Like Children

It’s okay to be childish too. I have heard in one way or another that every person has an inner child in them, and some people are  proud to show it while others completely ignore it. Furthermore, on more than one occasion, Jesus tells us to come to him in the manner of child (Matthew 18:3, 19:13-15), minus the fact that we are children of God. Nevertheless, not too long ago I had a conversation about this and I was pondering on it recently and I figured I’d write about it. Why not? Anyhowchildren1, when you consider what Jesus’ desire for us to be childlike, you have to stop and consider what it means to be the average child.

For starters, it means you have a giant imagination and a heart of dreams that seem impossible. As a follower of Christ we are called to think big and to come up with the impossible believing that God is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do. Far too often, us adults put God in a box, when God is urging us to bust the box wide open so that we can really experience His power that He can prove that He can do above and beyond all we could hope or imagine. God is only as big as we make Him out to be. So as a child does, dream as big as you can and believe that God put that crazy idea in your heart for a reason, because if what you are praying and believing God for doesn’t scare you, you aren’t praying big enough.

It’s being a sponge and soaking up everything you hear and see. We are called to me imitators of Christ, and so as much as we are able through His word and other ways He speaks and communes with us, we should be right at His feet soaking it all in, following everything He did and said. All through the Old Testament especially we are commanded to meditate and keep the Scriptures close to our hearts, soak it all in, because there will be a day when we are squeezed and what we have retained, good or bad, will ooze out. We should thus be ever so eager to learn about God and who He is as the Scriptures suggest.

Being as a child is constantly living in awe, being wonderstruck as Margaret Feinberg put it, easily captivated. It never ceases to amaze me how the smallest things can capture the attention of a child and how curious they are. They are fascinated by a shoelace or the sound of banging on a pot or bubbles, so should we. There are so many mysteries in this faith and when God reveals certain things too us we should be in awe of His revelation, or on the other hand, we should be looking for the face and hand of God everywhere we go, whether the beauty of a buttercup or a beta fish, or those little prayers He answers on a daily basis. I believe it was Donald Miller who wrote about how our wonder of God becomes our worship of Him.

Furthermore, unless they are taught differently or shown differently, children are more likely to be accepting of others’ differences as well as accepting of who they are. As children of God we are not to show favoritism, walk over those who are weaker, treat those that aren’t like badly or discriminate against them, but accept everyone as our neighbor and stand up for one another. Likewise, we know that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God with our own set of gifts, personalities, and differences that make us to be exactly who God intended us to be, part of which are the heart’s desires that others may laugh at or put down or think it as ‘cute.’ Children tend not to recognize or give much [negative] attention to their ‘flaws’ until they get older and learn the standard of beauty, otherwise they are content and thrive in just the way they were created.

Children are not afraid to laugh and have fun, and love color. This Christian life was never meant to be dull, lifeless, and colorless, but just the opposite. I mean if you just look at the vastness, vibrancy, vitality, and dynamic of creation alone, it would be an insult to think of God as mundane or boring without vivid beauty, so why would initiate our lives be like that? God is full of emotion, which includes happiness, so He in fact does smile and laugh, yes, it’s a weird concept, but His Word tells us He does. Children laugh, God laughs, as should we.

As a child, there is always the expectation of growth and development, which applies to children of God as well. Though God created us the way He wanted, we still have our sin and fleshly nature, those things that God loves us too much to let be. We are suppose to grochildrenw in knowledge, wisdom and stature, and develop more and more to be all that we were destined to be for His ultimate glory, for every stage of growth is a different complexity and a different wonder to be held.

When you think of children, you think of innocence and purity, and it’s the cross that allows us to restore our innocence and be pure. Time and time in Scripture you find that we are to strive for righteousness and perfection, and to be blameless, without blemish, which comes with the help of the Holy Spirit. This same idea of innocence and purity is how we stay in fellowship with God, hear from Him, and receive all that He has for us. We are to be holy just as Christ was holy, and the more we imitate Christ the more the world is able to see Him.

Children are bold and aren’t afraid to get close or speak truth, as should we in our speech, at any given moment, we should be willing and bold to speak life and truth as the Hold Spirit leads, even if it may be unpopular or unfavored. Coming as a child is thus also not being to timid to explore some new territory, and though the level of caution varies from child to child, they are still less reluctant than adults. In the same way, we should not be afraid to get out of our comfort zone and explore new things, for it is there we truly live and where God reveals more of who He is.

Nevertheless, just like children, we are immature, naive, and clumsy, we fall, we break stuff and make a mess of things, at times consistently, but as God our Father, He will always be there to pick us up when we fall and teach us how not to make a mess and break stuff, and will give us the experience and knowledge so that we won’t make as many messes so often. And as any good parent, He molds us to be our best, is patient with us, merciful, gracious, and from time to time, disciplines us, while having our best interest at heart, even when we don’t understand. He knows what we need as His children better than we do, vows to protect and provide for us, promises to hold our hand and comfort us when we get a boo-boo.

Above all, as our Heavenly Father, His desire is to foster us, His children, to be the awesome, fearless, relentless, and amazing persons He had in mind for us to be back in eternity past, maximizing our strengths and potential. He wants us to receive everything on Earth that Heaven has to offer, hoping that we are able to stretch our limits and command the impossible to be done. He wants His children to be confident in who they are because of who Christ is, and walk with all authority and power using their gifts as if they were superheroes with superpowers from another world. He desires His children to be so unmoved and sure of who their Father is and who they are, that they are not afraid to stand alone or go against the grain and give life all they have, thinking outside the box, believing that anything can happen and that there is something greater.

All in all, God wants nothing less than for you to shine ever so brightly,having no desire to harm or hurt you in what ever form, but to give you a hope and a future. .

Be childish and be you for a purpose because the kingdom of heaven belongs to you.

Ignorance is Bitterness, Not Bliss

The one thing about a good story, a story that is passed down from one generation to another, is that every single character has a purpose. Whether they had one line of one word or no line at all, their presence no matter how short, creates the story and adds new depths for the reader or hearer to explore. The story of the Prodigal Son is no different.

The writer Luke tells us this story in the Bible, and in most cases you are directed to the two main character, the father and the younger son, but there is someone else in the story that you don’t often hear about, or at least as much as the other two; the older son and that is who I want to focus on for the sake of this piece.

You don’t really see much of the older brother until the end of the story, though his being is so significant and gives us so much to learn. If you aren’t familiar with the story, the man’s younger son leaves the family to go and squander his inheritance, and ends up coming back home broke and broken, and his father lovingly ushers him back home and celebrates his return. Although, his older brother is far from happy. He feels that younger brother is unworthy of such a glorious welcome and complains to his father, because he had been faithful and not stupid like his brother; he was the good son.

At first glance, his argument makes plenty of sense and has good reasoning. On the other hand you can see his pride and jealousy, neither which are God’s favorite character traits of His children, actually his least favorite. Reading this, it reminded me of how often we judge and feel that someone else sin is worse than our own and God shouldn’t save them or welcome them back. How wrong is that?! How wrong are we?! As Paul said, it’s only by God’s grace we aren’t where someone else is.

Still, the main thing I want to point out how his response to his brother shows that he was so busy, so faithful, as he vigorously explains, that he completely lost the intimacy with his father and life itself passed him by. He just seems so uptight to me and was so focused on being perfect that he squandered his own life away, for his father told him “my son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” Along the way, I think the older brother became ignorant of who he was and who he belonged to and became bitter because he had been so faithful but seemingly got no return on his investment. He didn’t know who he was or what he had even after so many years and because he didn’t know, he wasted his life trying to earn what he already had by birth.

Don’t be like this son, this older brother. As God writes your story, every element is significant, every situation or event, good, bad, or just plain ugly is for a purpose. Your story is your story, and it’s God who knows how it will end so don’t criticize another person’s story just because it isn’t written like yours. Furthermore, the more you try to write your own story, rather than letting God write it, you will become bitter and upset because you will begin to search for what you already had and miss out on what God had in store for you. Get to know who it is you belong to and bask in it as much as you can; understand the riches and blessing you already have because of who your Father is. Don’t work so hard trying to earn what you don’t need to, because truth be told, we can never truly earn anything God has for us, we are so unworthy, but His grace, His grace…

Living a life of purpose, and being you for a purpose – a child of your Heavenly Father – don’t be ignorant to what is available to you and at your fingertips. It’s not about being perfect, because we fall short, but living our lives in such a way that proves we love our Daddy and are secure in our identity and look as if God dumped all His riches in glory on us. Wherever you are weak, He is strong, and wherever you are strong, He is stronger. Whatever you think you have, He has much more, and whatever you don’t have, He has promised to meet each and everyone of your needs and to give you an abundant life. Now is that to say do whatever you want or be lazy and not do anything and wait for God to drop it in your lap? Absolutely not. It is okay to work and live a good positive life free from all the craziness and drama of what the Prodigal Son experienced. If you don’t have to don’t, just don’t think you are more worthy than someone who didn’t live a polished life. Either way enjoy the life you have and make the most of it. As the father said to his son, God is saying to you to me. He is ALWAYS with us and ALL He has is ours. We don’t have to walk around bitter and jealous because of how God decides when and how to bless someone, celebrate that person, because it could’ve been you, and you may not know the story behind that glory. You know why you should celebrate? If for no other reason, he excited that a person has [finally] decided to live the abundant life of purpose in Christ and tap into God’s awesomeness, a life that you should already be living. If you aren’t, you are just as lost as the Prodigal Son, because you are living in bitterness, pride, and jealousy, that it’s blocking all that God wants to do in, by, through, and for you. This life someone else is about to embark on is so close to you, it may as well be a million miles away. Don’t live a life like that if you don’t have to.

God wants you and loves you, and wants you to enjoy Him and live a life of purpose believing and walking in His promises for you. He wants to give you all He has for you, but you have to want to receive it and know what you have. It has already been paid for. Ignorance is not bliss, but knowledge is power. Learn and Know. Know the force behind you. Know the power that goes before you. Know the purpose and plan God has for you. Know who you are. Know who you belong to. Know the riches of all kinds that are at your feet. Know what belongs to you. Know that God has tailored-made your story. Know that you are no better than anyone else. Know that God has always and will always be there. Know that Heaven will celebrate you when you get Home. Know that you are not forgotten. Know God will honor you and lift you up, in due time. Know that if you don’t know or learn these things your life will be bitter.

Man of Steel, (Wo)Man of Spirit

I am not a big Superman lover, other than Dean Cain, but I did in fact see “Man of Steel” not too long ago, and I did fairly enjoy Henry Cavill. However, it wasn’t until this last time I watched it that God encouraged my heart, and thus this post.

In the beginning, Clark parents decide to put the Codex, the power of a race, in him to man of steelpreserve their people, and had to send him to Earth, knowing he would stick out, but possibly help it. When I was thinking about that, it reminded me of God and how he put his Spirit, all of Heaven’s power, in us as believers, and we are called to stick out, but it’s that power we have that can change and impact the world.

As Clark grows up, he becomes overwhelmed by his gifts and often times is frustrated and afraid. His journey is all about learning to control his powers, rather than his gifts control him. In the same way, our life of purpose provides us gifts that if not used properly, can prove to be too much, thus God has to prune and purge us, so that we can properly develop and strengthen our gifts. Truth be told, sometimes our gifts scare us and we are afraid of what God is ultimately calling us to do, and it never helps when there are the naysayers and those that always have something to say and will criticize you at every chance they get. But remember, as a child of God with purpose, people are supposed to talk about you; they talked about Jesus, It may make you cry and may make you want to give up, but there is greater yet to come if you hang on.

The most profound line, in my opinion, is found in the first 25 minutes of the movie. When Clark is in the classroom, his powers start to kick in overdrive and he runs out the classroom and hides. Let me stop here and say, don’t hide from your gift and or your purpose. God gave it to you, He chose you for a reason. It was then that his teacher called his mother who came to console him and made this statement, “focus on my voice.” I was floored. There are so many voice that we are out there some that sound reasonable, but are still just plain wrong. When you live a life of your God-given purpose, you will have to block out all the other voices you hear in books, on social media, in music, on television, in politics, from family and friends, etc. Nevertheless, God is saying the same things Clark’s mother said to him, “focus on My voice.”

God’s voice is the only one that matters. He is the only one who understands what is inside of you and wants to be your support, refuge, and strength. His voice knows your destination and your future. It’s only His ‘yes’ that matters, even when everyone else says ‘no.’ So, to whoever is reading this, focus only on His voice, which means getting into His word, calling out to him, believing he will answer and show up every time, as Cal did with his Kryptonian father, and surrounding yourself with like-minded and like-spirited people. Still, the story isn’t over.

As Clark grows up and begins to accept his gift, there are many times he wants to use it, but his father won’t let him, because he doesn’t think the world is ready for what he has to offer. In the same way, you may feel like you are ready and that this is your season to break free and make your mark on the world. I encourage you to have discernment, many times we think we are ready, but God is saying “not yet My child,” because we may have some maturing to do. Other times, as for Clark, the world just isn’t ready for your full glory to show, and at times you may show glimpses of it, enough for people to notice the greatness locked inside of you, but don’t get prideful. God, your Heavenly Father, is Sovereign and knows best so just wait on Him, and sooner than later, you will hear him say, “this is your time. You are ready. The world is ready.”

It is then that Superman was born, but it happened at a time of fear and struggle, and as it often times happens here, God usually calls us off guard or when we least expect it, and like Superman you are thrust into your calling, which is why the Scriptures say “be ye also ready, in season and out of season.” More importantly, don’t doubt God. Of course, Satan, like general Zod, will try to misuse and destroy you and or your gift, or make you doubt or question it or belittle what’s inside of you. but you are an overcomer, so keep fighting and  “keep testing your limits,” don’t doubt yourself or your gifts.

I am so sure of Jesus and who he is for the simple fact that even when people attempt to discredit or devalue or cover him up, he still leaves footprints if you watch for them, and this movie is no different. You are a super man or a super woman, and you are called to be different and for people to talk about you, but you are destined for greatness and are the hope, like the ‘S’ symbol on Superman’s chest, that the world has yet to see and so desperately needs. Don’t be afraid, don’t run, don’t hide, but rather embrace and learned the gifts and the power that is inside of you. And when that moment comes, you. will. fly. And the world will never be the same.