There is a game on Facebook, I’m sure you know it, seen it, or play it… Candy Crush Saga. It claims to be “highly addictive”. And I am thankful for the 5 lives so I can make myself stop in a timely fashion. Lately it has been the topic of complaining in my home. I joke that my complaining is sending a message to the game, the more I complain and threaten to quit playing, the more I clear the hard level. I get stuck on a level for weeks, then finally say, “This is my last 5 lives… I’m quitting after this IMPOSSIBLE round!” Then I miraculously clear all those stinky jellies!
The most current levels have this MOST ANNOYING feature of what I call the “cancerous” chocolates. When a move does not go towards the major goal of “clearing the jellies” a chocolate comes out of nowhere and blocks a tile. My personality begins to pop out, I get offensive and begin yelling, “NO! NO! NO! I HATE CHOCOLATE!” WHAT!? Did that just come out of my mouth!?
So this menial frustration has been happening at the same time as a major weight on my heart lately. When my husband and I entered into ministry it wasn’t for fame, or prestige, or money (haha, that’s a funny idea!). We truly wanted to see souls won to Christ. And we love church. So, we moved here almost a year ago (in may) to lead a church to growth, spiritually and in numbers. It isn’t an easy task. My prayer has been an inquiry, how do I get our church to grow? How do I get the people in to hear the message, to get involved, and to get more in to hear the message? What needs to be done, what needs to stop, what needs to be prayed? This game opened my eyes a bit to a few things that keep churches from growing, and keeps the gospel from being heard…
As hard as I work at this game, the moves I made that did not benefit my ultimate goal resulted in a tile being blocked. With each sin I let creep into my life, the harder it is to get my ultimate goal achieved. It blocks my vision, it blocks my motives, it blocks the glory. I’m still saved, I didn’t lose my salvation, but I forfeited blessings that could have come my way.
When I line up 3 like fruits, it clears them. This gives me points and closer to my goal. Same for in our christian walk. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them (Matthew 18:20). When I line up 4 or 5 they get stripey or special so they have a bigger impact they shoot out, explode, and bust up things all around and make the goal even closer! Imagine what can happen if not just 2 or 3 gather, but 4 or 5… Prayer changes things, it multiplies the effectiveness of reaching others! (outside of my point here… miracles can happen when just ONE prays, don’t ever forget that!)
When I first got to these horrible chocolate levels, I was so shocked and sad to see my hatred for chocolate rise! Chocolate is supposed to be our friend, not our enemy. It shouldn’t work against me! I felt betrayed! This parallel is the same. There are too many Christians out there that are working AGAINST our major goal. I’d expect it if the blocking came from a toothbrush, or cavities… but not chocolate! I go into the world every day knowing that those that are not for HIM are against HIM (Matthew 12:30). I don’t expect to see Christians acting in ways that bring people away from him. On a daily basis we (remember we means others and me) do things that bring unbelievers away from instead of closer to their salvation. We gossip, we lie, we offer worldly things without ever mentioning God’s name. And we justify it in any way we can. We block the work of God with our sin. This should not be so. it should sadden us, break our spirit, and bring us to our knees.
And all these things cause me to want to quit. Blocks prevent me from getting to the next level, when there just isn’t enough fruit connections to clear the level, and when those stinky malicious chocolates block my way, I threaten to quit! When sin creeps in, when I fail to pray, when the christian world is fighting against me just as much as the world is… I want to throw my hands up, and give up… but then instead of merely complaining about the level… then beating it, I pray over these things, I can overcome.
You see, these levels are beatable. Even with certain blocks made by that chocolate, I can still focus on the objective and kick some candy bum! I can clear level after level where I’m shouting “I’m ON FIRE!!!” And I can ask for forgiveness, I can pray for the impact that my church can have on the community, trusting God to bring them in to hear the message, and I can up my game to counteract those working against me (and not do anything myself that could counteract my true goal), and God will knock out the barriers and grow my church! He can set my spirit on FIRE!!! He can clear the path and make it wide for all those hurting, aching, and desiring. I look forward to the day when God says, “Sugar Crush!” (or in Biblical terms, “Well done good and faithful servant!”) Wonderful! Level Completed!
**One last comparison… if you’re at the end of your levels, you have no lives left, call upon God. He has a life for you! Call upon a Christian friend, I will help you, but only HE can give you an extra life! A life that is ABUNDANT! Don’t quit the game, just get a new life, an eternal life! Let me know if you want more info on this, I will send you the lifeline!