• Chan Gin Kai

Like A Little Child 3 — Just As I Am

Chan Gin Kai

Luke 18:15-17

People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:15-17)

In our first article of this series, we learnt how God is like a doting father to children He loves dearly. In the second, we discovered how we can be children that trust our Father. Today, we’re going to examine how we can approach God with freedom.

We can imagine why the disciples tried to shoo the kids away.

“We won’t allow anything that will dirty Jesus”, the disciples thought. The babies may burp or regurgitate, or heavens forbid, the diapers may leak. Jesus has many more places to go, and he can’t possibly do it with a yellow stain on his robes.

“We won’t allow anything that may offend Jesus”, the disciples thought. What if the kids scream in his ears or pull his beard? Or accidentally say something rude? Kids rattle off whatever is in their minds. They don’t know he is holy or how to say the niceties.

The disciples really meant well. Jesus is the Son of God. He must not be blemished, he has to be revered, and he has a world to save. But they didn’t know what really matters to Jesus. They chose to censor what comes before him.

This is often how we pray too. We censor.

Never Too Dirty For God

We’re sometimes afraid to approach Jesus when because feel “dirty”. While there are times we feel indifferent when we sin, there are also times when we feel so bad about our iniquities that we feel ashamed to pray. We assume the latter to be better than the formal, but really, both are just as bad.

We should feel contrite and repent of our sins of course. But feeling remorse and getting overwhelmed with guilt are totally different. One spurs us to change while the other handicaps us. The former turns us to God while the latter turns us away from Him.

It is when we are in sin that we need to turn to God the most. We need His mercy and forgiveness. We need His power to overcome our weaknesses. But ironically, it is also when we are in sin that we feel least comfortable to seek God in prayer. We are afraid He’ll refuse to hear us. We deem ourselves unworthy and fall into self-pity.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10)

Jesus came precisely for people like us… the sinful… and that means all of us. Of course little kids can’t tell the difference between right and wrong, but we’ve all sinned ever since we started knowing the difference. We are never so holy that we don’t need Jesus’ redemption, and we are never so dirty that we can’t approach God.

Let us approach God, just as we are.

Never Too Offensive To God

I’m not saying we should be rude or disrespectful to God, but we sometimes censor our thoughts so much that our prayers don’t even reflect how we truly feel. We may feel disappointed by God, or angry at His unfairness. But do we dare to express these emotions in prayer?

King David felt abandoned by God and accused God of forgetting him (Psalm 13:1). He asked God why He hid Himself in times of trouble (Psalm 10:1). Asaph questioned God’s fairness, on why He allows the righteous to suffer, and sinners to be successful (Psalm 73).

These psalmists had tough questions for God. We see how they started off their psalms upset with God, but always found reconciliation with God by the end of each psalm. They may not have found the solutions to their problems, but they got resolved in their hearts.

Each psalm may only be a few verses long, but we can imagine David must have struggled with those thoughts for hours, or through multiple prayers over days. At Gethsemane, Jesus wrestled in prayer for hours. When was the last time we wrestled with God in prayer?

Let’s continue bringing our grateful praises and thanksgiving to God. But let’s also approach Him with our doubts, disappointments and despair.

While writing this article, the beautiful hymn by Charlotte Elliott came to mind.

Just As I Am

(Lyrics by Charlotte Elliott)

Just as I am, without one plea

But that Thy blood was shed for me

And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee

O Lamb of God, I come! I come

Just as I am, though tossed about

With many a conflict, many a doubt

Fighting and fears within without

O Lamb of God, I come, I come

Just as I am, and waiting not

to rid my soul of one dark blot

to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot

O Lamb of God, I come, I come

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind

Sight, riches, healing of the mind

Yea, all I need, in Thee to find

O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive

Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve

Because Thy promise I believe

O Lamb of God, I come, I come

Because Thy promise I believe

O Lamb of God, I come, I come

Approach God uncensored. It is only when we are open to Him, that He can help us understand Him. Go to Him “with all kinds of prayers” (Ephesians 6:18). With praises or doubts, feeling guilt-ridden or victorious, we can approach God just as we are.

Read more about ‘Like A Little Child’:

Like A Little Child 1 - The Doting Father

Like A Little Child 2 - The Trusting Kid

Chan Gin Kai

Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. He serves actively in the Central Christian Church and describes himself as “just a sinner who wants to get right with God”.

38 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All