Saturday, June 11, 2011

Attitude In Moving Forward

Maintain Simplicity - It is the Humble Heart God Responds to
The Spirit of God said to me, "The most profound thing you can do is to maintain simplicity!" One of the quickest ways to spot man-made religious systems is: they are always active, extremely busy, working hard, making complicated and complex what God has made simple.
Our quest should be to maintain and preserve, at all cost, a childlike heart. Yes, we are to move to marks of maturity, however, on the journey we must never lose our childlike nature in our response to Christ. Remember God resists the proud, and He gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).
Christ Jesus was asked a pointed question, Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?It is incredibly important that we understand and comprehend His response in Matthew 18:1-5:
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?" Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me."
This response from our Lord is totally opposite of man's way of thinking; religion is always seeking to "wow" others with our knowledge and theological grasp of issues. Yet, Jesus reveals it is a humble childlike heart that is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
This passage releases understanding and insights concerning our need to become humble and childlike, not childish. It would seem that becoming childlike and conversion go hand and hand, regardless of age. Children are normally characterized by simplicity, profound trustfulness, and honesty. Such qualities in a man lead him to Christ and conversion.
The Problem: Human Nature
A huge obstacle to becoming childlike is pride. Haughty pride is a basic part of human nature. People seek to do things that exalt themselves over others. The only way to be what God intends people to be is to be childlike, and cast aside arrogant self-exaltation. A terrible sin to fall prey to is the sin of self-centeredness.
According to Scripture, even the Disciples of Christ struggled with this plaguing problem of self-centeredness in Mark 9:33-37:
Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, "What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?" But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.
And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, "Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.
Again this subject of wrong motives is dealt with in Luke 9:46-48:
Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, and said to them, "Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great."
Christian Character
To understand Jesus' instructions about humility, one must observe children. Their sense of innocence, directness, and trust give us keys to comprehending what it means to be humble in the Kingdom of God. This humility is acted out before God, but its credibility is visible as we act toward others with a true sense of their worth and of the gifts they bring to the Kingdom's work. One of the swiftest pathways to spiritual promotion is "servant-hood!"
Paul states that he did not attempt to reach the people with human wisdom and eloquent words but rather he chose to present the person and passion of Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 2: 1-5:
And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
We too, will do well to lift up Christ and His Cross to a hurting world. This is the simple message with a profound impact on all who respond. Keep it simple!