One time I stood a little child before my disciples and said to them, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Why? Because with children, everything must be simple. Children are humble. They simply receive. It’s pretty much all they do. And they are perfectly happy doing it.
That’s what you are designed to do. Be like a child. Just receive.
All of life involves receiving. In the natural realm, plants receive energy from the sun, water from the sky, and nourishment from the soil. Animals receive the food I provide them. You receive the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat. All of creation functions by receptivity.
The same applies in the spiritual realm. You simply receive. Receptivity is the most child-like function you can have, and the most natural. It is not one of your functions. It is your function. All of your other functions are by-products of this one. Children are wonderful receivers. You are my Father’s child, remember?
When you receive, your focus is on what is being received. If you are being thrown a baseball, your focus isn’t on the perfection of your glove; it’s on the baseball coming at you (or, at least, it needs to be!). If you are sitting down to eat, your focus isn’t on the complexity of your digestive system. It’s on the food you are receiving.
Because we are one, it’s not your activity that is key in our union. It’s your receptivity. That’s how I live my life through you, through your receptivity. That’s how we entered into a one-spirit union in the first place. You received me. That is still your role, to receive.
What is it, then, that you receive? Do you receive my help? No, I didn’t come to help you live the life. I came to live it in you. Do you receive the love, the patience, the power? No, I don’t have those things to give you. I only have myself to give you. And that is exactly what you receive. You receive me, living my life in you, and through you. I am already in you, living through you. I simply want you to receive more fully the reality of me living in you.
And how, you may ask, do you receive? By faith.
Remember what the Bible’s word for receptivity is? Faith. It is not striving hard after anything. It’s simply receiving what already is. In truth, it is simply recognizing what already is. What already is, is me, living my life in you and through you. You simply accept that as the present-tense reality. It doesn’t become the reality when you believe hard enough. It is the reality. Right now.
All of life is lived by faith, even in the physical realm. You are invited to someone’s home. You are given an address. You’ve never been there. You don’t even know if there is a house at that address. But you have faith that what your hosts have told you is true. So you go in faith, trusting that when you arrive, a house will be there.
Once there, you go in. Everyone is invited to have a seat. You spot a wooden chair. You have no idea if the chair will hold you. You’ve never sat in it before. But you trust that your hosts won’t put a chair out that is going to collapse. By faith, you sit. Dinner is served. You’ve never eaten anything at this home before …
Do you see? You are operating entirely on faith in someone, and what that someone has told you. Your faith doesn’t create the reality. The house was already there. The chair that would hold you was already there. Through faith you simply recognized the reality that already was. You could have said, “I don’t believe that chair will hold me,” and walked out.
It is no different in the spiritual realm. Faith doesn’t create the reality. Faith is simply recognizing what is already there. It is continually recognizing the life of Another in you. You trust in me, and what I tell you: I am in you; you are in me; I am living my life through you. I am speaking, acting, loving through you. It is no longer you who live. It is me living through you, expressing all that I am through you.
You relax into this reality. That is your divinely-ordained role. You are the container. You are the one trusting me, depending on me each moment to make it a reality. Ours is a union in which I produce the fruit, and you manifest it. You can’t produce it. But you allow it to be expressed through you. That happens through faith.
But that’s too simple, you may object. Yes, it is simple. I told you that this life is simple. It has to be if you are to receive it like a child. I am inviting you to enter my rest, in the here and now. How else are you going to be at rest other than by simply receiving?
The wonderful thing is that you don’t even have to work up this faith that I am the one living in you. You live by my faith. I am the Believer in you. You lean on me to have sufficient faith. You depend on me for your faith, just as you depend on me for everything else. I am your faith. I am the One living in you, and through you. Right now.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name … (John 1:12)
For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. (John 1:16)
“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” — Jesus (Mark 10:15)
The righteous shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17)
The righteous shall live by faith. (Galatians 3:11)
The righteous shall live by faith. (Hebrews 10:38)
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him … (Colossians 2:6)
… the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20b)
… fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith … (Hebrews 12:2)
(This article is excerpted from my book If Jesus Loves Me Why Isn’t This Working?)