Bigger in size, smaller in spirit – Part 1
1) At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? (2) And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them. (3) And he said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (4) Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven (5) And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
Human beings deceive themselves, by the use of earthly appraisal techniques, in the assessment of biblical and spiritual matters. We have many times, possibly unconsciously, considered age, education, wealth, seniority and size, among others, in arriving at the conclusion, of whom we related with, and those we assigned responsibilities to, on spiritual matters. This, we most times do also, by negating the demands of the Spirit, as well as taking as secondary consideration, the mind of the Holy Spirit. Many among us, who are even strong in faith, will factor age in the consideration of the messenger (s) on spiritual matters, and looking down on some people, as “Small children,” yet the discerning of the Holy Spirit is not gifted on size.
When Christ talked about being like little children, He was telling us that we can only be ready to serve God, when our mind is made ready for it. How then will our mind be made ready? Is it by age? Size? Wealth? The truth of the matter is that we may be bigger in size and yet be minute in things of the Spirit. If we look at the way King David was chosen by God; in the eyes of the earthly leaders, he was just a small boy, but to God, he had a mind ready for spiritual assignments.
God needed a vessel of honour from the family of Jesse and He expected Samuel to have opened his spiritual eyes, and not earthly eyes, in understanding His choice. God knew that someone with the mind-set of “I am an old man”; “I am more qualified than you”; “I was already a teacher, before you were born” would not fit into the expectations of the planned assignment. What God wanted Prophet Samuel to know was that, He (God) only needed someone with the mind of a child, yet bigger in spirit, who would not issue Him ‘a query’ (disobedience), when asked to perform a task.
While man talks of strength, size and the rest, God only thinks of the readiness of our heart. Yes, our physical appearance and oratory dexterity may be overwhelming, thereby projecting our earthly and worldly attestation, but they may count for nothing in spiritual matters. Meanwhile, Samuel went to the house of Jesse and started to consider the appearances of his sons. He first looked at Eliab and had this to say – Surely the Lord anointed is before him (1 Samuel 16:6). But Samuel got a different verdict from God in verse 7 – “But the Lord said unto Samuel, look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
Samuel then continued these observations of Jesse’s sons, but they were all rejected by God, until David was asked to come from where he was keeping the sheep. Upon the arrival of the youngest son, David, God said “Arise, and anoint him: for this is he (1 Samuel 16:12). How could hefty men be rejected by God, but a very small boy chosen by Him? The reality is that spiritual matters are not decided on the basis of physical appearance, but inward appearance. This inward appearance involves having the virtues of true children of God, which include Selflessness, Forgiving Spirit, Humility, Holiness, Obedience, Peaceful Coexistence with others, Contentment, Avoidance of Inordinate Ambition, Love and the likes.
Remain permanently under God’s banner!
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To Be Continued…
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