This devotional was written by Mike DeVries
But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it." —Luke 18:16-17
I've been thinking about this verse lately. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it. Jesus lifts up the image of being childlike and says that, in fact, if we do not embrace the kingdom with a certain quality of a child, we will never enter it. The kingdom life will reside just outside of our grasp.
So I've been watching my kids lately to see if I can learn something about what Jesus was getting at. One observation I've had is this: Children live very present tense. They live in the here and now. I think there's something we can learn here...
We as adults appear to be consumed with everything BUT the present. We often live either shackled to the past, or in fear of the future. On the one hand, too many live enslaved to some moment in the past and now every moment in the present is seen through the lens of the past. On the other hand, many also live in perpetual fear of the "what if" - worried about the things that might be, or might not be. So, in essence, we often live everywhere else but here, now, today.
Think about it. Have you ever seen a child worried about tomorrow? Have you ever seen a child live with regret over something in the past? I haven't. Children have the amazing ability to be free, truly free, to live and breathe in the moment they have been given. What matters in the life of a child is the here and now, not tomorrow, not yesterday.
Jesus talked about this when He said, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Apparently, central to living the kingdom kind of life and living in right relationship with God is to live presently, to live in the here and now.
So what about you? Is there anything that is taking up space in your head and heart? Is there some worry or anxiety that has you enslaved to anything but the present?
The good news is that Jesus invites us to come to Him with what enslaves us, whether it be past or future, and to find freedom and healing, so that like children we can live in the present - fully alive, fully awake to the here and now.
Is there worry or anxiety in your life right now? Take a few moments to begin to release these things to God, allowing Him to free you to live in the present.