In 2014, I downloaded a mobile app called: Summoners War. Summoners War is a game similar to Pokemon where you summon different monsters and fight against other users. Everyday I would log on to the game and start playing. At first, it was only five minutes here and five minutes there that I would spend time in the game. Nothing major, right? It wasn't too long before five minutes turned into an hour, and then an hour turned into three, and then three hours turned into five hours... a day... playing this game.
I was addicted. Day after day I was playing this game more than I was spending time with my wife, doing school work, and spending time with God combined. It got to the point that my mentality started changing and my attitude was affected by how well I was playing the game. I hate to admit it, but there were multiple times that I snapped at Marissa because I had lost a match.
All because of a video game.
I came to the realization that I had made this game my temple. Something as small as a video game took priority over my life.
I needed to play every day.
I needed to have my device on me at all times.
It may seem minor, even irrational to classify this game as a temple of mine. Because I was devoting more time and energy into this game than I was in more important areas, I would say that it is the perfect example of such.
Bruce talked this past week about how the Israelites Idolized their literal Temple above all else. Their Temple was a masterpiece, a work of art. It had their sweat, tears, and blood engraved in the stones. It is because of this that it comes as no surprise that the Israelites were offended when Jesus said, "I tell you that something greater than the temple is here (Matt. 12:6 NIV)."
Something greater than the Temple? Seriously, Jesus? Something greater than the very thing that our ancestors had spent years building?
But it was true. Jesus, the son of God, was greater than the temple. This story goes to show that it is easy for any of us to idolize something greater than God.
What is it for you? What is a Temple in your life that you are prioritizing over your relationship with Jesus? It can be as simple as a video game or as large as an addiction, relationship, financial security, etc...
Not too long ago, I gave up playing Summoners War (Exhale. I know, you were worried about me). However, this does not mean that I am Temple free. I am constantly fighting the idols in my life. One leaves and another enters.
Jesus challenges us to give up our worldly Temple and pursue Him alone.
We want to challenge you to take these three next steps this week to prepare your heart for this week's message.
1) Answer the questions: What is your temple? What are you idolizing over Jesus?
2) Spend five minutes praying today. Ask God to help you defeat your temple.
3) Read Matthew 14:1-21 to prepare your heart for the message.
Join us Saturday at 6:00 or Sunday at 9 & 10:30 for Revolution.