When Being Helpless Is a Good Thing
“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Luke 18:16-17 NKJV)
What is this essential quality all little children possess without which no one can enter the kingdom? Is it innocence? It can’t be because children are not innocent. And it isn’t humility, either. I’ve met quite a few children who definitely were not humble!
So what is it? The one thing common to all little children is helplessness. Infants and very little children, regardless of race, color, or origin, are completely dependent on others for their well-being. They need help for everything, or they will die. Left to herself, the only thing an infant child can do without help is get dirty and cry. Infant children are helpless.
The word Luke used for “little children” refers to infants. So, when Jesus says we are to receive the kingdom as “little children,” He is telling us we cannot provide for ourselves spiritually. We are as capable of providing for our own spiritual needs as an infant child is capable of taking care of herself. The truth is, left to ourselves, the only thing we can do spiritually is get dirty and cry.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NKJV)
Do you see? Recognizing our helplessness is a good thing. Contrary to the teachings of the “self-help” gurus and preachers that tell men to believe in themselves, in how great and powerful they are, Jesus taught His disciples to recognize how weak and helpless they were. He trained them to put no confidence in their flesh (self-effort), to look to themselves for nothing spiritually, but to depend upon Him for everything.
Child of God, the problem many of us are having today in our walk is that we are not helpless in our eyes. Consequently, we are looking to ourselves for things only Christ can fulfill. We look to ourselves for faith, hope, and love. We look to ourselves for the will power and ability to obey God. Or, for the resources to take care of ourselves, our families, or our ministries. And when we fail, as we often do, we either convince ourselves we have succeeded, or condemn ourselves for failing for the one-hundredth time.
Let’s not continue to make the same mistake over and over. The kingdom of God is not for the person who is able. It is not for the person who thinks he can help himself spiritually. It can only be accessed and profited from by the person who, like an infant, is helplessly dependent upon Jesus for everything he needs for life and godliness. When Paul says God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus, He means it! Now, will you believe it?
Remember, the one requirement for receiving the kingdom and entering into the fullness of its blessings and wealth is helplessness. So, start to confess your dependence upon God for everything. That attitude delights God. And whenever you start to think otherwise, quickly remind yourself that you are as capable of providing for your own spiritual needs as an infant child is capable of taking care of herself. Then, rest in your Father’s love and start experiencing His ability to do for you through Jesus everything you could never do for yourself!