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'''What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, not to be so preoccupied with getting so that you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don't be afraid of missing out. You're my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.'" Luke 12:29-32 (The Message).
There is fervour in these words of Jesus. What He is talking about here is the very foundation of life. Until we get this right, our experience of God will always yo-yo between doubting and trusting. Our worries and cares come from our being so us-aware and so close to the circumstances that we cannot step back, as Jesus always did, and look at the big picture.
The first thing to settle in our hearts is the non-negotiable truth that God loves us. Since He has taken the trouble to come Himself to redeem us at the cost of His own life, our physical needs and wants are miniscule by comparison. He did this for one reason, to restore us to His family as His sons and daughters. Settle that one too! Everything God has promised and does for us fits into that context - family.
Jesus urged us to approach the Father as little children, not teenagers who always think they know better but as little children who are helpless without their father. This is the amazing thing about life in God's family. He is not training us for independence as human parents do their children. God is training us for complete dependence; in fact, in His scheme of things, the more dependent we are on Him, the more mature we are in the faith!
Jesus insisted, "Without me you can do nothing." John 15:6 (NIV). To God, maturity means going back to infancy! Why has He built such a contradictory principle into our relationship with Him? It takes us right back to His dream - to create beings who would be one with Him (ECHAD) because oneness in the Godhead is who He is. "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one." Deuteronomy 6:4 (NIV), Israel's creed.
Although He gave us the gift of choice, He knows very well where it takes us when we use it to enforce our independence. That same capacity to choose becomes a powerful tool when we recognise our dependence on Him and align ourselves with Him as helpless infants. The benefits of this attitude are 'out of this world' - access to the limitless supply of God's resources, a carefree life in the care of God, and the inexpressible joy of being responsible partners in His kingdom, bringing His rule of love and truth into the mess we humans have made because of our independence.
If we insist on viewing God as a blown-up version of our human fathers, we will forfeit the most unpredictably exciting life. Instead we will spend our lives chewing our fingernails, chasing 'things' as though this life were all that mattered, and missing the journey that takes us deeper and deeper into the heart of the Father. If we are to be the disciples of Jesus we claim to be, then we have to learn to think like He did. Jesus was joined to His Father at the hip. He was a mature Son who depended on His Father like a newborn infant. That's the paradox of the Christian life. Growing up means becoming more and more like little children. In this way, Jesus said, the kingdom is ours.
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