August 14 I Tuesday
“These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me…. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder…” —Isaiah 29:13-14
Since childlikeness determines our greatness in the kingdom of heaven, one of the great dangers to the Christian church is becoming too adult, too austere and too regulated. We often see childhood as a state of immaturity, but there is something deeply satisfying about a relationship with God characterized by childlike spontaneity, wonder and joy.
There is a reason it is mostly young people who line up for roller coasters. Children need and enjoy risks. They push for adventure and long to test their limits, learning what it means to be responsible from occasions when they push too far. By the time we reach adulthood, most of us have learned to play it safe, but we lose something in the Christian life when we adopt a similar attitude. Many Christians reduce their faith to a comfortable set of beliefs about God rather than an adventurous journey where He takes us beyond where we have been before.
A childlike life is a life of curiosity. There is a stage in a child’s development where almost every sentence out of their mouths seems to begin with why, how, who or what. In the book Dangerous Wonder, author and theologian Mike Yaconelli says that children ask questions not to find answers but to build relationships. We should adopt a similar childlike curiosity about God, though we must accept we will not receive answers to every question. Deuteronomy 29:29 states, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children for ever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” We are to be confident about the things God has revealed, but cautious and humble about the things He has not.
Wide-eyed wonder is another feature and joy of childhood, but one our rational culture is killing. We put everything under a microscope, dissecting and analyzing until there is nothing left to wonder about. Knowledge is good, but the sad fact is that familiarity breeds contempt. Though we have more knowledge now than ever, there has never been such a blasé-ness about what we know. For many, it is the same with the Christian life. We debate the doctrine of God’s love, but do we bask in the wonder of it? Are we astonished and amazed by God, His creation and what He is doing?
The Christian life was not meant to be lived seated in a pew or steeped in catechism. It was meant to be lived with a childlike sense of adventure, curiosity and wonder ever fueling our desire to dive deeper into relationship with Christ.
Prayer: Almighty God, develop within me a childlike wonder in living the Christian life. Never stop amazing me with who You are and the awesome things You are doing. Thank You, Lord.