Childlike Faith (ATP) 

Is the Holy Spirit in little kids? Even if they’re not necessarily old enough to profess their faith?

First of all I’d ask, “What’s old enough to profess your faith?” Jesus said that unless we had the faith of a child we could not see the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s a profound thing if you think about it. To profess faith is simply to say what one believes. If a two year old can confess Jesus as a two year old would, is that any less faith? The only reason I bring this out is because too often we put too much emphasis on amounts of faith instead of looking to what faith really is. Faith is completely tied to the amount we can trust God. 

That said, John 7:39 (NASB) tells us, “But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those WHO BELIEVED IN HIM were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” Who received? Those who believed in Him, or trusted in Him. I would argue that a child is more capable of believing in faith than even an adult at times. We equate knowledge to faith but that isn’t true at all. You can have knowledge of God, yet no faith in Him. The Pharisees are an example of this. 

Let’s tackle the heart of the question though. Is the Holy Spirit in kids? I would say absolutely. Is He in every kid? I’d say no. Is it the same as adults? I don’t know. We know that Jesus insisted that the kids come to Him. Matthew 7:9-10 (NASB) says, “Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?” Will then a child who comes to Christ be denied the blessing of God the Spirit being present in them? I can’t see how a loving God could do such a thing. One might argue, “But those kids can’t  understand! I would argue, “Neither do most adults!”

There are aspects of God and His Kingdom that are absolutely a mystery to us. There are things we won’t fully know here and now. How we can even receive God’s Spirit on the inside of us and still be able to sin afterwards is beyond me. But it happens. How we can receive and bask in His love and then turn around and hate or despise our neighbor is also beyond me. Yet we do! Children need the experience of God in their flesh, maybe even more so than adults do. I can’t see that God, who so greatly desires children to come to Him, would also refuse the blessing promised to them. I am a big advocate for how we introduce our children to God and the things of God including His church. How we do will form faith in them which either lasts or is lightly esteemed. What we show our kids, WILL be their faith! 

We have always encouraged our kids to explore a relationship with God in all its forms. They see the trials and know our struggles, and they partake of our victories. If children are not encouraged to do so, why would we think they would maintain interest when they get older. Children can experience the goodness of God and be taught to embrace Him. Our children were taught to pray, hear the Word, serve, tithe, give, listen, love, and anything else we do. This is why today, as they grow older, they still do these things. If we are to raise up a child in the right way, there is no reason to think that God will not bless them accordingly. 

Jesus said to come as a child. The instruction is to adults but the example of the action is that of the children. Therefore, one might say they are possibly more susceptible to the Holy Spirit than we are. I don’t know for sure, but I certainly wouldn’t exclude them. We shouldn’t be quick to write off the spiritual nature of our children. That doesn’t mean that it leads us, but we must consider it. Teach your kids about the blessing of the  Holy Spirit. Let them know God’s goodness and open their hearts to a life long walk with Him. After all, if we won’t, no one will.

Be Blessed

Pastor Jeff