Ah!! The honesty of a three year-old. I remember it well. I was struck at how often we followers of Christ do the same thing. Oh, we love God when he gives us cookies, or in our adult cases, money, cars, our own way, but we don’t like it much when he says no.
Fortunately, this child will grow up and become a man in his 20’s and realize that his mom knows best and that because of her love, she always had his best interest at heart. Unfortunately, many followers will never come to that realization.
John 3:1. Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council.
2. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”3. In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. “
In this passage Jesus says no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. That word see means to know, to perceive, to behold.
4. “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
5. Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
6. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
Then Jesus continues and says to enter the kingdom of God we have to be born of water AND the Spirit. That word enter means to arise, to come into.
So we see that there are two distinct transitions in a believer’s life. One, where he sees the kingdom of God, as in the three year old who sees his mom as either likable or not, depending on what she is requiring of him. The other where the believer enters the kingdom of God, as in the three year old, a few years down the road, who understands that because his mother loves him, she says no sometimes.
So we see two distinct types of believers.
John 1:12. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
These are believers who are called children by mere fact of birth. They are the ones who see the kingdom of God. They are the three year-old who proclaim, I love you but I don’t like you all the time. Or in Christian language, “God why is this always happening to me?”
Romans 8:14. because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
These are believers who are called sons because of character or behavior. They’ve matured, they live being guided by the Holy Spirit. In Christian language, “I know You have a purpose and even though I don’t understand it, I know you’ll make a way.”
Galatians 4:1. What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.
This believer is an heir, meaning he should be growing and maturing, but if he is still being told what to do and how to do it then he is still not walking in the freedom of Holy Spirit.
So do a gut check today. Are you still letting God know you love him, but don’t really trust him, or like him a whole lot, or have you figured out that it all works together for good, and it will be alright in the end?