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.” (Matthew 18:2-3)
During a church service one morning, I noticed a baby in our congregation. The baby, not yet a year old, was being held by her mother during worship and was happily examining her mother’s face, babbling contentedly about what she was seeing. She was reaching out and touching hair, skin, and eyes, all in wondrous amazement. At that moment, the worship team was singing, “We are lovers of Your Presence…” and I realized that the baby was the best example of this.
The baby lived completely in the moment, having no memory of what happened even minutes ago. She was unhindered by reminders of her past failures or mistakes, and was perfectly at peace. She enjoyed feeling secure arms around her, learning about the characteristics of her parent, and exploring her new world. True, she had no awareness of danger, but she trusted her mother to protect her.
That night, the Lord reminded me that one of the hideous strategies of the enemy is to use our memories against us. Satan reminds us of our past mistakes or abuse in order to hinder our free access into relationship with the Father. Accusing us of unworthiness, he will even condemn us about things for which we‘ve already asked forgiveness!
Satan divides our relationship with God by creating a feeling of false humility. He makes us doubt that the Father would enjoy holding us in His arms as much as the mother and baby I had seen. It was easy for the baby to enjoy relating to her parent, because she had no memory of past sins and believed she was adored! Nothing could separate her from the knowledge that she was the apple of her mother’s eye.
The Lord’s message in that moment was clear: we must be like children who forget their own weaknesses. He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103). Do not allow the enemy to conjure up unfounded reasons for your separation. Draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you. Enter the Kingdom of God freely and be a lover of His Presence!
c. 2014 Deborah Perkins
~ Question: What hinders you from talking freely, face to face, with God? You can leave comments below.
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.