His Disciples appeared to be 'all in.' Yet even though they were with Him, even participating in His ministry, there were things they needed in their lives. Matthew chapter 18 outlines God's way of success for believers.
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 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.
Here we have a debate that had arisen among the Disciples, resulting in a relevant question. Though they had their own opinions, obviously they wanted the Messiah Himself to settle it once and for all. As we each labor to know the truth, none of us should assume we are perfectly correct on every issue. Therefore, when we have an unsettled difference of opinion we must admit that one day, the Messiah will provide us all the answers. There are many answers He does provide which must be applied to our lives beginning with this.
Now that we've come this far, our greatest concern is how to "enter into the kingdom of heaven." Thank God we come up empty when we listen to the ways of men. But what does Christ have to say? That we must "be converted, and become as a little child."
This isn't what we expect to hear from Him. It goes against our reasoning, especially in America, where it's become all about being selfish and demanding. Yet if we want to enter God's kingdom, God has His way.
Many times we have our eyes on the wrong things. We want results but we don't know how to get there. We try forcing things, then react negatively when things don't seem to go our way. THERE MUST BE MORE FOR US THAN THIS! Meeting and following the Christ of the Scriptures provides us the way to succeed if we will only take to heart and put to practice His words:
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,
These Disciples had left all to follow Him. They wanted to know the way to tremendous success- "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" This must've been the last way the Disciples expected Christ to illustrate this, thru "a little child." Possibly they expected Him to start listing off names...Enoch, Moses, Elijah- He doesn't go there. They may have expected descriptions of impressive miracles, constituting being the greatest- He didn't do that either. Rather, He "called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them." What could this mean?!
Let's put ourselves there. Here's this little child standing before us, what do we see? The most precious possession on earth. If you know Him, this is how you want God to see you. He also wants to take care for you, just like when we see children- we want them provided for, looked out for, and protected.
Try and see what your Father sees in a little child: one who's just getting started, one who will listen and learn...one who hasn't accomplished much and needs guidance. These may seem like negatives from the adult perspective, but only in our carnal minds. When it comes to being the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, it begins with this little child. Grasping this is key- HE ALWAYS HAS HIS EYE ON US SO WE CAN BE MORE DEPENDANT ON HIM. He knows what we have need of before we ask Him.
The only way to respond to this, is to see it as our chance to start over with Him; recognizing our approach has been all wrong. We've been taught to reason, that the more we put our hands on something, the better off we'll be. Yet God's way is for us to put it all in His hands:
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
What constitutes being converted is a major point of confusion. Do not confuse conversion with any false notions of 'being born again', which is taught nowhere in the Scriptures (See FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, PART 1: BORN AGAIN).What the Scriptures teach is being BORN FROM ABOVE which was completely out of our control at our conception.
Conversion is the first step in getting headed in the right direction to enter God's kingdom. If we've been misled on conversion, thinking it's something other than what Christ taught, the end result will not be entering His kingdom or success. Therefore in this sense, conversion is not optional. According to Christ, "Except" we change in this way, we will not "enter the kingdom."
Conversion does not happen thru any external means; it isn't somehow 'conjured up' thru denominational rituals or dogmas. Christ is referring to a deep awakening of heart, soul, and mind- of purpose. Conversion is turning your life away from it's previous self-serving direction, putting you toward God's kingdom, opposite your previous ways- maybe even your religious life. Conversion is in stark contrast to our familiar, even traditional philosophies of life. Though your family and friends will recognize a definite change, unless they've been converted themselves, they will not understand what's happened to you.
Conversion comes thru internal persuasion. For Christ is not telling us to do something but to "be" and "become" who we really are on the inside, "little children." Deep personal introspection is required on our part in order to be converted. You cannot help anyone else until you help yourself in this way.
What then is it to be converted? It is realizing inwardly you are someone else; being that selfless, spiritual individual who dwells within, becoming more and more reliant upon your Father. This might not be what we were taught conversion is or even what our carnal mind wants it to be. Yet it's what God placed in us and it's how God wants it. God's not looking for those who think themselves big shots but humble children. Like it or not, God always sees how dependant we really are upon Him.
Will you start your life over AS A LITTLE CHILD? You will if you want to be converted and on the road to being successful God's way. Regardless of whether you've been a judeochristian or not: WHEN YOU'RE WILLING TO START YOUR LIFE OVER IN THIS WAY, YOU'RE BEING CONVERTED. Men make it difficult, confusing, and complex. Why not simply start over and surrender to God?
Conversion is from the inside out. Conversion is the beginning of wanting to find out what God has for you and who He wants you to be for Him. Nothing else matters until this change of self perception takes place. Everything changes when we realize we're His "little children." So identify as a little child, acknowledge God as your Father, and accept your total dependency upon Him.
Here's exactly how we are converted to become as little children:
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
We are converted and become as little children by HUMBLING OURSELVES. Christ is giving us inspiration to possess a lifestyle of humility and submission to Him. Being successful or moving toward becoming the "greatest in the kingdom of heaven" is in direct proportion with how much you are dependant upon your heavenly Father as a "little child." WE MUST CHANGE OUR MIND ABOUT WHO AND WHAT WE ARE.
Others around you may see the need for you to change. But unless you see the need within your self, conversion will not take place. He is not telling us to humble others nor that we need someone else to humble us. This is something we must all do within ourselves. This internal persuasion to become as a little child is only effective when it voluntarily occurs within one's self.
The Apostle James explains this in a little more detail:
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
There it is, right there- REAL SUCCESS IS WHEN GOD LIFTS YOU UP. How does that happen? When you humble yourself and see yourself as a little child. We are "in the sight of the Lord" at all times. Never forget, God is always watching. If He sees you humbling yourself in the circumstances of life- "HE WILL LIFT YOU UP."
The more we humble ourselves, the more successful we become in the kingdom. This is not weakness but strength. This is not cowardice but courage. You put everything in His hands, trusting that no matter what happens, it's always for our good:
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Take a closer look at your life. Nothing happens by accident. God allows and orchestrates every circumstance for your "good." When we go thru tough circumstances, it's just like Him putting a little child in front of us saying, "Just humble yourselves." If we'll humble ourselves in this way, there's really no "bad" circumstances. This is a way we can remove the obstacle or 'mountain,' when we recognize that nothing is impossible for our heavenly Father. If we will humble ourselves, what was first perceived as adversity can become an invitation to get in better spiritual aligment for success. As our loving Father He just wants us to get on track by looking to Him.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, it's just not what we thought it would be- it's better! The key to becoming "greatest in the kingdom of heaven" is humbling yourself in the sight of God. Our carnal minds don't want this, but this is what Christ told His Disciples. God knows exactly what He's looking for in His own children. He also knows who will be the most usable among His children: he who "therefore shall humble himself as this little child."
From God's perspective, when we refuse to humble ourselves, we prevent opportunities for Him to intervene. Up until now, imagine how many times we've panicked, taken matters into our own hands too quickly, or reacted out of fear, when if we'd waited as a little child, God would have intervened. Humbling ourselves opens up our lives to God's supernatural power of intervention just like with Enoch, Moses, Elijah and others.
So rather than over-reacting, just don't react at all. Instead of making the same mistakes over and over again, wait for your Father to step in. Instead of always responding in the flesh, look within, to recognize that the Spirit of God inside of you cannot be defeated.
Once you're aligned with Him thru humbling yourself in your conversion, then you are on the road to success:
5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
Do you desire to be a representative for Christ? Then you must be as "one such little one" who has humbled himself. Understand, every white man and woman you come in contact with is your brother or sister. We've all made mistakes, some bigger than others. But each of us can repent and get on course to what God wants us to be. You can turn your life around and Christ gives you the best way for doing so- don't worry about it.
1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Why would Christ want someone who isn't like Him representing Him?! While Christ was here upon the earth, He humbled Himself. Christ only wants those who are humble representing Him. These verses clarify for us the type of representation Christ wants: humility and submission. THINK OF YOURSELF LESS AND START THINKING MORE OF YOUR GOD THRU YOUR PEOPLE.
This is one of God's higher ways. We're only "likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind" when we've humbled ourselves with one another. Conversion begins within and works its way out thru our love and faith. When it comes to genuine Bibilical conversion, the way up is down; the way to greatness is to consider yourself the least. When we do this, needs are met, lives are changed, and Yahweh is glorified!
Being converted and humbling ourselves means we always show as much consideration for our brethren as possible, not wanting to intentionally do anything that would prevent their conversion or cause them to stumble. We freely give others the message without any force or carnality involved. This is God's way because it does nothing to stand in the way of God's perfect judgment: "Vengeance is mine I will repay saith the LORD."
Due to the influences of capitalism, white men continually lift themselves up at the expense of their white brethren. White men walk all over one another to get where they want to go- it's the way of the world. This is how you become great in this society, even President of the United States of America. Yet if you remain full of stubborness and selfish pride, you'll go nowhere with God and you do not represent Him. See your fellow whites as His precious children and it will take on a whole new light.
Understand, there's a huge difference between being child-like and childish. Most of us have the childishness part down. It's going back to being child-like which presents the challenge. Whining and complaining isn't at all what Christ is talking about here. Christ is talking about our dependency upon our Father and how we relate to one another as fellow Israelites in humility.
As you well know, Yahshua Christ was Yahweh God in white, Adamic flesh. Though He could never give up His Deity, He did set aside certain rights and priveleges as God, in order to fulfill His purpose in coming to earth. If Christ was willing to humble Himself, why would we expect it to be any different for us? Why did He do it? Because it was what was best for everyone else. When you humble yourself, in due time, God Himself will lift you up:
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Christ's self-imposed humiliation resulted in resurrection glory! When the Gospel takes hold, it does not make you full of selfish pride. You gain pride in your people as a whole, but your personal attitude is that of a humble servant.
We wonder why things are so messed up in our families and our race. For far too long we've been selfishly lifting ourselves up, claiming our rights, regardless of how it affects our fellow whites. WE MUST STOP AMERICANIZING CHRISTIANITY AND START CHRISTIANIZING AMERICA THRU HUMBLING OURSELVES.
If we go on thinking too much of ourselves, we've missed the whole point of the Christian life and Christ's Example. God is our Father and we are dependant upon Him for everything whether we realize it or not. Be free like a little child by coming under the easy-yoked, lightly-burdened approach toward the Christian life.
If you want to know if you've been converted, honestly assess the way you view yourself and the way you treat others. If it must always be your way, if your rights and preferences are more important to you than your brother, then you have not been converted. But if you see yourself as the least, the servant, knowing God controls every circumstance, something special has happened inside of you.
We must not assume God would allow anyone to represent Him and be blessed and successful in His kingdom any other way. If we've not been converted, if we've not become as a little child by humbling ourselves we should not expect to experience God's way of success in our lives.
Christ removes all the pressure by telling us this. Doubtless, if you've come to Christian Identity, the complexion of your life is much different than what you thought it was before. Yet head knowledge alone, especially with an arrogant attitude, does not constitute conversion, any more than being a weak compromiser. The balance is found by embacing our total reliance upon our Father as His little child.
If you refuse to humble yourself, the remainder of what Christ teaches in this chapter will only frustrate you. Showing consideration, forgiving others, even believing, is not possible for one who will not humble himself in the sight of God. It doesn't matter what we think we know or what we do, if we've not been converted, we will not enter the kingdom.
This is how we're aligned for success. Proverbs says, "When a man's ways please Yahweh, He maketh even His enemies to be at peace with Him." This is one of the ways to be pleasing to Him. Let us do all we can to help others enter the kingdom.