In the fifth chapter of Second Corinthians the apostle Paul said that he used to see Christ and other men and events “after the flesh” but no longer.
He believed fully in the new operation of the indwelling Holy Spirit. This was the very life and mind of Jesus imparted to the innermost being of one born again.
There would be a deposit of the Spirit available for any decision to speak to act to serve or to abstain. Would we but stop to resort to this blessed Comforter and Guide. Jesus went into this teaching fully in His Upper Room Discourse in John’s Gospel chapters fourteen through sixteen.
We are obliged now to learn daily how to consult with the Spirit. We have been allowed into the very circle of agape love shared by the members of the Trinity. The whisperings of the Godhead will become increasingly apparent with our consistent submission and trust.
We will be saved from much lost adrenaline lost time and panic and confusion if only we will progress in this fashion. Be advised that God’s best path may appear at first to be awkward or hazardous to our commonplace thinking.
Persevere prayerfully and with worship and thanksgiving.
Approach a parent and child of tender years in a public place and try to engage in casual conversation. Not so easy.
The parent will probably look at her watch and remember that she still has a long to-do list to accomplish for the morning. The child will say nothing and register a look of fear or perplexity wanting to know what Mom thinks of the encounter.
There have already been the talks about not talking to strangers or taking anything from them. Mom recalls the news articles about morbid child-nappers. Best not take a chance.
But in this same scenario the little one is learning about suspicion and rudeness. Losing the opportunity to engage with big folks on his own terms, thereby gaining confidence and the beginnings of social grace.
Take note of an incident in Mark chapter 9:
35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
Whoever Is Not Against Us Is for Us
38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
Causing to Stumble
42 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.
I love the commentary of Alexander Maclaren on this episode. He sees the entirety of the relationship of believer and Saviour in it. The believer seated close relaxed attentive unafraid respectful teachable and confident that he is loved and safe. The Master all loving all affirming all available all wise and all capable. Do not interfere with such a connection.
And can we bring anything resembling a Christ-like encounter to the child who crosses our path?