[This is week 2 of The Minecraft Devotional]
When nighttime came, I realized that I had wandered off too far from home and was lost. I heard the grumbling of zombies and the clanking bones of the skeletons behind the trees. Then an arrow flew past my head. I turned toward them and realized they had company. Along with the zombies and skeletons was a pack of creepers headed right at me. They started to sizzle as I turned and ran as fast as I could in the opposite direction, hoping it would get me home.
The explosion sent me flying but I was far enough away that no major damage was done. I ran, dodging monsters left and right until I finally found my torch path that would lead me safely home. I realized that I was not prepared to go out into the world and face all of the obstacles that were being thrown at me. I had some preparing to do.
Has that ever happened to you? Maybe before you went out exploring you did what you thought to be enough preparation and quickly realized you had forgotten something.
When we go out into the world we need to be prepared. There are some bad things out there that will hurt us if we let them.
Jesus reminded his disciples of this in John 16:33 when He said, “In this world you will have trouble, But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Notice that he doesn’t tell them they might have trouble, but that they will have trouble.
So, what do we do?
In the game you build shelter, then craft weapons and armor to help defend yourself against the attacks of the enemies. In life, we do the same. Just in a different way
Do you know the story of the the wise and foolish builders (Matthew 7:24-27)? You may remember the song more than the story, “The wise man built his house upon the rock…and the rains came tumbling down.” In the end, the house that was built with the better foundation was the better house. It was able to stand through the rain, flood, and wind that tried to tear it down.
Our foundation should be God and His word. That means that while I am young, I should start reading and studying God’s word. David said something really cool. He said, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” – Psalm 119:11 ESV
David knew that rain, flood, and winds would come at him taking the form of temptation and sin. His way of protecting himself was to have God’s word in his heart. This was the foundation for his shelter.
Craft Weapons and Armor
Thankfully, Paul wrote an awesome paragraph in his letter to the Ephesians about wearing the whole armor of God. You think diamond armor is cool? Try wearing God’s armor!
In Ephesians 6:10-20 Paul describes the armor of God that we can wear to help protect ourselves from the bad things of the world. He talks about a belt, chestplate, shoes, shield, and helmet. No soldier would go into battle without wearing proper armor and we shouldn’t try to take on the world without properly protecting ourselves.
When you get surrounded by too many bad guys in the game you can switch to peaceful mode and they all disappear. No fighting, no running, not even a need for armor. But that is not real. We can’t turn off the bad things in life that try to hurt us. We have to prepare ourselves to beat them.
Let’s take David and Paul’s advice and have God’s word in our hearts to make the foundation for our shelter and put on the whole armor of God.
One More Thing
One more thing. In the game, the bad guys will never try to run away from you (unless you have a cat. Creepers don’t like cats). In real life, if we are prepared, we can make the devil run away. Don’t believe me? Here is what the ending of James 4:7 says: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
We all know that we will face difficult days throughout our life. It will seem like we are getting attacked by the devil and we won’t know what to do. Just remember these three things and you will have a good start. Build a shelter, put on armor, resist the devil.
The Final Block
- What can I do to help prepare myself for bad things I might face?
- Read Ephesians 6:10-20 and think about what it would look like if you had on all of that armor. Maybe even draw a picture of yourself wearing the armor of God.
- When James says to “resist the devil,” what do you think he means? How can we resist him today?