Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Adult-like Faith

I recently wrote about "Child-like Faith" and how truly wonderful it is. (You see I have a front row seat to 'child-like' faith ~I have been blessed with six children). Well, in that article I talked about my sons prayers, his joy, the peace I see in him while he prays and it started me thinking about my 'adult-like' faith.

I was told once that I would pass down my faith to my children, but I see my faith and think, "I don't want to pass down my faith-I want them to KEEP their own child-like faith. For instance:  Each day I have worship music on and it plays throughout the house. I love to dance, so when I am moved by one of the songs I find myself dancing. When the song ends I usually go back to whatever I had been doing before that particular song came on.  But with my children it is completely different. As soon as my two youngest ones even see me move toward the stereo they get excited. I'll always hear my three-year old ask my one year old, "Joy, do you want to dance with me?" The music comes on they will dance and dance, song after song. My older ones will dance with them and laugh and just enjoy dancing and singing about how wonderful Jesus is. I watch them. They dance with freedom. They dance as if no one is watching them. That's child-faith in action.

So many times when I'm in church singing and praising the Lord and a particular song is being sung I find myself just wanting to dance. I want to dance up and down the aisles. I want to dance with my sisters in Christ. I want to dance with scarfs and banners. I just want to dance before the Lord and rejoice over what He has done and who He is.  I want to dance, but I don't. I see it in my children too-they want to dance, but I find myself not encouraging them to dance. (I've never told them not to, but I haven't encouraged them either).  And I've come to see that it's because of my "adult-like" faith. I'd be too embarrassed to dance. I wouldn't want anyone to stare at me. I wouldn't want anyone to think that I was dancing to look any more 'spiritual' than anyone else. I think, "Am I even allowed to dance?" Would I get in trouble? All the worry. All the fear of man.

And that folks is what I'd like to call 'adult-like' faith at work.

And sadly, the more I think about it the more I realize that I am passing on to my children my unfaithful, adult-like faith. I'm robbing them of their faith-their child-like faith. Faith to love to Jesus and the trust to receive it. I'm robbing them of their excitement of who HE is and what HE has done. I'm taking from them the desire to express their joy of Jesus by squelching their dance.

I've tried not to, but think in many ways I've failed at teaching them that Jesus is not just for church and Sundays. And Jesus is not about pretty dresses, handsome outfits, slicked over hair, and hair bows, and smiles on Sunday morning. We dress for Him, but I wonder if I've communicated that well enough. I wonder if I've communicated to them that I want to be about so much more than church.  Jesus wasn't about sitting around and being fed, He was about going from town to town preaching the Good News, healing the sick, and much sacrifice.

What motivated Jesus to go from city to city? To meet new people? To be welcomed into strangers homes and sleep over? I believe it was His excitement over God His Father. He was truly over flowing with the love of God and the love for all people and just had to tell everyone. He held the Good News in His heart and had a burning desire to share it and rejoice about it with anyone who would listen. Jesus knew He had the truth and was not ashamed in any way to share it. He was also not afraid to share it. Jesus did not have 'adult-like' faith. A faith that says, "I'll look normal and act normal." A faith that stays in the guidelines. A faith that is not radical or on fire. A faith that prays, "I'll pray for God's will to be done", instead of believing and praying in the power of the Holy Spirit for a soul  to be saved or the sick to be made whole.  A faith that is quiet. A faith that is not bouncy and dancing before God with a heart just so full of gratefulness that you just can't keep still. And truly, a faith that really isn't faith at all.

I don't want my 'adult-like' faith-I'm not sure where I even got it from. I had child-like faith when I was first touched by God's incredible love and I know I had it for years. I remember when I shared an apartment with a friend in Queens I used to read the Bible before work (about an hour's length of time), come home from work and read it for another hour and before bed-well, I'd read for hours. I then remember after a few years of doing that I started hearing people say how they forgot to read the Bible today or that WEEK(!) I was shocked. All I wanted to do was read the Word. How do you put anything before reading the Bible?(Naivety? or child-like faith?-I'll let you decide). Either way, seeing so many people not reading the Bible started me thinking, 'What am I doing? Christians don't read the Bible every day.Ellen, be normal.'

So, my choice, my sin, my loss of child-like faith. 

Children don't worry about what other people are doing- they just do what their heart leads them to do. That's why they'll just bonk someone on the head if they feel like it and so along with that that's why they dance, jump up and down and rejoice freely over good news. (Tell a child you are taking them to Chuck E. Cheese and see the response- let alone hear it!) They show their hearts with out worry or fear of the law or the consequences.

I want that! I want to express my faith without fear. I want dance! I want to share the gospel! I want to see the sick healed because it is the heart of the Father and Son and the Holy Spirit to see all people healed in body, soul, and spirit. I want to be radical, on fire, for Jesus without fear of man's judgement. I want it back-I want my child-like faith back. I want what the enemy has stolen. And with God's help I will have it again!

1 comment:

  1. Love this Ellen. I too want to have that child-like, unquestioning faith! And I will dance with you in church anytime!!! :)