The Surprising Way To Enter The Kingdom of God

What do you want to be when you “grow-up?”

Peter Pan may be more right than we thought. Even as children, we don’t want to be children, we want to be “grown-ups.” When posed with the question above, I have yet to hear a child say, “I want to be a kid when I grow up!”

That’s not how we are wired to respond. That’s not how we’ve been trained to respond.

We are wired and trained to believe that forward movement is upward movement. As you move forward you should also be moving upward. But then there is Jesus…

He keeps telling us things we don’t really want to hear. He told us that the way to true happiness is through sadness. The way to wisdom is through perceived foolishness. And though it chafes us, Jesus tells us that forward movement is actually downward movement.

Truly, I say unto you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:3

Who thinks of BECOMING a child? We become adults — right?!

Maybe we should heed Jesus…maybe we should turn around and go the other direction. We’ll each have to decide which way we think is best. Do we believe Him? …or not?

The truth is that most of aren’t just trying to “grow-up”—  we’re also trying to prove how “grown-up” we can be! The sad truth is that most of us are so busy proving ourselves that we are stressed out. Don’t you know that we’re never going to make it that way?

There is no earning our way. There is no real self-sufficiency. Every good gift we have is sourced by God. (James 1:7) We are living, breathing, moving and existing because God is giving us life in this very moment. (Acts 17:28)

That’s the reality. We’re still kids playing pretend. Pretending that we can operate independently from God. Pretending that, in our “adultness,” we can become our own god. We’re all just grown-up kids pretending be “adults.”

Jesus sees right through all that and He’s calling us to stop our fight against the flow of reality. The truth is, each and every one of us is dependent on Him. Instead of a life-time fight for independence from God, isn’t our time better spent leaning into our dependence? Isn’t our time better spent learning how to swim in our dependence on God?

Practically speaking, for me, that looks like running towards Jesus instead of away from Him. It means praying when I want to be solving. It means sitting in His Words when I want to be self-medicating. It means asking more questions — and not assuming or acting like I already know the answers.

These are the thoughts stirring in my head in the midst of graduations and at the start of “camp” season. We’re jumping in to  another summer with Centrikid this week and could use your prayer as we seek to serve these kids, their parents, their volunteers, and their pastors over the next couple of months.

What does forward and downward movement look like for you?

There are 3 comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *