I was at a memorial service recently that prompted me to think of the biblical verse that says, you must be like a child to get into the kingdom of heaven. 

It’s Matthew 18:3 and Jesus says, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you change and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

At this memorial service, the “minister” began to share with those in attendance stories of what the dearly departed was doing …

… She was at one with the universe, her spirit smiling down on us, zooming to and fro in her new intergalactic BMW, having “morphed” into some kind of energy field.

I so wanted to ask the minister if she, herself, took the train to the other side often, seeing as how she knew intimately about the dearly departed’s comings and goings.

Thankfully, God is everywhere, if we just look around us.

In the midst of the minister’s grand plaudits and storytelling, there, on a stage surrounded by white lilies, stood a photograph of the deceased as a teenager.

The photograph stood out in contrast to the person’s advanced age and crippling infirmities at death.

It was a sweet, innocent photo of a beautiful girl from a more innocent time.

And it dawned on me. Of course, God wants us to come before Him as children, because children are innocent, and trust with a pure, uncorrupted heart.

What Does it Mean to Go Before God as a Child

To go before God as a child is to go before God stripped of our sins and doubts, full of wide-eyed inspiration that comes from total faith.

Is God going to be there when I need Him? A child would say, “Yes!”

To go before God as a child is to expect awe-inspiring greatness.

Let’s visit Matthew 18:3 again.

Jesus said, unless you change and become like a child.

Webster’s dictionary describes “childlike” as “becoming a child; meek; submissive; dutiful.”

     “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you change and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

God seeks a childlike submissiveness and meekness, a gleeful childlike heart … and a childlike faith.

Faith builds character, and the process starts when you are a child. Without faith, we cannot please God.

     “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Adults have a tendency to become cynical with age, while a child has yet to be touched by the concerns of the world.

Think of the world as a big arena. We are in it to run “life’s race” for and with God.

But the older we get, the more “hurdles of doubts and concerns” we tend to place in front of us.

These hurdles slow us down, knock us off stride, or make us give up completely in what should be a growing relationship with God.

Whereas an adult is more likely to give up the race, a child sees the prize at the finish line.

As you near the end of your adult life, can you look forward as a child and say, as Paul did in 2 Timothy 4:7:

     “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Children don’t have adult hurdles in their race with God.

Childlike faith, along with childlike love, are an open road to God’s heart.

What Qualities Does a Child Have?

  • A child is innocent.
  • A child is trusting.
  • A child believes without complication.
  • A child has not had time to allow the preconceived notions of the world to form his decision-making process.
  • A child receives with joy, forgetting herself with light-hearted abandonment.
  • A child is humble.
  • A child is content in the little things.
  • A child has the faith to move mountains.
  • A child is awed by majestic splendor.
  • A child takes to heart God’s Word in all its simplicity.

Think of God and the child as one would a child with his parents.

Children, full of innocence, come to their loving father and mother, trusting them to completely take care of them, to protect them, to provide for them, to correct them when they are wrong, and to love and cherish them.

Jesus is telling us that we need to have this type of trust and faith in the Father. After all, we are His children.

We should be able to come to him fully trusting, without a doubt, that He loves us and cares for us.

     Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

God reminds us in His Word that we are indeed his children.

     “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1)

Like a child, we should come before the Father, fully trusting in His Word, fully engaged in His Spirit, fully open to His love and His commandments.

Be changed. Repent and leave your baggage at God’s doorstep.

Then you can come before your wonderful God, arms and hearts wide open, loving and trusting as a child.

785 Shares
By |2017-03-15T15:20:43-07:00November 17th, 2014|Categories: Encouraging, Instructing|Tags: , , , |36 Comments

About the Author:

Ani Ma'amin is a Jewish believer (the name is Hebrew for 'I Believe') who would love to see all peoples, especially his Jewish brethren, come to know the Lord Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. As the Bible says in Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation to the Jew first and also to the Gentile."

36 Comments

  1. Peter Guirguis November 17, 2014 at 5:37 am

    This is a good reminder of why we must approach God with a child-like faith. Thanks for the reminder Ani 🙂

  2. Leslie Eaton October 27, 2016 at 3:48 am

    Great article 🙂 I shared it with my online Adult Coloring Bible Study Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447039392265675/

  3. Quaz December 15, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    This is fantastic Truth. I’m now having my 8 year old boy take my prayer request.

  4. njerikris December 29, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    good stuff Ani…. thanks!!

  5. Abraham January 22, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Wow! Enriching

  6. Judy Pelleboer January 26, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Lovely! I also say it this way:- Just like a child doesn’t worry about how the bills will be paid, where the next meal is coming from, what time to rise, or sleep – all these things and more, he/she trusts the father to attend to (parents) – and so we need to be like that – not worrying, but trusting God for all that we need like a child trusts the parent. A child just knows the parent will provide 🙂 he doesn’t worry about how.

  7. Herman Haupu February 4, 2017 at 11:25 am

    The Lord reminds us in Matthew 6:31 Do not worry saying what shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or what shall we wear? For your Heavenly (Father Knows ) ! I’m so glad that My Heavenly Father knows everything about me. That He Affirms, Acknowledges, and Accepts me as His Beloved.

  8. Laura February 6, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Our goal is to live in this child-like faith everyday, enjoying, praising and expecting our Father to walk with us, guide and teach us, and mostly just love us!

    Thank you!

  9. D'anah Wallace March 5, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Awesome reminder. Thanks?

  10. […] before Him as children, because children are innocent, and trust with a pure, uncorrupted heart” (https://ccsouthbay.org/blog/be-like-a-child). As humans mature, they are exposed to evil no child can ever comprehend; people learn […]

  11. csgfitness March 20, 2017 at 8:51 am

    wow such a beautiful article. I seeb so much of this in my 1 year old especially how she trusts us to take care of get and provide everything she wants. she is also easily satisfied, it’s amazing and that’s how God wants us to be, not having all the baggage of life we carry around us as adults. thanks for this reminder

  12. Manickam March 23, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    usefull message..!!!!!! thank you sir..!!

  13. David Langmas April 25, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    I make this website for people with serious health care diseases and problems, hoping to let them believing they have a chance with God, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit! It has been on the internet for 10 days now! I walk in their shoes earlier in my life! http://www.onehealinggod.com

  14. Frank July 3, 2017 at 7:08 am

    What if, we do actually enter the kingdom of heaven as a child, a spiritual child after living a long faithfull life here on earth.And maybe we stay as a spiritual child for a thousand years, slowly developing into a mature spiritual presence. Thats my idea of Heaven.

  15. Dave August 26, 2017 at 10:35 am

    I am 76 and all my life i’ve been spiritualy minded but unable to believe that God exists. Mankind seems to have made a great hashup of their beliefs and ideas of what God is. This thought came into my mind ” To believe in God is childish “. Astoundingly this verse in the bible came straight into my thoughts ” be as little children to know me “.
    I understood for the first time what that meant.
    A light bulb moment that has changed my life.

  16. Tracy Fowler September 24, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Can someone PLEASE TELL ME how on Earth one becomes UNJADED after a life full of trauma drama and intense pain and disappointment?? ……….how? I feel lost and honestly have lost all hope. I also am running out of time as I have breast cancer..,………I’m very very scared.

    • Nazrus Halsey September 24, 2017 at 11:38 am

      Writing this question tells me you are already part of the kingdom here on earth. It’s your unbelief, that’s hurting you. Lack of knowledge. You can ask Jesus now. We can not think like God. God guides us. Therefore you have to stay in prayer. Fill yourself with the Spirit. Have you received the Holy Ghost? If not. Study, Fast, and Pray. That is the way. Seek ye first the kingdom of the Lord and all these things will be added to you. Goto: http://www.theholyghost.net follow and like page. These are instructions, if you do not align yourself, you will not be whole. Some times the instructions may sound like that’s not the way. Anyother questions contact me. God Bless you, and may the Light shine upon you forever! Amen.

    • Shawn W September 27, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Tracy flower I’m praying for you. pour your heart out to Jesus! He is Love!.. if your faith is weak ask him to help you with your unbelief he will hearken unto you. One of my favorite Bible verses is in the book of Jeremiah he says if you seek me with (all your heart) you will find me! and you will pray unto me and I will hearken unto you. all the best

      In Christ,
      Shawn

    • John the October 26, 2017 at 7:54 am

      Unjaded? Maybe understand that you are not alone, whatever you went through been through going through, I promise you there are people on your level and on both other ends of the spectrum. You are not alone. I can only explain what I know from experience, everything else is faith, faith is not having the answers or solutions but trusting in our father. Trust that he will not abandon you. This is a war zone, we are warriors, we are on a need to know basis, only thing worse than no intel is bad intel. Trust in your back up, when your pinned down, what else you gunna do, ? Break down? Give up your heart ? I get the sense what you lived through and you did not survive to today by being weak or a coward did you sis, so dont stop now, play with the glove that got you there. Whoever hurt you, forgive them, they were wrong, not you. Let everything go, continuously. be greatful for every moment. When evil is the prince of this world have you seen no beauty? Thank him in prayer. Pray for those children who die alone hungry or worse. And listen. Do not forget Jesus. Say the lords prayer, the hail mary, contemplate the words. Just let it all go. Put everything in God’s hands. Let everything go. Jesus said somewhere, basically, don’t worry about it, thats what he came for, for you, his work for you is already done, just let it go, its taken care of, trust in that love, believe in that sacrifice and its purpose,like his last words, it is “finished”

      • John the October 26, 2017 at 8:06 am

        And forgive yourself. Nobodys perfect. Love youself. Accept what is. Our father loves you. You are in his hands. Let it go. Have faith. Stay in Love.

    • Brother Thomas October 26, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      Tracy,

      The following is a bunch of unorganized – unpolished thoughts. I am reluctant to post all of it, because who wants to read all of that? I am too tired to go through it all and reorganize, to bring a more logical theme and thread, so here goes… My apologies to you and all others.

      Again, I find my response a bit hypocritical, as I am not responding in a childlike manner, but as an adult and adding to the mess we are all in. More information and my answer should just be simple. Adding more information to the confusion we all already have, so please bear with me, my beloved sister.

      I really like John the’s response to the cry of your heart. It is really solid and provides a great navigation pointer for us in this dark world… I would like to add a bit more to John the’s response, as it seems I am lead to do so. I can relate to the place you are in; I too struggle with this dilemma, minus the cancer, but this dilemma is shear torment that I find is beyond my means of understanding; my understanding as an adult, no longer a child.

      I have been told, by several much respected mentors, pastors I have sat under for several years in my life, that I over analyze and over correct nearly everything in my life in order to become free from being jaded by this world. This expectation I have is so much a part of this seemingly inescapable prison I have been living in and have been struggling to work out my salvation through fear and trembling. It is not as simple as trying to understand just how to be unjaded.

      I am nearly 60 years old and I have been tormented for many of those years, on this very point. I have been trying to escape from it and make sense of it, as an adult. One thing I have learned is: I have built this prison, with some help from the forces of evil, and then I crawled in, unawares, and shut the door and have lost the key in the very darkness that surrounds and torments me.

      Yes, I do know that Jesus is the Key, please hold on and hear me out. Don’t always lean on your own understanding; doing that put you in that prison cell that you and I have built for ourselves. I do certainly agree that the answer is quite simple, as is the many things that our Father makes plain to see. Again, yes, Jesus is the answer for us all.

      I have only come to realize in the past few years that I have done this to myself, with some help from the darkness. This darkness came in through my lack of faith in Christ. We all lack faith in this world, we are all not alone in this struggle. You are not alone. We need the filling of the Holy Spirit each and every day, over and over, again and again.

      Our adult mind has so much information collected, good and bad, and it is all combined into the grey matter between our ears. Along with the conditioning of this dark world’s “Survival-of-the-fittest” mentality. We all walk different paths in life. This world is very, dark indeed!

      Being an adult, having too much conflicting information, truth and untruth, in our mind and being conditioned to trust no one, I find that it is impossible, on my own, to trust in God. I cite myself again and again with this failure and have not been able to escape this cycle. I struggle daily with this, and that struggle, on my own, has formed my very life, as it is today. I feel the struggle and pain of your heart Tracy. I question if there is ever going to be any escape from this torment. I fail under the pressure. I grow weary. I have not been able to stand, after all I have done to stand… on my own.

      I examine myself and find that I have failed to trust in God, whom is faithful in everything. It has become difficult to actually escape the fear of this dark world and fully trust in Him with all my heart, all my mind and all my strength. I have failed. And thus the cycle continues. I am subjecting myself to the Law and the Law is death. I see myself as someone that He will not love, due to my failure. Because I am examining myself, under the Law… I know what is right and I know what is wrong… I conclude that I do wrong, therefore I place myself directly under the Law and doing so places me out of the reach of God’s grace and mercy, apart from what Jesus has done for all of us. If I live under the Law, there is no place for grace or mercy in my life. I have been fighting a losing battle, on my own and under the Law.

      Therein, Tracy, is the extent of our prison cell. We have been living under the Law when all the while, since we have received Christ into our life, we were meant to be free from the law of sin and death and be set free in Him… and only Him.

      I am beginning to see why I fail to discover my freedom that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. When we know the truth that is in Him, we will be set free. Any attempt to discover the truth in ourselves fails.

      When we, being completely confused, have learned to trust no one, it becomes very difficult to put our trust in Him. Our flesh fails us on our own. We see the failure of our belief and faith in God and we use them to add reforcement to the walls of our self-built prison and find it impossible to believe that God would save a sinner, like me. A sinner that lacks the kind of faith that we know He desires. We place ourselves exactly where the darkness wants us to be: Isolated from the Father and without mercy, grace, peace, love, joy, and many more gifts He pours out on all of us in Christ Jesus and through the Holy Spirit.

      I am starting to trust Him more and more daily and He is and has been faithful in His response to my trusting in Him. Trusting that He is what He says He is and will do what He promised to do… and what He has done in the suffering, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus, and then sends us the Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth. Trust that you no longer need to judge yourself and live under the Law.

      I am starting to discover that it is not within my own understanding that this answer is arrived at. It is only in and through His Son Jesus that I have begun to find and tear down these walls of my self-built prison. It is not by my power, strength, intelligence or anything else I think I possess that I have been using to fight this war that rages within the members of my heart, mind and body. I can only escape by, in and through His power. By His strength. By His Love. By His Mercy. By His Grace. By the salvation that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus holds the Key to our prison cell. Only He can open it and free us from this torment. There is nothing… nothing that we can do on our own. A part from Him we can do nothing.

      We therefore, in order to find the answer to this dilemma, need to cease looking into our own understanding, our own strength, and our own power; because it will all fail us. We need to stop the madness of thinking we need to learn more, be more, and achieve more. All of doing so is meaningless, a chasing of after the wind. We need to set all of these things aside and simply believe and have faith in Him, seeking His Love, His Power, His grace, His mercy. We need to rely on His strength to be free of the present darkness that seeks to destroy us.

      The answer is only found in and through Him and Him alone.

      His Love and Blessing of mercy and grace to you my dear Sister,

      Brother Thomas

      • Mo November 1, 2017 at 10:28 am

        I NEEDED this…what you wrote is what I go through…this is so real. Be blessed and encouraged because you have helped me unburden myself.

      • Sara Hamilton November 6, 2017 at 7:03 am

        Brother Thomas,

        What an incredible response and beautiful testimony that you are able to share to reach others who are experiencing the same thing–including me!

        I am also super over-analytical and never seem to be at peace or truly feel God’s acceptance. I can’t seem to differentiate living in grace, yet not living under the law. Not that the law saves, but in context with verses like, “If you love Me, obey my commandments.” And faith without works is dead.” And verses like:

        Matthew 7:13-14, “13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow and difficult to travel is the path that leads the way to [everlasting] life, and there are few who find it.”

        Matthew 7:19, Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire”

        Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’

        Revelation 3:15-17 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold (invigorating, refreshing) nor hot (healing, therapeutic); I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm (spiritually useless), and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth [rejecting you with disgust].”

        And others, but you get the point! 🙂 So please, could you shed some light on how I too can feel free? I love God more than anything in life, but don’t feel like He will say to me, “Well done good and faithful servant.” I feel more like the person that went and buried his talents as I don’t know where to start. I have an extremist personality, so if I am not a missionary in Africa, I feel like I am not doing what Christ called us to do. 🙁 I guess I don’t understand how not to live under the law. I know there is no way that I can earn my way to heaven, but I can’t come to the same conclusions that these grace alone (we have no part, God only see Christ but doesn’t examine us). I have no clue how they can come to that conclusion as everytime someone asks Christ what must be done to inherit eternal life, He gives them commands. Like the rich young ruler to sell all of his possessions, etc. I would love to experience freedom that I am loved, but I am so overwhelmed with inadequacy, I don’t know where to start and what is acceptable to God. I’m not sure I explained myself too well, but maybe at least someone understands my concern! 🙂 God bless you all!

        In Him,
        Sara

    • A brother in Christ December 10, 2017 at 10:59 pm

      Hey Sister, it’s the same. Trust God as a child. Just rest on him. If possible meet a stronger believer who you can confide to continually strengthen you in counseling and prayers

    • Cms May 16, 2018 at 10:40 pm

      Because when you’re super tired and nothing makes sense anymore that is when you just drop everything on your knees … and Fully Surrender to God .. because when reason ends.. Faith continues!

  17. Shawn W September 27, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Thank you Lord Jesus for your Timeless word. I tell people in my day to day walk that having a relationship with God is like a young child full of wonder and awe and I can’t wait to be with him face to face. And behold his scars of Love & Mercy for a sinful man as me.. what a love!!

    Your child Shawn

  18. George Mason October 21, 2017 at 3:56 am

    Dear Tracy,

    A thought was just given to me: perhaps your question is best directed to children who already know the answer. Would it be possible for you to volunteer/visit a hospital ward ministering to children with terminal cancer? I think you’ll find your answer there.

    Blessings & Prayers,
    George Mason

  19. VERONICA November 7, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    WOW, GRATEFUL FOR ALL YOUR COMMENTS BELOVEDS. THANK YOU ALL FOR SHARING YOUR TRUTH, STRUGGLES AND EXPERIENCES.
    -SISTER VERO

  20. Lina December 1, 2017 at 5:03 am

    Well, what if the child has been destroyed by their parents? They see God as such. You should then not tell them how to be perfect to receive blessing, but take time to heal them. A long process. Sometimes shorter. However, you can not ask the same from those who grew with loving parents vs those whose parents go to hell.

    Also – what kind of a God is so conditional they ask their children to be certain way before they respond to their needs? Think. And then ask forgiveness from God for not seeing Him truly as he is: Blessing you though you do not deserve it, giving though you do ask, giving you faith when you do not have it.

  21. Colin January 2, 2018 at 11:19 am

    So nice to find a truly bible centered Christian site! I have to really think about what to say next-door not be glib with some smart remark: that’s something new! Anyone here a fellow creationist like me? I have had some serious stuff to deal with in my life but KNOW Jesus is God. Jesus is ALIVE. Jesus loves ME and has forgiven ME. And I do good works BECAUSE IM SO GRATEFUL, NOT BECAUSE I CAN EARN SALVATION- had to make that clear! – Praise Him. Glory to Him. Faith as a child? Text as a child!

  22. Tunji January 5, 2018 at 3:14 am

    What this statement is invariably telling us is be poor in the spirit as written in Matthew 5:3, blessed as the poor in the spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven; we must think like a child by believing his word for salvation of our soul, we must humble ourselves and absolutely trust him; and this is why many who are full of themselves and achievements have their spiritual eyes beclouded and find it very difficult to believe in God, 1 Corinthians 2:14, “A natural man receives not the things of the spirit neither can he know them because they are not spiritually discern” One important thing about child like faith is to reason like a child who does not figure out how things are going to work out but knows all about his life on earth is in the hand of his father.
    Once, we are able to acknowledge God by accepting our sins and repent of them then other things follow in our walk with God; I wish to let you know that humility is the key to a successful christian living, this must be our approach to things of God throughout our life journey, never allow how far you have gone with God sets in pride, the moment pride sets in by being too familiar with God, then stagnation sets in and if care is not taken, depreciation comes,Psalm 138:6 Amp ” For though the Lord is high, yet has he respect to the lowly (bringing them into fellowship with him); but the proud and haughty he knows and recognizes (only) at a distance” in summary, Nothing about the kingdom of God is achieved by human’s ability, even though it is achieved, as long as it is not achieved through God power working through us, it can not be regarded as good work hence there must be absolute reliance on God like a child to walk with God, starting from the point of salvation through out one’s walk with God.

  23. Nazrus Halsey January 5, 2018 at 5:12 am

    This question has a simple answer! To have child like faith, is to believe that God can do anything! And Jesus is the prime example of child like faith! Amen.

  24. […] The kind of faith my daughter had in her value is what I know God wants us to continue experiencing. Matthew 18:3 Jesus reminds us to become like little children. Childlike faith means “to go before God as a child is to go before God stripped of our sins and doubts, full of wide-eye… […]

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