Violating that trust is very serious to the Lord. So much so that He at one point spoke a dire warning for anyone who would lead one of these little ones astray. His word indicates that each child has a guardian angel whose face is always beholding the Lord. Surely this childlike attitude would be another reason Jesus would say unless one changes and becomes like a little child, they cannot enter the kingdom. Trust, as Paul Jaegher said in The Virtue of Trust is, “that rare and priceless treasure that wins us the affection of our heavenly Father--trusting souls truly delight and give immense pleasure to his heart.”
Trust suffers when children must become wary of so many dangers in life. Sadly, one of those dangers is people who would shatter the childlike innocence of a trusting heart. As injury comes, so comes protection; protective walls go up in our minds and emotions. What is designed to shield from further harm however, becomes the very thing that keeps one from entering the fullness of the kingdom into which Jesus invites a kingdom which requires trusting Him.
What protects the soul, prohibits receiving the only One who really is worthy of complete trust the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. One must approach Him in trust He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Without faith, it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6). So trust must also be a foundational reality for the believer. Brennan Manning in Ruthless Trust calls childlike surrender in trust, ”the defining spirit of authentic discipleship.“
Simply put, trust is an explicit belief that He will be good and act with goodness. The rub comes when He seems to want obedience without much explanation, sometimes without any explanation. Abraham is required to go off to a mountain and offer his long-awaited son, the son of promise, as a human sacrifice. What allowed Abraham to follow through? It was His experiential knowledge of God that taught him that God was capable of raising up his son again if in fact his life would be required. That kind of knowledge does not come from a book. It only comes from knowing Him intimately. In saint Paul's last known epistle, he declares, “I know who it is that I have put my trust in.&rdquo (2 Timothy 1:12).
Trust allows one to go through a door God has opened without knowing what is on the other side. Trust enables a disciple to receive the Holy Spirit after asking for His fullness, believing that God will give no counterfeit (Luke 11:13). Trust sponsors peace when God seems to take something away, knowing that He assuredly has something better to give in exchange. But trust is learned as Abraham and Saint Paul illustrate, through trials and crises, even though disciples wish it could be learned some other way.
So “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your steps.” (Proverbs 3:5-8; Psalm 36:3-6). That is not to say He wants to dominate every aspect down to the minute details of life. Like any good parent, He wants disciples who have spent enough time with Him that they know His heart and naturally make decisions that take them in directions that are pleasing to Him and glorify Him. In other words, trust is mutual. He entrusts, if you will, assignments to his disciples that are well suited for their personality.
It is downright scary from a human perspective how much Jesus entrusted to His disciples, to His churches who make known the mysteries of His truth to the world and to the dark rulers of this age, the principalities and powers (Ephesians 3:10). As the preachers say, He has no plan B. His church is the plan through which good is ultimately to overcome evil. From the third rock from the sun, this plan almost seems foolhardy. But that too requires Christians to trust Him.