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Friday, July 18, 2008

The Characteristics of Innocence

Please welcome Lily Ratliff to the Cafe!

The Characteristics of Innocence

Have you ever observed the interactions of a baby or even a toddler during the first few months of his/her life? It would be a pure joy if you took the time, as he/she does, just to stop and see what their little minds find so peculiar and interesting in a world we so much take for granted.

During the first stages of a baby’s life, when she is finally taking those first steps into independence, you find her so eager to leave her parents’ grasp to pick up a leaf or small insect on the ground. To your surprise, they run over to her just in time before they take the pleasure of what she’s found towards her mouth. But as soon as one thing is taken from her, she has managed to find something else that sparks her desire even more than the first.

We find babies like her to be adorable and innocent.

Innocent by American Heritage dictionary is defined as “not experienced or worldly; naive and unaware.” Or another definition that stands out is “uncorrupted by evil, malice, or wrongdoing; sinless.” Babies can’t help what they do because they have not been exposed to the maliciousness of the world yet. When little ones do things that would otherwise be out of the norm for us as adults like knock something over, or even hit someone, we as parents lovingly run towards them, smile and say, “Oh, it’s ok, you didn’t know any better.” Why? Because as babies, they explore the world around them to see how to test limits and boundaries, all the while-toothless, they laugh and snicker because they’ve learned something new.

So what is this thing called innocence as it relates to the word of God? God calls for all of us to liken to Him as babes. What does that mean, you may ask? He wants each of us to humble ourselves as children of God just the way a child would to his mother or father. Remember when you were a child. There was something you really wanted for your birthday or for Christmas that made your eyes twinkle every time you saw it on a commercial or on the store shelves. You had to have it. But in order for the request to be made known, you had to go to your parents and ask. You wouldn’t do it haphazardly, and with an attitude as if “You must do this for me.” You would creep up ever so gently, humble yourself, and even throw a little smile their way before asking the all important question, May I have “so and so” for my birthday this year? And more than likely, if it was in the budget and you played your cards right, your birthday would come around, and there would be the gift that made all the difference.

That’s the way our Father in heaven wants us to come to Him. “Abba Father.” And because we, as Christians, can now come boldly before His throne of grace, God desires to give us all the desires of our hearts, according to His will (Psalms 37:4 KJV). Romans 8:16 says,

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”

We are an heir, and joint-heir with Him!

So when it is time to go to your Father in heaven for whatever you may ask of Him, remember the faces of our children. If we just took the time out of this busy microwavable world as we know today and just give unto Him as a child, even to the people we meet with daily and humble ourselves, we too could have the characteristics of innocence as we daily strive to be more like Jesus!

· Have you always asked, believing that God will supply all of your needs? If not, what has held you back from accepting God’s promises? Doubt, fear, bitterness?

· Do you feel God wanting you to come to him in every area of your life?

· In what ways could you totally submit to God, as a child submits to his/her parents, and trusting that God will do what He’s said He will do in your life?


Lord, thank you for claiming us as your own. Knowing that we were bought with a price, we humbly submit to you this day and want to be more like you. Lord as we go about our daily lives, let us always remember that we as your children can come boldly before your throne of grace, and lay upon your bosom as children, asking anything, knowing that within Your will, it will be granted. Let us not forget to thank you, praise you in the midst of good times and bad, and that all things work together for the good of us that are called according to Your purpose. As long as we fully seek you, we shall always have what we need! Thanks be to God!


Lily L. Ratliff is a writer, educator, entrepreneur and speaker. Lily is the debut author of the Christian autobiography, The Life of a Lily. Lily has taught elementary through high school English and Reading for eleven years. She also owns and operates "Everything That's Lily, LLC,” an online book and inspirational jewelry business. Lily is also a dynamic inspirational speaker who has been sought after by churches, writing circles, schools, and community organizations to motivate, encourage, and inspire today's youth & young adults. Lily resides in Lithonia, Georgia, with her daughter, Asia Denise.

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Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Beautiful post with enough in it to leave me thinking for hours. I find it so challenging to be as submissive and obedient to my FAther as a young child would be, trusting Him with big, googly eyes every step of the way. I always found it so interesting that when my kids were younger, and to some extent even as tweens now, how they can be doing something else and have their attention on something else--yet still keenly aware of what I'm doing and where I am in the house. Oh, that I could do the same with my Daddy.

Love this post!

July 18, 2008 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger lily.ratliff said...

Thanks Lauralee. This post came with the idea of seeing my now five year old daughter. Before I had children, something like this would have never crossed my mind. But upon watching my daughter grow up and the joys of her exploring and learning the world around her, had me think about the love God has for us and wants each of us to go to Him in the same manner! Imagine the possibilities of purpose and fulfillment if we just approach Him with such childlike innocence! My God! Thanks for your post! And much love to you!


July 18, 2008 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Nia Virtual Book Tours said...

Lily thank you for blessing us with your posting.


July 18, 2008 at 4:49 PM  
Anonymous Keisha Mitchell said...


It is so true that when we look at our own children, we are really able to understand how God feels about us. This love is special and unconditional and far from the ordinary. I am so glad to be his child!!

July 18, 2008 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Thanks for sharing your heart.

I learn so much about Papa God through my children.
It has taken me years to begin to see and understand Him through the eyes of a child. It has made all the difference in the world.

It's nice to have you here.


July 18, 2008 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

PS. I live in Georgia too... Ellijay.

July 18, 2008 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Such a lovely post.

July 19, 2008 at 2:01 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Beautiful writing - inspired!

July 19, 2008 at 8:49 PM  

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