I had lunch with a friend Friday. She and I have some of our best talks over a good grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of soup. Friday was no exception, and we found ourselves discussing the opportunity/church dilemma. Simply put, when an opportunity arises between (fill in the blank _________________________) and church, ____________________ is chosen. Understand, I’m not legalistically saying there is never a time when you can’t miss church because of another commitment, however, as a mom, a Christian and a Children’s Ministry leader I believe that due to the exponential increase in this occurence, there is cause for alarm. I take a risk saying those words, let alone putting them in print, but I feel like I take an even bigger risk if I don’t.
Several times through the years I have taught the Biblical account of King Saul trying to kill his son-in-law David (I Samuel 19:11-16). In this passage we read that David’s wife, Saul’s daughter, Michal, let David down through a window so that he could flee and escape. “Then she took an idol and laid it in the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head.” (Makes me wonder about David’s hair a little.)
Saul sent his men to get David, and when they got to the house they found the idol, not David, in the bed.
WAIT! WHAT???? HUH??? What in the world was an idol doing in the house of David?? Let alone an idol big enough to pose as a person sleeping in a bed. Every time I taught that lesson I had a hard time with that little fact. Understanding that idol worship had a hold on parts of Israel, I would always find myself baffled at the fact that the King of Israel’s daughter and the future king had this idol in their house.
Until God not-so-subtlely asked me to look around my own home. Could it be that I had an idol or two around that I had never noticed before? Did I need to cut David and Michal a little slack? No! I needed to get the idols out of my house!
Exodus 20:3 clearly states that nothing is to come before God.
Luke 10:27 says to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.”
Hebrews 10:25 reminds us to “not stop meeting together as some are in the habit of doing.”
Yet, I continue to hear families saying, “But they have wrestling, dance, football, basketball, gymnastics, baseball, tournaments, scouts, family outings, 6 Flags, concerts. . . . . . and it’s a great opportunity.” “If they are going to be on the traveling team, they have to play on Sundays (or Wednesdays). “They made a commitment to the team, and I want them to learn to keep commitments.”
Hello!! We’ve made a commitment to Christ!!! To put Him first, to be a part of His team, His family, His purposes and His plan. And that commitment isn’t being kept. Yet, for some reason that seems to be okay.
When we teach our children to put a commitment to a hobby before a commitment to God and His family, is it any wonder that these same children are totally walking away from their commitment to Christ as they get older?
Certainly there are no guarantees that our children won’t choose the world even if they are in church every Sunday. Which is why it’s important to note that I’m not just talking about church attendance here. I am talking about lives committed to following Jesus Christ. Lives, personal preferences, fleshly wants that are being laid down so that we can pick up a cross. Why aren’t worried about them missing out on that???
Today I would like to ask you to take a sincere assessment of your home and see if it is at all possible that there may be an idol or two lying around that are in need of being destroyed and cast out.
If you have heard God speaking to you about these things, but maybe you haven’t wanted to listen, listen today. If you are just hearing Him now for the first time, listen. Maybe you’ve been fighting the battle and are just about ready to give in, if so, then my encouragement to you is to stay the course. If you have chosen to make activities and opportunities a part of your life, but not first place in your life, then I want to cheer you on for not only putting God first, but for being a light in what is becoming a darker world. Because of all the things I would never want to have your kids miss out on. . . of all the things I would never want my kids to miss out on, it would be the opportunity to be part of God’s team, God’s family, God’s bench, God’s kingdom. All in, 100%, totally committed, for all eternity.
It’s sort of like the old saying that at the end of his days you never hear the executive saying that he wishes he had spent more time at the office. Neither is it our experience that we hear Christian parents saying as their kids grow up that they wish they had spend less time with God and more time on the field.
“Who then can be saved?”
Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
Peter said to Him, “We have left all we had to follow you.”
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”