I took my granddaughter camping on Monday. (Why would anyone camp on a summer holiday weekend? Until you’re a grandpa, you might not be able to understand.) As we drove around the three loops below the El Dorado dam, she gave a running commentary on the various RV rigs. “That one is really nice … that one looks OLD … that one has jet skis with it!”
As we searched for our ideal camping spot, I wondered if she remembered that we would be roughing it in a small summertime tent. How could Grandpa compete with these wonderful weekend toys?
My first thought was that we could have picked a better location … maybe less competition for my granddaughter’s affection. And then I recalled Mark 13.1-2, “As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
I really enjoyed Jeff’s lesson last Sunday morning about idolatry. To borrow one of his teaching points, anybody or anything that takes God’s place in my life is an idol. We will be more pleasing to God when we identify and remove the idols from our daily lives and pursue His will more closely. Does that mean that every RV owner at El Dorado Lake this past weekend must sell their RV if they claim to serve God? Not at all. It’s not the size of the RV, it’s the fact that I might allow anything (even tent-camping) to become an obstacle in my pursuit of God’s will in my life.
Let’s put two favorite New Testament verses together. 1 John 2.15, “Do not love the world or anything in the world.” Matt 6.33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” “Loving the world” could be defined by owning a nice RV, or it could be defined by a tent-camping hobby that takes me away from God. We should leave the answer to tough questions (“Does my hobby interfere with my service to God?”) to each individual, but that question will have to be answered. Jesus gave us a clear litmus test for discipleship: “Seek first His kingdom.”