Graham Snow - The Little Child - Carema, Italy Convention - 2004

Hymn 69  

Matthew 18:3, “Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”  Jesus said there was no way to enter; it is impossible to enter unless there is a change in their lives.  The question in my heart is, “Was Jesus speaking to men in the world, to the Pharisees or Sadducees?” I find it is not so--he was speaking to His 12 disciples, men who had left all and had been doing it for years.  He said, “You cannot enter unless there is a change in you--you must change and become like little children"--these words are serious.  These 12 men had made a great sacrifice--they had left their work and left their homes, their family, their father and mothers, and had done a lot for Jesus' sake. They had made an immense sacrifice for Jesus' sake.  If you don't change, you cannot enter He said; all your sacrifice will be in vain unless there is a change in your spirit and you become like little children.  These men had good things in their hearts, they had faith and they had love, they were willing to sleep outside and have no home, but all this sacrifice would be in vain unless they had the spirit of a little child.  We could do a lot in sacrifice, in caring for the people of God, in our service to God, but all would be in vain unless we have the spirit of a little child. It is this which touches my heart.  It should touch the heart of every person gathered here, for we want to leave here with the spirit of a little child--it is very important. 

There was a man we met 40 years ago who had made his choice to serve God.  He had been professing for two years when we met him, and it was very clear that he loved the things of God, the way of God.  He lived for God and had a very clear vision and revelation of God. He started very well, but this man died outside of the way of God.  He walked in this truth for 30 years; he took part and always gave a testimony, always prayed and was very faithful. He could preach to others also. He wanted to correct others and it was then we understood he had never had the spirit of a little child. He had been in the truth for many years and left everything for this very truth. He left it but the last years of his life were spent outside. It would seem that he never had the spirit of a child. It is so important for you to have the spirit of a child because you cannot enter heaven without it.  We could do a lot of things; you could follow me but all is in vain if you do not have the spirit of a little child.  Who has the best future in the world? Who has a wonderful future in this life? In the natural sense, it is a child.  In the spiritual sense, it is the person with the child spirit that has a wonderful future in this life. They have the promise of eternal life, for they can grow and make progress--they can learn things.  In a little child's first years of life there are many changes--there is growth, but there is no growth in older people, and if I do not have the spirit of a little child, there will be no spiritual growth in me and I will be stuck where I am and stay there. 

There are two stories of children in the Bible and both cried.  Moses was a baby, very little, maybe two or three months old, and he was in the river in a basket.  The daughter of King Pharaoh came and saw the child, who wept-- she heard his cry and these tears and cry changed his life. Moses had no future in this life, as King Pharaoh had said all male children were to be cast in the river. He did not want Israel's children to have a future, so the babe Moses had no future, not even a week.  But Pharaoh's daughter came and saw the babe weeping and had compassion on him and had mercy.  Pharaoh had made a law which included his own house, a strong law, “Take all the male children and throw them into the river,” but the cry and the tears of the child was stronger than the law of the king.  There is a power and strength in the tears of a child before God for He hears the cry from our heart when we have the spirit of a little child.  All this changed Moses' future and now he could live for years in Pharaoh's house; now he had a future.

Then we have the story of Hagar, the mother of Ishmael, in the desert. She was cast out of the house of Abraham and now found herself and the child in the desert.  The child cried, and also the mother. There was a noise from both of them and it says God heard the voice of the child, but not the voice of the mother.  What was the reason God heard the cry of the child and not the mother?  They both were needy and were in a hard situation.  It was because there was a different cry coming from the mother than the child. The child had a need and wanted to drink something, for it was hot and so he cried. He needed help and it was a cry of need.  Hagar cried because of her spirit, and she cried because she felt she had a right to cry, because she had been in Abraham's house and was the mother of his child.  She felt, “I've done everything that is right; I have done my part and I became the mother of his son and now I am thrown out--it is not right!”  She pitied herself, and it was a cry of self-pity, "Poor me, I have had an injustice done to me, what is Abraham thinking, why is his wife so cruel?"  We could understand her thoughts and why she cried like this, but God did not hear this cry; He heard only the voice of the child.  Sometimes we think it is not right and we ask, "Why, why"--question upon question. We fight against things and seek to justify ourselves. We say our own words and even say God is not right in this. We just don't see it, but God does not hear a cry like that, and hears only the cry of the child, a pure cry of need, a need for water, living water from God. If we have this sort of cry we have a future. 

In Matthew 18:10, it tells us about angels. Little children have angels who always see the face of the Father. They are for His little ones, not for adults, those who are big in themselves; no, they are only for those who have the spirit of a little child.  We have an angel who sees the face of God, but if I am not a child then my future is limited.  I can see clearly that my body is not like it was 40 to 50 years ago; my vision and my hearing are not the same and I have lost some of the sensitivity of hearing.  I am also becoming stiff--all this is all so different for a child.  The spirit of a child is very important to us.  We see Lazarus, not in the house, but in the bosom of Abraham.  One time I saw a photograph of a father and mother and their children--big children, small children, and a babe--there were six children.  Which one of the children is sitting in the bosom of the mother?  It was the babe.  Lazarus was like this because he died as a child, having the spirit of a little child. The rich man died as a great man, for he was not a child but was big. 

Jesus was born in Bethlehem and King Herod got to hear of it by his magicians, his wise men.  The wise men were asking questions, “Where could they find the king that was born?”  They knew He would be born and they had fear just as Herod had fear. He asked the wise men to let him know when they had found Him so that he could worship Him also.  Herod was a strong king with great authority but he had the fear of a little child--he trembled and he feared. The king of this world, the devil, also fears the little child, especially when he sees the spirit of a small child; he becomes fearful.  Let us take care to have the spirit of a little child because Satan fears it when he sees that spirit of a child. It is when we have this thought of being big that we have no help available to us.

Simeon, in Luke 2, went to the temple to become acquainted with Joseph and Mary and when he saw the child Jesus, he took him up into his arms and said, “I have now seen the salvation of God.” Right there in their midst was the salvation for the world!  He saw the world in darkness, yet he also saw salvation in the small child in the arms of His mother.  This is the solution to all the problems and differences in the world and amongst us in the Family of God--it is for all of us to have the spirit of a little child, for this brings us peace and is our salvation.  Simeon saw that the salvation of the world lay in the spirit of a little child.