Is Your Faith Child-like or Childish?

Marcia and I were married on August 7, 1982. After the wedding, my beautiful new bride and I left Michigan for the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania for our honeymoon. I’d never traveled any real distance on my own, and I assumed navigating would be easy, and the road signs would take us there. So, with no map — literally — we jumped in the car and got out on the road. This was well before mobile phones, Google maps or GPS.

We were one state away from home when we passed a sign that said “75 miles to the next city.” I verified that we had plenty of gas and kept driving. I transitioned from one highway to another to another. After an hour, I passed the exact same sign: “75 miles to the same next city.” I had been traveling in a circle! I was lost and had no idea how to find my way.I think that’s the faith journey for a lot of people as they move from childhood to adulthood. Simple Bible stories and familiar songs like “Jesus Loves Me” once worked for them, just like having their parents drive them around did. But when they grow up and have to take the wheel, both literally and spiritually, they find life to be much more difficult to navigate than they expected.

Jesus said,

Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. — Mark 10:15

But having the child-like faith and the trust to accept Jesus’ offer of salvation doesn’t mean remaining childish in our faith forever. Once we are reborn, we are expected to grow up. Hebrews 5:13-14 says,

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature.

And Romans 12:2 says,

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Is your faith growing up? Or have you discovered that the faith of your childhood isn’t sufficient to navigate an adult world?

Life is complex. You must deal with a secular culture, temptations you never knew existed, the demands of work, an imperfect marriage or other significant relationship, financial pressures, the challenges of parenting, and more. Do you find yourself wondering what on earth God is doing? Do you wonder if your life matters? Are you finding your way, or are you trying to do it like I was — without a map?

In Grown-Up Faith: The Big Picture for a Bigger Life I examine ten questions that I think a mature Christian faith should be able to answer:

  • Is Life an Accident or Am I Here on Purpose?
  • Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
  • Can I Really Trust God?
  • Why Can’t I Make My Own Rules?
  • Why Can’t God Just Accept Me as I Am?
  • Isn’t Only One Way to God Narrow Minded?
  • What Does It Mean to Be Forgiven?
  • Why Don’t Christians Look Different from Everybody Else?
  • Who Needs the Church?
  • Are Heaven and Hell Real?

You can find the answers to all of these questions in the Bible, but that’s hard to do without a roadmap, so I want to give you one.

The Bible is one big story made up of two halves: the Old and New Testaments. Each has five major events that mirror one another. Our story with God begins in paradise, and it will end there again, thanks to Jesus who offers us forgiveness and salvation.

Everything in human history turns on the person of Jesus.

So really, it’s not a secret what God is doing on earth. The world is no accident. And you are here on purpose. There is a bigger picture to life, and you are a part of it. God is inviting you to follow Him, grow up in your faith, and “have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

Adapted from Grown-Up Faith: The Big Picture for a Bigger Life by Kevin Myers with Charlie Wetzel.

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Your Turn

Is your faith growing up enough to deal with your adult life? After accepting Christ, the starting point in the growth process comes from reading Scripture. You learn God’s character, the story of His interaction with humankind, and principles for living, which will renew your mind, connect you to God emotionally, and inspire you to follow Him in holy obedience. So we invite you to take the challenge of rediscovering the Bible in 2019. And if you want help answering the core questions of faith, check out the Bible reading plan in Grown-Up Faith. It will help you cover an overview of the Bible in ten weeks and will provide you a map to the bigger life God offers. Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

 

Kevin Myers

Kevin Myers is the senior pastor of 12Stone® Church, one of the largest churches in the United States. A gifted communicator, influential leader, and strategic thinker, Kevin planted the church in 1987 and has grown it to eight campuses. Kevin mentors pastors and church planters, speaks at churches and businesses around the country, and serves on the General Board of the Wesleyan Church as well as the Wesleyan Investment Foundation (WIF), a nonprofit corporation that assists churches with capital needs. Kevin and Marcia, his wife of thirty-six years, have four children and two grandchildren.

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