Christine Caine - Childlike Faith - Part 3
Hi, everyone. I am so grateful that you've joined us today. I truly believe you've tuned in in the divine timing, plan and purpose of God, and God has a word for you today. You know, it's so interesting in life, we read in the scripture, and I love this scripture in particular, in the book of Mark chapter 10, it says in verse 13 to 16, "People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it”. After taking them in his arms, he laid his hands on them and blessed them".
I love this scripture because we see right from the outset that Jesus Christ was a man that loved children. You know, in a world that is often abusive to children or children are considered to be a bother or to be seen and not heard, what I love about Jesus is he loved children. He protected and valued children. He esteemed and saw children. He brought children unto himself. Jesus is a lover of children, and he says that we are to receive the kingdom of God like little children. In fact, if we don't, we can't receive it. There needs to be this childlike awe and wonder and trust and faith in God and the things of God and that we're to receive the kingdom of God in that way.
Now, the interesting thing is Jesus said we've got to have childlike faith. In 1 Corinthians 13 it says in verse 11, Paul writes, "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things". I love this because Jesus says okay, you've got to have childlike faith. Childlike awe and wonder. The kingdom of God we receive it as a child, but Paul says okay, when I was a child I acted like a child, I thought like a child but when I grew up, when I matured, I put off childish things so we can see from this that Jesus says listen, we've got to remain childlike. And Paul says we've got to put off childish things.
Now if you've had kids or been around kids, you've seen that childlike awe and wonder. I was just with a friend recently and she showed me a little video. Her husband's a police officer, and her little guy, every day her husband gets on his police motorcycle bike getting ready do take off from home to go to work and her little son is like, daddy, we're going to race. And he's like, ready, set, go! Now you and I that motorcycle is always going to be faster than the child but this little childlike awe and wonder, come on, daddy. Let's go for a race. I'm going to take you on. There's got to be something like that in our relationship with God. This childlike awe, this childlike fun, this childlike wonder when it comes to our faith.
As we mature in the things of God we should not be getting more cynical, more disappointed, more discouraged, more disillusioned looking like we've been sucking lemons. The more we're in the presence of God, we're in the presence of our faith, there needs to be more childlike awe and wonder so a watching world will look at us and think wow, who is this God that you know? This God that keeps the spring in your step, a glint in your eye. You can see that with old people, there's two kinds of old people. There's old grumpy people that just want to sit there and never grow and change and set in their ways and they look like they've been sucking lemons and life's just too hard. And then there is old people that you think they are so young at heart. They are full of life. They are full of adventure, and I believe that as we mature in God, we don't need to get old and grumpy.
As we mature in the things of God, we keep our childlike awe and wonder and yet Paul says but we put off childish things. And so often in our Christian life we confuse the two. We actually remain childish and we lose our childlike wonder. We think well, you know, we intellectualize or bureaucratize our faith and we just get more cynical or more disappointed or more disillusioned and we lose that childlike wonder. But we still stay childish in our actions, in our reactions, in our thinking, and we don't mature. So what we want to do is make sure we get it right. We make sure like Jesus said that we remain childlike, and then we do as Paul says, that we put off childish things. So we know one of the characteristics of being childish is being selfish. For a child, their world revolves around themselves. And the interesting thing is that it's all just about me.
When my daughters were first born and they needed to be fed every 4 hours and they needed a diaper change, my daughters were never like mummy, is it convenient that I wake you up at three in the morning because I need to be fed? They did not care how I felt or if I had enough sleep. They never asked me whether it was a convenient time. They demanded what they wanted, so one act of being childish is being selfish. The world revolves around me. And part of maturity in Christ is we put off selfishness and we take on selflessness. And the fact is that we become more like Christ, and it's not just all about me and my wants. That's got to be really difficult in the world in which we live which is all about pursue your wants, pursue your needs. You need to self-actualize and self-realize and self-fulfill. We need to pursue self. You do you, boo. You just pursue you.
And yet in Christ we're told to put off, put off selfishness and to put on selflessness. You know, another childish characteristic that you and I need to choose to put off, remember the apostle Paul said, put it off? That means unless we choose to put it off, we're just going to leave it on because it's a lot easier to leave on childish habits than to put off childish habits, so we've got to choose to do that, and I think what we have to choose to put off is insensitivity. You'll notice when it comes to young children, if you've been around children or you've given birth to children or you've adopted children, you've had them in your family, when it comes to young children, they're not sensitive to the needs of people around them. You know, their sensitive to their own needs.
That's about it, and the fact is you and I as Jesus followers we have to choose to put off this sort of insensitivity to a lost and hurting world around us. We need to be people that with compassion and love learn what it is to step into the pain, into the suffering, into the confusion of this world with a posture of compassion, with a posture of empathy, with a posture of love and grace and mercy. It's so important that we're not tone deaf to the world around us. Sometimes I scroll through social media and I see what people are posting, and I'm like, do you even realize the pain this world is in? But often when you are just insensitive to anything around you, all your sensitivity is to your wants, your needs, what's going on in your world, so you and I need to have a sensitivity to the needs of those God places in our sphere of interest.
Sir, are you sensitive to the needs of those in your community, in your home? Your friendship circles, your schools, your work places? Or do we just kind of barge in insensitive to the world around us just in our own world, just in our own bubble? You know, Jesus said in his first sermon, I love this, the book of Luke 4: 18 and 19 says, the spirit of the Lord is upon me because -you know, if you've watched us at a 21, we have because bracelets because I always want to remind us we're on this earth because the spirit of God is upon us, because there is a because to our faith. There is a because, there is an action that accompanies our beliefs, that is our work in the midst of a lot of and broken world.
"The spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord". So Jesus was sensitive to the world around him. Jesus was full of compassion. In fact, scripture says he went about doing good and healing all of those that were bound. He was bringing freedom and life and liberty and hope and salvation to those that were in his world. You and I can't be so consumed with our own world and own schedules and our own plans that we reduce life basically just to a to do list, and we're not pausing to be sensitive to the world around us.
You know, I remember when which was at the airport in Thessaloniki, Greece in about 2006, 2007. As I was waiting for my bags at baggage claim, there were these posters of all of these missing women and children, and I remember it just got my attention because there were so many of them. And as I was preparing my message at the hotel room a couple of hours later to speak at the women's conference, I was preparing a message out of the parable of the good Samaritan, and I felt the holy spirit say to me Christine, you think you're the Samaritan in this parable, don't you? And I thought yes, I do. And the Lord said no, Christine. You're more like the Levite and the priest. You are so busy with all of your religious activity, you're so busy going to your next Christian event that you see those people, those women and children that you just saw at the airport, you see them as an interruption to your ministry rather than the object of your ministry.
So Christine, you need to cross the street like the good Samaritan did and give up your own time, talent, treasure to make a difference in their lives. And out of that grew a 21. If I was just stuck in my bubble of the fact this is my dream come true and I was going to be speaking in Greece and I was going to be eating a lot of feta cheese and moussaka and baklava and that I was going to be speaking at a women's conference in Thessaloniki where Paul wrote, who Paul wrote the book of Thessalonians to. I had to stop being insensitive to the world around me because while I was thinking about all of these things, there were women and children that were being trafficked, bought and sold for labor and sex or begging.
So I had to make a decision that I was no longer going to be insensitive to the needs of the world around me and as followers of Jesus, we have to choose to put off insensitivity and to put on sensitivity because the fact is in the world in which we're living, there is a constant bombardment of pain and suffering and loss and grief. When I just think of the amount of crime and violence and pain and suffering. We're helping to rescue the victims of human trafficking. We have to move our Ukraine office out of Kiev and into Poland and our staff and our leaders and there's children constantly being trafficked, and there's women being taken and men sold for labor and there's so much pain and so much heartache and sickness and disease and loss and grief. It's just sometimes easier to go, you know what? I'm going to allow my heart to get callous. I'm going to take a step back. It's just too much.
Another school shooting, another riot, another instance of injustice, another crime. More violence, more pain, and it just seems like it's too much. So we are all on a threshold of saying, you know what? I'd rather be insensitive than sensitive because sensitivity is too painful and I don't know what to do with that with my heart. So what we do is we pull back and we stop being activists and stop advocating for justice and stop knowing what's going on, and we just numb ourselves and we lose ourselves whether it's through, you know, just binge watching TV or getting lost on some computer game or just being so disconnected from the world because it's too painful to be in the world. This is where we put off childishness and we put on the cloak of the sensitivity of God. His burden is easy and his yoke is light.
And we leave these things at the feet of Jesus. Our shoulders are not broad enough to take the pain and suffering of this world. Jesus took that on his shoulders at Calvary. But you and I are his hands and feet on this earth. You and I are called to be salt and light in this world, so we can't become insensitive to the pain and suffering and injustice and loss and grief and sorrow in this world. You and I need to be sensitive to it, not tone deaf to it and bring the love of God to it and the mercy of God to it, bring the hope of God to it and the peace of God to it. Be sensitive to a broken world because a sign of putting off childishness and putting on maturity is that we put off insensitivity and we put on sensitivity.
You know, have you noticed children generally tend to be incredibly demanding and impatient? I don't know about your kids but definitely I could tell you mine were that. When they wanted it, they wanted it now. I was going to say in the past, but all of us can be like this today. You know, kids always want their own way, and they want to get what they want when they want it. I always feel sorry for mothers in the supermarket. I fly a lot so there's moms with their kids and man, if their kid wants something, everyone is rolling their eyes at the mother. I just feel sorry for her and I go, I get you. I get the pain you're in. Kids often have a tantrum if they don't get their own way and they make sure they do that tantrum in a public place. You see it at the super market.
Really I just want to go and just like give a hug to all the mums when their kids are just like freaking out in the middle of the supermarket. And kids will make sure they do it at really inappropriate times and basically they'll act out then so they'll make you seem like you're a bad parent. But listen, I see you. I see all the mothers and fathers out there. The fact is we've all been there, and over the past few years, it's so interesting with all the chaos in the world, with all the pain and suffering in the world, and it just seems the intensity of pain and the rapidity with which things are just happening. Revelation 12:12 says that the not me knows his time is short so it's like he's accelerated everything. And you see that, you go we can barely breathe. We can barely come up for air.
There's a natural disaster, there's a war, another school shooting, another riot, another act of injustice. It's like you cannot come up for air. It has been relentless on the heels of a global pandemic and you might be watching this and you're feeling like I can barely feel like I can breathe. A lot of that is because the speed with which things are happening. I've never seen it like this in my lifetime. You're kind of looking people in the eyes and going, are you really okay? Is your heart really okay? We used to just say remember in the old days, hi, how are you? No one really wanted to know or cared. It's not like that anymore.
Now you gotta grab someone and go, how are you? How are you doing? Are you okay? I've got another text on my phone today by someone just struggling with suicidal ideation, and that person you would never think this is what they'd be struggling with but it seems to be constantly happening because there is just the intensity with which pain and trauma and hurt and suffering. It's happening in our world. It's like we are not designed to be able to cope with that, and the fact of the matter is what happens is if you don't take that to Jesus and if you don't deal with the inner turmoil or the fear or issues that are going on on the inside, what happens is you're going to act like like a child that doesn't get their way, and I see that.
You see it on social media. You see it in people's interactions. It's like people are having tantrums on social media. I'm thinking listen, if you were my child I would never let you act like that. It is so amazing. If someone doesn't get their own way they're just quick like, I'm going to call you out. I'm going to post this on social media. I'm like oh, my word. What kind of world have we gotten to when somebody posts some of view you don't agree with, it's like bang, we have a tantrum if the person doesn't agree with us. I'm like, what world are we living in? It's actually shocking, especially when I go and I read people's profiles and it says they're a follower of Jesus. I'm like can you take that off your profile because you're not giving Jesus a really good name. It would be better if you didn't have that on your profile.
So the fact is spiritual director and they're like cussing people out on social media. I'm like, you know, the two don't really go together. So the fact is we see it happen just in relationships, in marriages. You know, people threaten one another. If I don't get my way I'm leaving you, I'm walking out. If I don't get what I want, I'm just leaving this job. If I don't get what I want, I'm just going to go to another church. And I'm like, is anyone asking God? Is anyone actually going to God and saying, what is it that you would want me to be? Should I still be in this friendship or job? Should I be in this relationship? What we're doing is just tapping out, walking out, having a tantrum, if going if you don't do it how I want it done, when I want it done by when I want it done, I'm out of here.
But we read in Luke 7: 31 and 32, I love this, and the Lord said, then the Lord said to what then should I liken the men of this generation? And what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another saying, we played the flute for you and you did not dance. We mourned to you, and you did not weep. Jesus rebuked the pharisees for their childishness. Their attitude was if you don't want to play with my rules, I don't want to play at all. I'm taking my bat and ball and I'm going home. You cannot build a life, or a marriage, or a relationship, or a ministry or a friendship or a business with that kind of attitude.
You and I as Jesus followers need to learn to be patient. We need to cooperate with the holy spirit. We must put off being demanding and put on cooperation and obedience to the will of God. A sign of maturity is that we are willing to obey what God says. We are willing to be patient, to not be demanding, to not always demand my own way in my own time when I want it, how I want it. It's that we're growing in the spiritual fruit of patience. Scripture says let patience have its perfect work in you, that you may be mature and complete, lacking no good thing.
A lot of us are lacking good things is because we're impatient. We're probably the most impatient generation in the world. We want an app for everything. We want everything on demand. We want our shows on demand. We want to door dash everything. We want to open table everything. We want everything now and yet some things like Christlike character take time, take perseverance. The Bible says we need faith and patience to inherit the promise. A lot of us have got the faith but not the patience. And we're wondering why we're not inheriting the promise, and it's not because God's not faithful or because we don't have faith. It's because we lack patience. If we're going to inherit the promises of God, we need faith and patience in Jesus' name.