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The Return of a Child's Heart

March 15, 2018

 I have witnessed so much powerful fruit released through the outpouring of God's presence. People I had known for decades were getting free of addiction, bondage and illness, being reconciled with spouses and family members and living with freedom and joy such as they had never known. For me, one of the main themes of this season was learning to live in the freedom of being a daughter who, like Christ, was responsible simply to see and hear what the Father was doing and join Him at His invitation - no more, no less. I was not to be deceived into striving under false obligations and burdens. My responsibility was to enjoy intimacy with Him - recognizing that this is the greatest source of fruitfulness. 

 

As I pursued this goal of intimacy and connection with God, I came into greater alignment with His purposes. I unlearned my old, emotionally dishonest ways and stopped putting up protective walls when I felt vulnerable. I also learned to stop beating myself up when I was not successful. Instead, I quickly received His correction and tried again. 

 

Incidentally, the ability to learn from failure is probably the greatest quality necessary to be a missionary. No scenario is really more filled with opportunities for faux pas than trying to live in another country, enter another culture, speak another language and serve another society. You are bound to get mud on your face on a regular basis! The sooner you take on a childlike attitude and fall in love with learning in all its messiness, the more at peace you will be. 

 

The years of carrying disappointment had shut down a childlike heart in me, but God graciously restored that childlikeness - with a new resilience and depth. In the process, I discovered a paradox of spiritual maturity - we get younger as we get older. The more we posses the voracious curiosity of sons and daughters who embrace lessons in both success and failure, the freer we are to lead confidently as spiritual mothers and fathers who know that with Him, we ultimately cannot fail. 

 

I have found that the spiritually mature look nothing like the world's typical adults who have lost their hope, dreams, passion and vision and are looking to finish their days in quiet retirement. Instead, like Caleb, whose faith kept him young and strong for 45 years even as his entire generation died around him in the desert, the spiritually mature know how to tap into God's measureless, renewing strength so that they can complete their assignment in the earth and leave an inheritance for their sons and daughters. As Isaiah promised, those who wait on the One who "does not grow tired or weary" will "run and not grow wear" (Isaiah 40:28,31 NIV)

 

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