Wow! I’m up, Lord. I’m up! Funny how a little thing like a text can get you up and running. lol (Inside joke, long story) But… here I am and here we go!
“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1b-4 NIV)
Now, there is a lot going on here. We tend to think of humble as bowing in deference to the Lord, but let’s examine the behavior of children. When little kids are around people, especially those they are familiar with, notice what they do. They ask questions. They invade your personal space – lol – I’m a mom. My kids are all over me all the time. My youngest are toddlers and that’s a whole ‘nother level of invasion. They poke; they prod. They climb in my lap. They get nose to nose. They examine every little mole and freckle. They play with my hands, my hair, my earrings, etc. They tell me I’m pretty, ask about scratches… I also worked in a daycare as a teen in the toddler/pre-K room. It was no different. I had a little girl whose favorite thing to do daily was to sit in my lap and play with and stare at my hands.
What if we went to the Lord like this? We humble ourselves differently. We allow ourselves to be free and unencumbered like children and climb in His lap or put His arm around us and look at that boo-boo on His hands and say “I’m sorry” and kiss it to make it better like little kids do when they see Mommy’s owie. What if we said, “I love You. You are so beautiful” just because? What if we touched the hem of His garment? What if we tried to look at His eyes? What if? What if He totally delighted in that? How would that change you, your relationship with Him, your outlook on Him… your life? What if He goes from being God to also being Abba or Daddy?
I used to cringe at people calling Him “Daddy”. Are you nuts?!? That’s the Almighty!!! I would even tell Him, “Lord, I might call you Father, but that’s Team Too Much. That’s not showing enough respect. I’ve got a healthy fear and just… wow…” And, then He used my children against me.
My oldest started in on this thing calling me “Mother” and one of the littles started calling me “Mom”. If you know me, this gets under my skin like you wouldn’t believe. No judgement on anyone who is called by these names; but, long before I ever had a kid, I knew I was to be called Mommy and I am to always be called Mommy even when I’m old and gray and on a stick. I’m still Mommy no matter what. So, finally, one day, I shot my oldest The Look as she once again referred to me as “Mother”. “Why does that bother you and why can she call you Mom?” I said to her, “She can’t and I don’t like it. They sound too formal. They put a distance between us. I’m your mommy!” Then I heard God chuckle.
God’s got jokes. Well played, Lord. Well played.
The floodgates of Awesome washed in. He became my DADDY in that moment and took my walk to a whole new level. “DADDY loves me.” Wow! Now if you are a Daddy’s Girl and I am – I have an awesome dad (in fact, I still call him “Daddy”. The Lord blessed me with this awesome man so I could finally get a clue about the way He loves me, too) – then you know how powerful that really is. That confidence in knowing you are Daddy’s Girl with the Lord, changes the game. NOW the devil needs to really watch out. He is messing with His baby! Any Mama and Papa Bears out there? Then you already know…
And, being a Daddy’s Girl (or a Daddy’s Boy) allows for a little spoiling (Ephesians 3:20, anyone?), a lot of attention and affection… you get to experience His love in a whole new way. It’s amazing! Think about it. Eden – that was it, wasn’t it? It was created as a place for God to spend time with and delight in His children. That’s what heaven is about, delighting and being unencumbered with the Lord. No more evil, hurt, sick or yuck to contend with. You get Him all to yourself and He gets you all to Himself! Um… YAY!!! Yes, please! And, this Daddy’s Girl thing, this powerful knowledge that He is also my Daddy the way little girls look at Daddy (strong, brave, awesome, the coolest) has taken my prayer warrior game up a notch, too!
This brings to mind another image. In 2 Samuel 6, King David stepped outside of the Lord (sort of doing what I was) trying to give Him this formal style honor by building some cart to carry the Ark of the Lord to Jerusalem and it didn’t go so well (You can read all about that) – “Doing a right thing in a wrong way” my bible has entitled it – David became afraid and left the Ark behind in the house of Obed-Edom. Consequently, the house was blessed. David heard of the blessing and went to retrieve the Ark. He offered a sacrifice and began dancing in front of it:
David, wearing a linen, ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. (2 Samuel 6:14-15 NIV)
Now, David is a king and he is essentially dancing around in front of the Lord and all these people in his underwear. We go from “I’m going to build You this fancy cart” to I’m dancing in my drawers out in public… yeah. His wife Michal saw it and was none to0 pleased.
“How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!” (2 Samuel 6:20 NIV)
Now, I can’t get mad. I don’t blame her on the surface. Who wants their man dancing around in his undies in front of the ladies? And, it’s probably a little embarrassing. I mean, who does that? David answers:
“It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel – I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” (2 Samuel 6:21-22 NIV)
Well, BOOM! Michal lost focus. Pride took over. The Lord was coming to dwell with them. Forget that, “he’s acting like a fool, embarrassing me in front of some slave girls… We’re royalty!” Did she not see the last time taking that exulted attitude ended in tragedy? Did she not see what happened to her own father? Now, I’m not puppy piling on her. I would argue we have all been guilty of this, putting on churchly airs… I’ll come back to that.
David said, “I’m sold out to the Lord. I’ll act like an even bigger fool because I am so grateful for his blessing and He’ll honor that.” Ever had that moment, looking like a fool to the world because you are believing in the Lord? I did. I have practically been called crazy, even looked upon as a fragile wretch because I refused to move from a promise the Lord gave me. It looks like nothing is changing, but the Lord basically told me it’s gotta go down that way so when it comes to pass, they’ll know it’s Him. He’ll get the glory and it’ll will change their whole concept of who He is. That was a rough night, but I stood my ground. My Daddy’s got me and He doesn’t lie. So, like David, I don’t answer to man and I’ll keep looking like a fool because I know what I know. I know Who He is (I AM, not I Might or Maybe) and what He said. And when it happens, I’ll be vindicated and honored; He’ll get His glory and hopefully, they’ll know what I know, too.
So, let’s go back to Michal and tie this into our little children theme. I have these song lyrics stuck in my head:
Have fun again, I want you to have fun; Just like the little children, like the little children; Know how they have fun
This is from a song called “Have Fun Again” by Diana Ross from her Diana album. Solid album, by the way.
Michal was caught up in the look of something. Little kids don’t do that. Put on music. Watch them. They just start dancing and singing and sometimes it looks like they are having fits. They don’t care. They are so happy! Psalm 8:2 says “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” (NIV) Like, who! He takes their little praise and anoints it with power to shut the enemy down! See, at that age, the world hasn’t messed with their perception. If we say, “God is bigger than the devil”, they say “okay”. Done. Faith game on point – where we need to be. The enemy needs us to think he is equal to God in every way. That way, he can keep running game on us and inhibit us from all the power and the authority God gives His children to shut him down. What if we switched gears and thought like the little children. What if we put on praise music and let go like they do, like David did without worrying about what it looks like. What if we came freely before the throne with praise – free ourselves from this notion of “proper” worship?
I did just that and watched my kids dance and sing and heard “Why don’t you do that? I know life is hard right now, but why don’t you just dance and sing like them? Have some fun. Enjoy your life. Today is the day that I have made, rejoice and be glad in it.” And, yes, I’ve been in the thick of it, but I can still have joy, still live, still have fun and show Him gratitude for what I have. It doesn’t matter who’s looking because when Jesus comes, no one is going to be worried about me singing in the rain and jumping in puddles with my kids when my life was topsy-turvy. No one is going to be worried that I let some hallelujahs fly in church that one day because I was in the Spirit – if you can’t do that in His house, this should give you cause for pause. The Spirit should be welcome in His house and to operate as he is instructed by the Lord.
And, Lord! Whew! Think of the damage you are doing to the enemy camp when (as my child says during her rendition of Eenie Meenie Minie Mo) you “let your hollers go”! If He is anointing their praise, what will He do with yours as you humble yourself and come to Him and love on Him and praise Him in this childlike state.? Must feel like a crazy earthquake with tornadic activity and flooding going on there. Just pure chaos! Oh, well…
HEY, DADDY! LET’S HAVE SOME FUN! HALLELUJAH!!!