Faith of a Child

Most children love to sing. Children are also natural worshippers. They worship animals, bugs, toys, those they love, and themselves, especially their own image in a mirror! Plus they are dramatic in their adoration. But have you thought that really, they’re admiring the image of God,  when they look in the mirror? Perhaps we lose sight of his image as we age and become jaded, or allow sin in our lives. God created us in His image! It’s no wonder Jesus instructed us to have faith as a child. He said we should accept the kingdom of God like a child. (Luke 17:18) We must simply believe and accept God without hesitation and be full of trust, in honesty, not hiding anything.

2016-05-01 165030-77307

John 4:23-24 “But the time is coming-indeed it’s here now-when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Why are children used as an example? Because children, who have not been abused or hurt, are very trusting in nature. They take things on face value. They haven’t been jilted by a boyfriend or girlfriend. They haven’t had a marriage crumble. They haven’t faced financial struggles. They haven’t raised children or had miscarriages or had their own children die. They haven’t seen the cruel side of life yet and they have an amazing capacity to love! They won’t lie, because they don’t know how. Their negative behaviors are only learned from adults. The word purity is the best way I can describe an innocent child. They’re in tune with the Spirit! Children take ownership of things and events. They have zeal.

Children sing in the same way they live life. As a child, I had a few songs I considered ‘my songs.’ So when the choir leader stood up and asked for everyone to turn in the hymnal to any of these songs, I didn’t understand why the whole church was singing ‘my words!’ I ‘owned’ these songs, didn’t they know?! 🙂 I would get vocal too. My poor mother trying to shush me as others sang ‘This is my story…’ and me saying to people nearby, “It’s not YOUR story! It’s MY story!” Mom and I had a long talk after church about how everyone has a story to tell. Imagine that! Or the song ‘Trust & Obey…’ I was a bit sassy as a preschooler, I thought the author wrote that song for me as a lesson! “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus…” The instructional portion of the song to me, had formulated from previous reprimands when I was a toddler. I used to plant my feet, at the top of the outside stairs, refusing to go into church. My very anemic mother had to get an usher to pick me up and carry me inside, sometimes to great protest. But the singing was my favorite part of church, and I quickly forgot my reason for not wanting to go in.

My five-year-old granddaughter sings with zeal! She loves to go into the ‘adult church’ because of the music! She sings loud enough, that you can pick her out of the crowd. Children sing with abandon, children trust God with abandon. That is why, their faith is so convincing and sound.

As a child, I loved and adored the missionaries who came to our church to tell about their experiences. I wanted to be a missionary when I grew up, because it sounded like a great adventure! At the ripe age of three, I was sobbing as I ran into the room where my mother was ironing. My mother asked why. In my childlike enunciation, I told her, “I can’t be a mi-un-ary!!” My mother again asked why? I stated, “Because I’m not even a Chis-tun!” Thankfully I had a wise mother who simply asked if I wanted to ask Jesus to come into my heart and had already explained the process of accepting Jesus, prior to that day. She said, “Then you need to ask him and confess your sins.” With childlike faith, I dutifully prayed for him to come into my heart and then I was elated. I danced all around, because my burden was lifted! I could be a missionary!

Matthew 18:3-5 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. “And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.

My prayer: Make my heart pure as a child Jesus. Help me keep the zeal and fervor for you and allow me to share it as boldly as a child would, without hesitation and not caring who may reject me, because we (you & I) are in this together forever!

Is Projecting Constructive or Destructive?

What is projection? Projection is when we take a behavior and transfer it over to another situation. There are several applications to projection. For instance, if we have a low self image because of our weight, height, or intellect, etc., we might find someone we deem inferior to us and then put them down in an effort to make ourselves feel better. While this may sound like a negative way to boost self image, people do it every day. Gossip is a form of putting others down. How does bullying start? Because one person feels inferior to another for some reason. Perhaps they were made fun of by their peers, siblings, or sadly, their parents. Instead of being the victim, they later victimize others.

Another form of projection is to think that others should take up the same causes that you have. If you’re all for sheep eating green grass, then everyone else should be, right? If you believe that the version of Bible you read or your church is the right one, then everyone else should also, right? That’s a projection of arrogance and superiority. That line of thinking says that you are the only one who thinks correctly and promotes you as perfect. Others perceive you to be haughty and overbearing and you don’t understand why they don’t see things your way. Sound familiar? I’ve been there before. On some issues, I still am, but I try to be open-minded, while still staying grounded in the Word, led by the Holy Spirit. That is the crux of life as a Christian. It is who Jesus Christ left us, the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. But are we truly listening? Are we being guided? Did we hear the Holy Spirit tell us to argue with others? Let’s see, the Holy Spirit’s character is to comfort, to bring forth truth, to establish peace. No, I don’t think the Holy Spirit ever told me to argue with a friend or family member.

Then one of the ways projection hurts Christianity the most is by those who project their own mindset, their own thoughts, or the actions of others towards them on God and on Christians in general. Because, somewhere, someone professing to be a Christian hurt them and they decided ‘how could Christianity be real? How could God be real? How could God love me if I have these thoughts? How can I trust another ‘Christian?’ How can I trust another church?’ Well, here’s my answer, 1. God did NOT cause any bad things to happen to you! He didn’t give you or anyone else bad thoughts! God is LOVE! He Loved you so much, and everyone else in this world, that he gave up his own son to die and brought him back to life. You may say, ‘Well he knew he was going to bring him back.’ Oh? Why? Because he’s God? So then you Do Believe in God? Because everything within us cries out for our creator and if we nearly die, we cry out to him. Don’t let a near death experience test you to find out. Get off the fence and follow his Son, who was a perfect example of a human being and perfect love. 2. Mankind will fail. There’s not a single person out there who’s not going to disappoint you at some point. There are few, very few Christians who lead a life sold out completely to follow Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to lead them. Everyone has a weakness they won’t relinquish control over. 3. As far as thinking others think like you, there are some people who are not out to hurt you and who have very pure motives. If you’re tuned into the Holy Spirit, you’ll know which ones are pure and who to avoid.

There’s another area of projection I’ve seen Christians do in their walk, that thwarts their spiritual growth. Some Christians may think another believer has more spiritual knowledge than they do, so they belittle the one they deem beyond them. Or perhaps they’re afraid to move forward with God, to take the next step, so they criticize everything another believer says or believes, putting down their church or doctrine.

Jesus wasn’t looking for a set of rules, he came to free us from the law! He wasn’t here to participate in sacraments, traditions or even a church, nor a building, he was looking for true worshippers, whose lives were lived by example, those who would follow him. He wanted those who were led by the Holy Spirit, doing the Father’s will. His “church” was/is not bound by walls, or certain days. If we project anything as Christians, May it be the love of Jesus Christ, faithfulness, gentleness, self- control, grace, compassion, patience, peace, comfort, and joy.

John 4:23-24 But the time is coming-indeed it’s here now-when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Hebrews 8:1-2 Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands.

Hearing from God

I may get people riled up, but I hope it’s with enthusiasm for the things of God and not annoyed at what I say. Have you ever heard someone say that God doesn’t speak to man? Which one of us is interpreting the scriptures incorrectly? Because, In my view God speaks to me every time I listen.

When man was hiding in the Garden, didn’t God call out to Adam & Eve? God talked to man then and he does now. Didn’t God talk to Noah about the ark and to Moses about the law? Didn’t he give Solomon wisdom and give David songs and psalms? Didn’t God speak to Esther about her people through Mordecai? And didn’t he speak to Elisha & Elijah? What about the virgins with oil? Or weren’t the writers of the Bible divinely inspired? What about the disciples? (They had Jesus Christ!) There are countless people and ways in the Bible that God speaks, why would he stop speaking and become silent? Why would a God who created man for fellowship quit communicating with us?! In 1 Corinthians 2 doesn’t it say the Holy Spirit will give understanding and all spiritual revelation to us as we study the word? If that isn’t God speaking to me, then I don’t understand my native language. I don’t need a priest or minister to interpret the Bible for me either, because I’ve been given a divine interpreter to translate parables and the truths of God. It’s the Holy Spirit – or God himself.

And if you’re incensed by my last statement. I’m only a part of a body, just as anyone else who believes in the redemptive power of the blood. We are joint heirs with Jesus. To carry that thought further, we need each other. We are joint heirs of a body of believers who each have a purpose in life. We each have certain strengths, unique to each individual, but it takes many members to make a whole and get the job done. We shouldn’t be focused on what others are doing or if their position in life or ministry is better, but whether we are doing what we do best and doing it well. There should never be any jealousy in the body!

Can you imagine how your own physical body would work if one day your eyes were mad at your ears for hearing and they quit focusing? How would you see? Or what if you feet decided your hands had it better and they decided not to move? How would you walk? When our body functions properly and healthy, we can see and hear correctly, we walk upright and with dignity, a spectacle of beauty. Just think of those who overcome insurmountable handicaps physically, they find ways to make things work, which is beautiful also, but they’d love for their whole body just to cooperate the way it should! God designed the church body to fit together like a healthy physical body. When we work in unison and allow each to do their part, we are a great team, a fully functional family. We are not a dysfunctional one, like so many have grown up in, but the perfect family God intended. When we recognize our position and the strength of others, it is then we are hearing from God, we are plugged into his will, we are the Ruth’s of today. Ruth was the one who heard from God, his companion and friend, and she was beautiful to look upon. When we function as a body, each doing our part, we are companions to God, fully serving him, hearing from him, and we are beautiful to look at in the eyes of God and others who believe.