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FREE AS A CHILD BY MICHELLE DU TOIT


Personally, I wouldn’t mind handing over the complete management of my unmanageable life to someone else – especially if that someone were able to manage everything in the world, everywhere. There would be a freedom in that, not to have to care anymore, but to rest in the knowledge that everything would be taken care of, better than I could ever do it.


That is what I imagine real freedom to be.

Real Freedom


I want to propose that this real freedom lies in learning to live in simple faith and childlike trust in God, believing all we know about Him from scripture and trusting His heart. This, I believe, IS the very key that unlocks the whole treasure-house of God.


What are the characteristics of a little child? How does he live? He lives by simple faith. The most notable characteristic of this child is that he lives without care. His life is one long trust from day to day, year to year. The child trusts his parents, caretakers, teachers and extended family. He even sometimes trusts people who are totally unworthy of trust – this, too, comes out of the unlimited trustfulness of his nature. The child provides nothing for himself and, yet, everything he needs is provided for him. He lives in the present moment of his life, unconcerned about tomorrow. He receives everything, in a good life, without questioning how it comes to him, day to day, from his father’s hand. He is free and light-hearted, with the happy carelessness of childhood.

Jesus himself approved of this attitude, encouraging us to have a childlike faith, saying: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:3; NIV). All the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven are available to us, as believers, when we change and become trusting like little children in God’s care.


If you look at any household, it is the little children who receive the most care, though they put in the least amount of effort. It is the most helpless baby that gets the largest share of the care. We all know the baby does not work, yet the baby is fed, clothed, loved and rejoiced over more tenderly than the hardest worker in the whole family.

The life of a believer is to be just like this: a child in our Father’s house.


If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (1 John 4:15-16; NIV)

There is real freedom from care for a believer who rests in the love and care of the Father. A careful consideration of Matt 6:25-34 and Luke 12:22-34 will exactly reveal this resting in the love and caring for all our needs. There is no need to be anxious, afraid, worried, or fearful.

A few months ago, I was struggling with a difficult situation in my life, wondering how I was going to approach it and what God expected me to do to help me get through it. My prayers focused on:

“What do you want me to do LORD?”

Finally, I heard the Lord say to me: “Michelle, it is not what you will do that is important, but who you will be in this situation.”

We tend to forget that God is not so interested in what we do as much as He is interested in our inner person and whether we are becoming those “new creations” that He more desires (2 Cor 5:17). The greatest work the Holy Spirit does, in us, is to train us into this childlike trust. Leaving ourselves in His hands, then surrendering to His Lordship over our lives, is to learn to be literally “free of care.”


“Easier said than done!” you may say. But imagine there is a woman working as a slave in her master’s house. She is paid for her work on a weekly basis, submitting under the law of the master, whom she will try to please each day. Everything she does for him is duty. There is no intimate relationship between them. Finally, the master offers her his love and then lifts her up from a place among the slaves to be his bride, and to share in his fortunes. Immediately, the whole nature of anything she does for him changes. She may still do the same things she did before, but now the motive around her actions is totally different. It is no longer duty, but love. She is no longer slave, but free. He is no longer Master, but Husband. The love between them changes her life and all she does.

There is a freedom in resting in His love and care for her.

Now imagine this same bride starts feeling unworthy of the love relationship between them and, as a result, doubts his love and loses that union of spirit between them. Imagine she now believes that He requires some sort of service or action from her to have his love.

Pretty soon, all she does for Him will again be duty – slavery – and not freedom. Every action will be to meet a requirement FOR love, instead of a RESPONSE motivated by love.

This is what happens to us when we lose sight of His love and grace towards us, His complete care and provision and, instead, focus on dutiful service as opposed to loving service. We start to ask Him what we are to do in every situation, instead of trusting and resting in His love.

When it becomes all about my efforts, my wrestling and my faithfulness, then we forget the complete freedom that there is in receiving ALL of Christ (His Lordship over our lives and how wonderfully He saves us again and again).


If we will lay aside all our self-effort in relationship with Him, stop every kind of self-dependence, or self-management, and learn to trust Him first with a childlike trust, then Christ can live and move in us, and be our indwelling life (Acts 17:28). Then His will and purpose will prevail, and we will unlock all the treasures of Heaven that He has made available to us.

…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose. (Phil 2:12-13; NIV)


That, my dear friend, is freedom.


Your sister

Michelle





Women of Reverence welcomes Michelle du Toit as a guest contributor for our theme this month.


Michelle is a wife , mother and a writer for her blog Treasures of the heart.


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