to our Life in Christ we are going back to it. We are going Back to the Future. We were in Christ, in Adam, before the Fall. This was God’s intended destiny for us, our Hope and our Future.

As I mentioned in the last message, we were, are and will always be on His mind. He created us for Himself and we have the Joy of always enjoying Him, forever – if we choose to.

Do you remember being in Him? God has set eternity in our hearts. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 4:6.

There is so much locked up in our spiritual DNA, in the spirit of God in us. God breathed His Spirit into Adam and thus into us, in Adam. We know Life because we have had Him. Our death did not take away our knowledge of Him, this world system has, having worked to conform us into its mold, changing our mind concerning Him who loves us. It is the quickening of the Spirit to our spirit by the Word, the exact expression of Him, that beckons us, as deep calling unto deep.

We were separated from Him by our sin, but the knowledge of Him is locked up inside us. We can remember our Father if we want to know Him. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 4:6.

This world seems so real and tangible, yet this world is temporal, temporary, a mere subset (an opportunity granted by the grace of God) of Reality and eternity which is Christ. In Him we live and move and have our Being. Do you see this? Can you hear it? All of the Gospel is to bring to renewal our minds, to transform them to see this, to hear this. It is a great Restoring of the System and the Great Redemption of Man to His original Design.

Let me take you on a little trip back to the Future. Here is a way that a soul experiences the Shadow, the earthly light of the spirit. Many people remember their natural birth experience. And many also remember their pre-birth existence, in Mom. Now as you think of this description of pre-birth in Mom, think also of our pre-birth in Adam before the Fall.

You live and move and have your being in Mom. You are in her and she is in you. You are like her and she is creating you in her (and your Father’s) image to be like her. She desires to be with you in her world. Yet you are now in darkness with very little knowledge of her except her love and warmth. Unknown to you, every breath you take and every nourishment you enjoy, is from her. You are provided for and protected in her. Life is bliss as all you know is peace, warmth, security and love.

Yet she cannot enjoy you fully for you are hidden in darkness in her. You must be born to become like her, to enter her world. You must, in the full light of knowledge, choose her and love her as she has loved you. You have been given the full faculties of will and volition to choose her as she has chosen you.

You know her love subjectively through your forming in her womb, and the life given you in her. You have been receiving her love and always will, but have you loved her? She loved you first.

For our choice to be more than a 50/50 chance at our outcome we must have knowledge. If we don’t know what we are choosing, have we really chosen? No. For a choice to be solidly owned and chosen, we must have a knowledge of its outcome.

How could we have ever known what life without God was like if we did not choose one and experience it and have knowledge of it. But we have! We have all each one gone astray “we have turned every one to his own way” Isa. 53:6. Now we are born into this physical world and have a choice like a child.

Nicodemas asked a profound question, “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” John 3:4. No, the physical can never enter the spiritual but he spiritual can enter the physical. “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” Mark 10:27.

All of Time is Opportunity to choose Him. When our time is over, our opportunity is over. We know Him because He has set eternity, Himself, in our hearts, in Adam before the Fall. We have always known Him in Christ in Adam. But now our sin, our choice to serve Self and not Him is separating us from Him. Now is the opportunity to be found in Him. Now is the opportunity to “love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19. Won’t you choose to go “Back to the Future”?

Quote Title Quotation Source
The Meetings are Held at His House So it often happens that men want God to meet their selfishness; and when they find He does not, they have often a long struggle before they really humble themselves, so as to meet God on His own ground. Charles G. Finney – Power, Passion and Prayer, circa 1860, copyright 2004 Bridge-Logos Publishers
The Truth Hurts, Then Heals As for the humiliation you feel when you see your faults simply see how sensitive your self-love is. The pain you feel at your own imperfection is worse that the faults themselves. Your problem really is that you become so irritated by seeing your faults. Learn to live with yourself as you really are without being so upset. If you do this, you will soon have peace. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
All is Subject to Error but Him Never be afraid if your circumstances dispute what you have been taught about God; be willing to examine what you have been taught, and never take the conception of a theologian as infallible; it is simply an attempt to state things. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Exercise Spiritually to Maintain Health The Bible vindicates itself because it is such excellent medicine. It has never failed to cure a single patient if only he took his prescription honestly. Take the prescription of the Word of God daily. No Christian is sound who is not scriptural. E. Stanley Jones – The Habit of Reading the Bible Daily – circa 1930; excerpted from Devotional Classics by Foster and Smith © 2005
A Feast for Sore Eyes The Lord’s Supper has not yet experienced its final fulfillment. It points prophetically to something further, and even greater and more glorious. A feast of the reconciled and redeemed is yet forthcoming, with which our present communion stands in proportion only like the copy of the original or like the foretaste to the full enjoyment. When this feast shall be celebrated, faith will have become sight, that which is in part have become that which is perfect, and strife and conflict have terminated in enduring triumph. This high festival, which shall never more be interrupted, will be held at the moment when the kingdom of God shall be accomplished and completed. Something new will then take the place of our present communion. Ask me not wherein it will consist. It is certain, however, that our Lord, in the words, “I will not anymore eat this Passover with you, until it be fulfilled,” does not merely intend to say, “till we shall rejoice together in a perfect glory of My kingdom, and with all the redeemed.” We are not entitled thus generally to explain His language. The expression He makes use of does not refer merely to something indefinitely spiritual; the addition, which the Lord afterward makes, is quite at variance with such a view. F. W. Krummacher – The Suffering Saviour, Meditations on the Last Days of Christ, Wipf and Stock Publishers
Nowhere to land? As my soul stands in the presence of God there is a flood of judgment waters that engulf me. The only safe place is the spirit of Christ in me which, as a dove rests in Him. Tom Van Hoogen
All The Eggs are in the Basket of Us Our Lord took His people into partnership with Himself and entrusted His work on earth entirely to their care. Their neglect would cause it to suffer. Their diligence would be His enrichment. Here we have the true basic principle of Christian service — Christ has made Himself dependent on the faithfulness of His people for the extension of His kingdom. Andrew Murray – God’s Plans for You, circa 1890, © 1983 by Whitaker House
He Knew All Along, Imagine That! This is what I have called guessing the hidden eccentricities of life. This is knowing that a man’s heart is to the left and not in the middle. This is knowing not only that the earth is round, but knowing exactly where it is flat. Christian doctrine detected the oddities of life. It not only discovered the law, but it foresaw the exceptions. Those underrate Christianity who say that it discovered mercy; anyone might discover mercy. In fact everyone did. But to discover a plan for being merciful and also severe — that was to anticipate a strange need of human nature. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
What You Will See When the Light is Left On And the faith by which we enter into this hidden life is just the same as the faith by which we were translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, only it lays hold of a different thing. Then we believed that Jesus was our Savior from the guilt of sin, and according to our faith it was unto us; now we must believe that He is our Savior from the power of sin, and according to our faith it shall be unto us. Then we trusted Him for forgiveness, and it became ours; now we must trust Him for righteousness, and it shall become ours also. Then we took Him as a Savior in the future from the penalties of our sins; now we must take Him as a Savior in the present from the bondage of our sins. Then He was our Redeemer; now He is to be our Life. Hannah Whitall Smith – The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, 1875 © 1998 Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Medicine is Often Bitter Going Down There is a higher experience of repentance, and there is a deeper experience of confession of sin than the feeling of regret. In fact, you will find those feelings of regret replaced by something else — replaced by a love and a tranquility. That love, that tranquility sweetly saturates your soul and, having saturated it thoroughly, takes full possession of it. Jeanne Guyon – Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ, circa 1680

Extension, Adjunct, Counterpart, Companion, Complement, or Other?

There are so many ways persons or things can be related to other persons or things. Just thinking positionally, consider how things can be related. Here are a few: above, below, beside, beneath, within, without, in front of, behind, about, around, etc.

How things are related often reveal more than position though. There are other factors to consider besides position. There is the whole who, what, when, why, where track to follow and then the whole realm of emotional subjectivity to the relationship, how do you feel about the relationship? Then there is the aspect of authority. Does one thing have the right to act upon or for the other? What about the synergistic outcomes of the relationship? Does the one cancel, add to or detract from the power, scope, influence, essence, contribution, image, likeness, etc of the other?

Relationships are at the same time both interesting to study and mysterious. What is your relationship to your parent, your spouse, your child, your friend, your family, your company, your associates, your club members, your neighborhood, your community, your nation, your race, your world, your God? You see how interesting this could be to study? By the time you spend 20 minutes on it you would need to start again because you very likely will have changed yourself (especially in your thinking) in some way thus creating whole new avenues and pathways of relating.

God is all about relationships. He created you for relationship and His good pleasure. But as we just pondered and wandered in our thoughts, it is often difficult to nail down just what these relationships are or are becoming. They are living and active too. Here are a few dictionary terms that relate to relating. I encourage you to think about your relationship to God, the Trinity, Man and your Household. Think about which relationships are God-honoring and which are not. I believe that God wants to bring about some change in your relationships with Him and others around you.

Pray and ask God to show you what right relationships look like and ask for His grace and wisdom to relate rightly as He would to Himself and others.

extension |ikˈsten sh ən|
1 a part that is added to something to enlarge or prolong it; a continuation

adjunct |ˈajə ng kt|
1 a thing added to something else as a supplementary rather than an essential part

counterpart |ˈkountərˌpärt|
1 a person or thing holding a position or performing a function that corresponds to that of another person or thing in another place :

companion |kəmˈpanyən|
1 a person or animal with whom one spends a lot of time or with whom one travels : his traveling companion
• a person who shares the experiences of another, esp. when these are unpleasant or unwelcome
• a person with similar tastes and interests to one’s own and with whom one has a friendly relationship

noun |ˈkämpləmənt|
1 a thing that completes or brings to perfection

antithesis |anˈtiθəsis|
noun ( pl. -ses |-ˌsēz|)
a person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else

partner |ˈpärtnər|
1 a person who takes part in an undertaking with another or others, esp. in a business or company with shared risks and profits.

spouse |spous|
a husband or wife, considered in relation to their partner.

father |ˈfäðər|
1 a man in relation to his natural child or children.
• a man who has continuous care of a child, esp. by adoption; an adoptive father, stepfather, or foster father.

child | ch īld|
noun ( pl. children |ˈ ch ildrən|)
a young human being below the age of full physical development or below the legal age of majority.
• a son or daughter of any age.
• an immature or irresponsible person
• a person who has little or no experience in a particular area

son |sən|
a boy or man in relation to either or both of his parents.
• a male offspring of an animal.
• a male descendant : the sons of Adam.
• ( the Son) (in Christian belief) the second person of the Trinity; Christ.
• a man regarded as the product of a particular person, influence, or environment

NOTE: in Christ we are all the sons of God. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal. 3:28.

Think of more for yourself. Have fun and don’t forget to ask God what a right relationship looks like and to help you to have them!

v317 These Little Ones

These Little Ones

“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:10.

Wow! I’m not sure I can explain what that means except to say that these little ones are very special to the Father. They are mentioned six times in the New Testament. But who are they (we)? To answer that I want to share with you my devotional from this morning. Andrew Murray gives insight to the “little ones”.

Having a Childlike Spirit

“I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” Matt. 11:25.

The wise and prudent are those who have confidence in their reasoning and their pursuit of spiritual knowledge. The babes are those whose chief work is not the mind and its power, but the heart and its emotions. Ignorance, helplessness, dependence, teachableness, trust, and love – these are the qualities God seeks in those whom He teaches (See Psalm 25:9, 12, 14, 17, 20).

One of the most important parts of our devotions is the study of God’s Word. In order to receive the Work in the Spirit, we must wait for the Father to reveal its truth in us. We must have that childlike attitude to which the Father loves to impart the secrets of His love. With the wise and prudent, the most important thing is head knowledge. From them God hides the true spiritual meaning of the very thing they think they understand. With babes it is not the head and its knowledge, but the heart and its emotions that are important. Because they have a sense of humility and trust, God reveals to them the very thing they know they cannot understand.

In order to receive a revelation of God, we must first have this childlike spirit. We all know the first thing a wise workman does is to see that he has the proper tools and that they are in proper order. He does not consider it lost time to stop and sharpen his tools. Similarly, it is not lost time to let the Bible study wait until you see whether you are in the right position—waiting for the Father’s revelation with a childlike spirit. If you feel that you have not read your Bible in this spirit, confess at once the self-confident spirit. Pray for the childlike spirit, and then believe you have it. Although it may be suppressed, it is in you. You can begin at once as a child of God to experience it.

This childlike spirit is in you as a seed in the new life. It must rise and grow in you as a birth of the indwelling Spirit. Live as a newborn babe, “desire the sincere milk of the word” (1 Peter 2:2).

Beware of trying to assume this state of mind only when you want to study Scripture. It must be the permanent habit of your mind, the state of your heart. Only then can you enjoy the continual guidance of the Spirit.
— Andrew Murray

“It must be the permanent habit of your mind”… (i.e. that you know that you do not know)

“because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” Matt. 11:25.

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